Saturday March 31, 2012 Day 31 Finished Etihad Stadium

Manchester City 3 - 3 Sunderland

  • Balotelli 43’ (pen.), 85’
  • Kolarov 86’
  • Larsson 31’, 55’
  • Bendtner 45’

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  1. City lose ground despite late comeback

    City lose ground despite late comeback

    Manchester City’s hopes of winning the Premier League were dealt a huge blow as Sunderland held them to a 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Manchester City
    • Sunderland
    • - Don't forget you can watch highlights of this match, along with every Premier League game, from 00:01 on Monday morning (UK only).
    • - So much to talk about - why not join me, Mark Patterson, on Twitter to talk about Sunderland's stirring display and City's title chances? Follow @Mark_Eurosport
    • 90+5' FULL TIME: It's all over! Despite a stirring comeback, it's two points lost for City, not one point won. Sunderland were superb on the break, City were vulnerable. This will be a big blow to their title chances.
    • 90+4' Last chance - the cross from Kolarov cleared, and Sunderland fighting for their lives.
    • 90+4' Pizarro to Kolarov, another tasty cross which Mignolet punches clear. Time running out.
    • 90+3' Final Sunderland swap - Vaughan on for Cattermole. Like for like, but another 30 seconds swallowed up making the change.
    • 90+3' Shot from Yaya Toure from 25 yards, and well over the top - a stinker in the circumstances.
    • 90+2' Sunderland goal kick and they're in no hurry to take it, unsurprisingly. They've got a third sub left, and they'll make that now too.
    • 90+1' Free kick from just beyond the centre circle. City throw the bodies forward.
    • 90' Four added minutes to play.
    • 90' The noise has returned to the Etihad as Balotelli has a shot blocked. He's been so haphazard today, could he yet be the hat-trick hero?
    • 89' Sunderland get it away - remember that comeback or not, City desperately need the win. There's two precious - crucial - points at stake in the title race.
    • 88' Tevez plays in Balotelli - his shot is blocked and City win a corner. Still it comes!
    • 87' What an extraordinary game! Suddenly you'd say City have a chance of salvaging this afternoon.
    • 86' KOLAROV! CITY LEVEL! Tevez and then Pizarro link up but cannot find an outlet - the ball comes back to Kolarov who drills a shot low and past Mignolet from 25 yards! WHERE HAS THIS COME FROM!?
    • 85' BALOTELLI SCORES! A BIT OF HOPE! He comes in from the right and flashes a shot into the roof of the net - a good goal, and one that should set up an exciting finish!
    • 85' Johnson tricks his way into a bit of space but Colback stays strong and holds him off to prevent a cross.
    • 84' BENDTNER! Another Sunderland break, and another warning shot. It ends with Bendtner trying to curl a shot into the goal from just outside the area - and not missing by much.
    • 83' Instead the full-back shoots - and it's over the bar. That's a waste.
    • 82' Kolarov has a very dangerous-looking set piece on the right - perfect for a cross.
    • 81' Here we go - Pizarro replaces Milner, while Kilgallon, who is still not quite right after that fall, off and replaced by Kyrgiakos.
    • 80' Both sides lining up changes here.
    • 79' Sessegnon left in space to pick out Larsson - have City not caught on to that one?! Fortunately for the men in blue Larsson cannot pull the trigger and shoot from outside the area.
    • 78' Kolarov with a deep, probing corner from the left, and Colback has to nod it out for yet another corner. Kilgallon was also trying to clear it and has hurt himself in the process.
    • 77' Tevez dispossessed, but at the expense of a City throw on halfway. The home side will come forward once again.
    • 76' Kompany still having to talk to Balotelli, who seems lost here.
    • 75' Frustrated faces in the City team too. The ball in Mignolet's hands after a hopeful ball forward, and the Sunderland keeper launches it forward.
    • 74' Dzeko's shot takes a deflection and goes out - but it's off Johnson, so now corner. A lot of worried faces in the City crowd.
    • 73' Sessegnon picks out McLean, but this time the Irishman's cross does not find the target.
    • 72' Hart out of his box to heave the ball forward as soon as Sunderland clear.
    • 71' Tevez with a backheeled pass to Yaya Toure. The move ends with a corner - City's 14th of the match already.
    • 70' Milner wins a corner after a run down the right. Sunderland are having to do some defending now.
    • 69' Adam Johnson played the killer through-ball there, and City not giving up on this yet.
    • 68' TEVEZ HITS THE SIDE NETTING! Lovely break and quick ball forward, and Tevez is on his own against two defenders. Not much room, but he gets a shot away and it's close.
    • 67' What a trick from Kilgallon for the cross - lacked space and chipped it off the wrong foot. Sunderland pressing forward again.
    • 66' Kolarov eventually takes it and although it's not on the right side for his left foot, he clips the netting with his effort.
    • 65' What's this? Four, five City players arguing about who'll take this! Balotelli eventually sent away - extraordinary scenes.
    • 64' Larsson penalised for a foul in a dangerous area. Good set piece chance.
    • 63' Manchester City haven’t lost a Premier League home match by a margin of more than one goal since October 2010, when Arsenal won 3-0. (Infostrada)
    • 62' Sir Alex Ferguson must be enjoying his afternoon at the moment. His United side could be six points clear by Monday at this rate.
    • 61' CLOSE! Dzeko almost catches the Sunderland defence napping and they fail to clear. Johnson flashes a shot close as City push.
    • 60' Kolo Toure nods over the bar from the corner, and he ought to have done better - it looked like it might not break for him, but he was unmarked when it did.
    • 59' Manchester City have failed to win their last seven Premier League home matches when losing at half time (5 defeats), since a 2-1 win against Tottenham in March 2008. (Infostrada)
    • 58' Off comes David Silva, on comes Tevez. It's a big gamble, but City need something drastic here.
    • 57' Here comes Carlos Tevez...
    • 56' Yellow for De Jong, who clatters into man of the match so far Stephane Sessegnon, on halfway.
    • 55' This is becoming a huge task for City now. Three goals needed to end the day top of the table. United not in action until Monday.
    • 54' 3-1 SUNDERLAND! LARSSON HAS TWO! All kinds of troubel after a slick counter attack - Sessegnon carrying it forward from his own half and threading a ball to Bendtner, the Dane sliding a pass into Larsson's path and a no-nonsense finish. Lovely move, lovely goal.
    • 52' After a brief hold up De Jong takes the set piece and strokes it across to the left.
    • 51' Free kick after Yaya Toure caught - and he's hhobbling after that one from Cattermole. Make your own Lee Cattemole tackling observation.
    • 50' Manchester City are behind at half-time for the first time this season. The last time they were trailing at the break in the PL was at Liverpool in April 2011, the last time at home was against Everton in December 2010. (Infostrada)
    • 49' Lovely move from City, with Dzeko almost on the end of Johnson's cross, but Colback knocks it out of play just in time.
    • 48' Sunderland work a corner short, but without great direction. McLean catches Dzeko as City look to break forward.
    • 47' No Tevez yet, but Richards off with injury and it's Adam Johnson who comes on.
    • 46' Right - two big team talks later, the second half begins!
    • - Meanwhile do Sunderland change things after earning this lead?
    • - I could see Tevez coming on soon, but more likely Mancini will swap him for Balotelli, who's not been on top form, aside from the penalty.
    • - Pirutman says: "I reckon Sunderland will get something out of this game.. City need to take of De Jong and bring on Tevez.." - what do you think? Twitter
    • - Looking for something to fill your time after that blistering first half? Can City come back? Are Sunderland about to do a league double over Roberto Mancini's men? Why not join me on Twitter? Follow @Mark_Eurosport
    • 45+5' HALF TIME: Well, well. What a half! Sunderland ahead, City very threatening but vulnerable. Everything to play for after the interval!
    • 45+4' Where did that come from? Sessegnon's cross from the right, and Bendtner rose perfectly at the far post to head the ball back across Hart and into the corner.
    • 45+4' BENDTNER SCORES! SUNDERLAND BACK IN FRONT!
    • 45+3' Super defending from Kilgallon to cut short a late Dzeko burst through the middle. Plenty to talk about after this first half.
    • 45+3' Free kick for Sunderland as Mignolet tries to punch clear but is blocked from doing so by Balotelli.
    • 45+2 Kolarov's cross turned away by Larsson for a corner. At this rate, you wouldn't be surprised to see City in front.
    • 45+1' Three minutes of stoppages to play as both Colback and Richards are well enough to resume.
    • 45' Meantimes Colback and Richards are down receiving treatment. Phil Dowd has to cool this down.
    • 44' City good value for that equaliser. Meanwhile a player from each side dwon after a clash of heads. Tempers fraying as well. Dzeko needs to calm down, perhaps still angry at the claims he dived.
    • 43' BALOTELLI SCORES! Stops almost to a standstill in his run up before stroking the ball beyond Mignolet and into the right hand corner.
    • 42' PENALTY! Dzeko scythes through from the left, cuts past Gardner, and goes to ground. Sunderland are furious, claiming he dived, but there was contact.
    • 42' Has nobody told these sides there's a second half to play? This feels like the end of a match with City throwing it all forward for an equaliser.
    • 41' CITY CLOSE! Not Kolarov's best shot, but not Mignolet's best keeping - he parries the ball out and the ball is centred to Balotelli, whose shot is blocked.
    • 40' Yellow card coming out here for Gardner - he couldn't pull Yaya Toure back as the Ivorian surged forward, so he tried the tackle and got nowhere near the ball. Free-kick chance here for City.
    • 39' No shortage of incident in this first half, and City by no means disheartened after going behind.
    • 38' Half a shout for a penalty! Came from almost nothing - a poor through ball from Yaya which Mignolet went to grab, but Balotelli nipped in and Mignolet fell over the top of him grabbing at the ball. Just a corner in the end.
    • 37' Kolarov's corner cleared out and it's Silva who has to track back to halfway to pick up the ball.
    • 36' Big-game, player, Seb Larrson - he's scored his sixth Premier League goal of the season, and third away from home. His other away goals were at Arsenal and Liverpool (Infostrada)
    • 35' Angled cross in towards Dzeko, but beyond the Bosnian and out for a goal kick.
    • 34' Kolarov tries a shot from distance on the left, but it's blasted well wide of goal.
    • 33' Manchester City conceded only their fifth first half goal of the season, and are behind at home in the first half of a Premier League match for the first time since January 2011 (Infostrada)
    • 32' That gives City a headache. They were down against Chelsea at home not long ago and fought back with two goals to win, but they would have been hoping for a simpler task today.
    • 31' SUNDERLAND AHEAD! LARSSON SCORES! Balotelli gives away a free kick after a clumsy tackle on halfway, Sessegnon fashions some space and the napping City defence allow Larsson to place a shot from just outside the area - and despite having no great pace, it's right on target in the corner!
    • 30' McLean fires a shot after a loose ball breaks his way, and it takes a deflection over the bar for a Sunderland corner.
    • 29' Possession stats at present: City 56%, Sunderland 44%. All City for the last 10 minutes however.
    • 28' GARDNER! Has to work hard to fashion a little space on the edge of the area, but once he gets beyond Kolo Toure he gives himself a chance. His low shot just wide of the post.
    • 27' BALOTELLI SHOULD SCORE! Great corner from Silva, just teasing a couple of metres in front of the goal, and Balotelli nods over from close range. If he hit the target, it would surely have been the opening goal.
    • 26' Nice runs from Yaya, twice powering forward a few precious metres and feeding Silva. The ball comes from left to right across the Sunderland area, where Colback lunges in to deny Richards a chance to cross. Corner.
    • 25' Colback almost caught out by a combination of Silva and Dzeko, but manages to poke a pass back to his centre-half in the nick of time. But Sunderland are being denied space and time here.
    • 24' Mignolet's attempt at a punch doesn't get the ball clear, but Sunderland do escape out of their own half briefly.
    • 23' Bardsley heads out for a corner, as City send the defenders up. Kompany and Richards forward.
    • 22' Two men watching Silva, but the Spaniard emerges with a free kick when Cattermole catches him from behind.
    • 21' Nearly midway through the first half a reminder that you can follow all seven 3pm kick-offs in one place by clicking this link
    • 20' Silva threads a ball to Balotelli - not sure how he found the space, but once the ball arrived at the Italian's feet there was none - Sunderland close it out and end the move.
    • 19' Sunderland scramble clear, but this match is already starting to open up nicely. The visitors are a threat with Sessegnon particularly, even if City are for the most part in control.
    • 18' Another powerful break from Sunderland, but it ends with Bendtner struggling to get the pass out wide. City respond, and go close wtih DZEKO! His shot with the outside fo the right boot tipped over by Mignolet!
    • 17' At the other end there's worry for Sunderland as Richards pops up from nowhere as the last man - but he is correctly flagged offside.
    • 16' GARDNER MISSES A GREAT CHANCE! And what a lovely move it was from Sessegnon out to Bendtner, back to Sessegnon and teed up for Gardner. The midfielder struck a shot aimed at the near post, but hit the side netting from about 10 yards. Opportunity.
    • 15' Sunderland get it clear and win a throw in the City half. A bit of respite after a couple of mintues under pressure.
    • 14' City just beginning to step things up. Milner doesn't succeed with the threaded ball into the penalty area, nor does David Silva soon after, but the ball keeps coming back to blue shirts.
    • 13' Great run from Dzeko and pass from near the byline to Balotelli is blocked. It comes back to the Bosnian but by the time it does he is offside.
    • 13' Yaya Toure penalised for a high boot going into a challenge in the final third. Sunderland have had more of the possession in these opening minutes, but it's been an even game.
    • 12' Milner comes off worse going for a header against Cattermole.
    • 11' Sunderland holding their own here in the midfield, but the deep cross in from the right whizzes through the crowd of bodies and out harmlessly.
    • 10' Bendtner, Sessegnon combine, but City's pressing game well exectured there - they've simply driven Sunderland backwards to their defenders.
    • 9' CLOSE! Good hit from Kolarov, not a firecracker but a placed effort around the wall and at the near corner - and Mignolet had to scramble across to make a good, low save.
    • 8' Richards still on the sidelines for now but looks set to soldier on. City move forward, and Balotelli wins another free kick when McLean clips his heels. Useful attacking position, this. Kolarov may even fancy a shot.
    • 7' Richards was hurt there - the physio is on the pitch trying to stretch his leg.
    • 6' Sessegnon bursts through - catching out Richards with a swift touch and suddenly looking very threatening - but a superb piece of defending from Kolo Toure, who judged his sliding tackle to the inch, stops the Frenchman from getting a shot away.
    • 5' A decent start from the visitors, but they give away a free kick on halfway when Colback clatters into Balotelli.
    • 4' Good hit from McLean! Left-footed volley from just inside the box, crisply struck and possibly goal-bound, but blocked by Richards. Half a shout for handball, but swiftly and correctly waved away.
    • 3' Cattermole tries to control play from the centre of midfield - early attempt from Sunderland to settle down into this one.
    • 2' Balotelli knocks the ball out wide for Richards, who hits a hopeful high cross into the box - but he gets a result when Bardlsey knocks it out for a corner.
    • 1' Away we go at the Etihad!
    • 14:59 We're ready to go - Sunderland will kick us off. Sessegnon and Bendtner over the ball.
    • 14:58 'Man City 4 Sunderland 1' predicts GeordieJohn1982 on Twitter - anyone agree?
    • 14:57 Handshakes all round. Today's referee, by the way, is Phil Dowd.
    • 14:56 The players take to the field.
    • 14:55 So how do you see this one going? Will City be back on top of the table tonight? Tweet me your thoughts and predictions on the game, the title race and beyond @Mark_Eurosport. Follow here
    • 14:50 Omen? Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli start together in the Premier League for just the third time. They have drawn the previous two matches, last week at Stoke (1-1) and in February 2011 against Fulham (1-1) (Infostrada).
    • 14:45 In Manchester City's favour today, their record at home in the league: Played 15, won 15 - scored 44, conceded 7. Sunderland are going to have to do something very different to turn taht around. In the Black Cats favour, however, the result of the reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light - when Martin O'Neill's side stunned the Citizens on New Year's Day. Jan 1: Sunderland 1-0 Manchester City
    • 14:40 Meanwhile Sunderland look relatively settled. They had a night to forget in midweek, exiting the FA Cup against Everton, and Martin O'Neill makes just two changes from that starting eleven, swapping in Colback and Kilgallon for the injured Bridge and Kyrgiakos, who moves to the bench.
    • 14:35 So, Manchester City are without Sergio Aguero due to what Mancini described as a 'stupid injury', but Balotelli, who Mancini says he 'can't trust', gets to start up front with Dzeko. Tevez still on the bench, while the rest of the City team looks close to full strength. Here's more on reports of Aguero's unusual injury
    • 14:30 MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Milner, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Silva, Balotelli, Dzeko - Subs: Pantilimon, Clichy, Pizarro, Barry, Johnson, Tevez, Zabaleta /// SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback, Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner - Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Richardson, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, Kyrgiakos
    • 14:25 Rumbling since Monday is the suggestion that United get lucky with penalties after the Red Devils got away with one late on against Fulham at Old Trafford. We had a look at Patrick Vieira's claims that United and other top teams in Europe get a bit of help from referees. This is what we found
    • 14:20 The equation for Manchester CIty is pretty simple today - win the match, go top of the league. Manchester United lead by three points, but are not in action until Monday, and victory by any scoreline against eighth-placed Sunderland will put City top by virtue of goal difference. The Premier League table as it stands
    • 14:15 Good afternoon and welcome to live text commentary from Manchester City's clash with Sunderland in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium.
  • Summary

    • 86' KOLAROV! CITY LEVEL! Tevez and then Pizarro link up but cannot find an outlet - the ball comes back to Kolarov who drills a shot low and past Mignolet from 25 yards! WHERE HAS THIS COME FROM!?
    • 85' BALOTELLI SCORES! A BIT OF HOPE! He comes in from the right and flashes a shot into the roof of the net - a good goal, and one that should set up an exciting finish!
    • 84' BENDTNER! Another Sunderland break, and another warning shot. It ends with Bendtner trying to curl a shot into the goal from just outside the area - and not missing by much.
    • 68' TEVEZ HITS THE SIDE NETTING! Lovely break and quick ball forward, and Tevez is on his own against two defenders. Not much room, but he gets a shot away and it's close.
    • 65' What's this? Four, five City players arguing about who'll take this! Balotelli eventually sent away - extraordinary scenes.
    • 61' CLOSE! Dzeko almost catches the Sunderland defence napping and they fail to clear. Johnson flashes a shot close as City push.
    • 54' 3-1 SUNDERLAND! LARSSON HAS TWO! All kinds of troubel after a slick counter attack - Sessegnon carrying it forward from his own half and threading a ball to Bendtner, the Dane sliding a pass into Larsson's path and a no-nonsense finish. Lovely move, lovely goal.
    • 45+4' Where did that come from? Sessegnon's cross from the right, and Bendtner rose perfectly at the far post to head the ball back across Hart and into the corner.
    • 45+4' BENDTNER SCORES! SUNDERLAND BACK IN FRONT!
    • 44' City good value for that equaliser. Meanwhile a player from each side dwon after a clash of heads. Tempers fraying as well. Dzeko needs to calm down, perhaps still angry at the claims he dived.
    • 43' BALOTELLI SCORES! Stops almost to a standstill in his run up before stroking the ball beyond Mignolet and into the right hand corner.
    • 42' PENALTY! Dzeko scythes through from the left, cuts past Gardner, and goes to ground. Sunderland are furious, claiming he dived, but there was contact.
    • 41' CITY CLOSE! Not Kolarov's best shot, but not Mignolet's best keeping - he parries the ball out and the ball is centred to Balotelli, whose shot is blocked.
    • 38' Half a shout for a penalty! Came from almost nothing - a poor through ball from Yaya which Mignolet went to grab, but Balotelli nipped in and Mignolet fell over the top of him grabbing at the ball. Just a corner in the end.
    • 31' SUNDERLAND AHEAD! LARSSON SCORES! Balotelli gives away a free kick after a clumsy tackle on halfway, Sessegnon fashions some space and the napping City defence allow Larsson to place a shot from just outside the area - and despite having no great pace, it's right on target in the corner!
    • 28' GARDNER! Has to work hard to fashion a little space on the edge of the area, but once he gets beyond Kolo Toure he gives himself a chance. His low shot just wide of the post.
    • 27' BALOTELLI SHOULD SCORE! Great corner from Silva, just teasing a couple of metres in front of the goal, and Balotelli nods over from close range. If he hit the target, it would surely have been the opening goal.
    • 18' Another powerful break from Sunderland, but it ends with Bendtner struggling to get the pass out wide. City respond, and go close wtih DZEKO! His shot with the outside fo the right boot tipped over by Mignolet!
    • 16' GARDNER MISSES A GREAT CHANCE! And what a lovely move it was from Sessegnon out to Bendtner, back to Sessegnon and teed up for Gardner. The midfielder struck a shot aimed at the near post, but hit the side netting from about 10 yards. Opportunity.
    • 9' CLOSE! Good hit from Kolarov, not a firecracker but a placed effort around the wall and at the near corner - and Mignolet had to scramble across to make a good, low save.
    • 6' Sessegnon bursts through - catching out Richards with a swift touch and suddenly looking very threatening - but a superb piece of defending from Kolo Toure, who judged his sliding tackle to the inch, stops the Frenchman from getting a shot away.
    • 14:30 MANCHESTER CITY: Hart, Richards, Toure, Kompany, Kolarov, Milner, De Jong, Toure Yaya, Silva, Balotelli, Dzeko - Subs: Pantilimon, Clichy, Pizarro, Barry, Johnson, Tevez, Zabaleta /// SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Colback, Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner - Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Richardson, Vaughan, Ji, Meyler, Kyrgiakos

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

  • Rate Players

    Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      3.2 6
      Defenders
      Substitution Out45′ 2.9 7
      2.9 7
      2.8 6
      Goal 3.7 7
      Midfielders
      Yellow Card 2.5 6
      3.7 6
      Substitution Out81′ 3 6
      Goals ×2 4.5 7
      Substitution Out58′ 4.8 6
      Strikers
      4.1 7
      Subs
      Substitution In81′ 4.2 6
      Substitution In58′ 4.3 6
      Substitution In45′ 3 6
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      7.3 7
      Defenders
      7 7
      7.1 6
      Substitution Out81′ 6.9 7
      6.8 8
      Midfielders
      Substitution Out90′ 7.1 7
      Yellow Card 7.2 7
      Goals ×2 8.3 8
      7.8 7
      Strikers
      8.1 9
      Goal 7.5 8
      Subs
      Substitution In90′ 7.1 6
      Substitution In81′ 6 6

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  1. It was a stone wall penalty the ref was spot on and the­ geezer who fouled dzeko should of been sent off.

    From Daniel Lenegan, on Thu Apr 12 11:12
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