Sunderland remain in deep relegation trouble and rooted to the foot of the Premier League table after a 2 – 0 defeat by Manchester City at the SOL on Sunday afternoon. Goals from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane were enough to condemn David Moyes’ side to their third straight defeat and left needing another miracle to retain their Premier League status.
The results of our relegation rivals on Saturday weren’t kind to Sunderland and left us languishing bottom of the league six points adrift of safety and with next weekend’s fixture against Boro rearranged we really needed something against Pep Guardiola’s side. David Moyes was without Jason Denayer who could not play against his parent club whilst Jan Kirchhoff and Steven Pienaar remained side-lined although Papy Djilobodji was available again after serving a four game suspension.
Moyes’ side were unfortunate to lose away to Manchester City on the opening day of the season looking to have nicked an unlikely draw until Paddy McNair’s late own goal at the Etihad. That game was City’s third win in a row over Sunderland erasing any memories of the lads being a bogey team for City who Sunderland seemed to have a knack of beating at the SOL a few years winning 1 – 0 four times consecutively on Wearside.
Moyes named the same side that started at Goodison Park last Saturday as we attempted to stifle the visitors from the offset pressing high as they tried to play out from the back. Sunderland’s intensity and persistence paid off in the opening stages as we were the better side with Guardiola’s side struggling to break down Moyes’ side’s stubborn defence.
As well as keeping out the visitors Sunderland almost took the lead after great work from Januzaj allowed Defoe a sight of goal and the clinical front man crashed a shot off the post which had Caballero well beat and although the rebound bounced kindly for Borini the Italian headed wide.
Sunderland continued to have the better of the play although their best chance of scoring looked like coming from a set piece with Billy Jones twice wasting opportunities from corners. The first header saw the keeper make a good low save before moments later the defender again found space in the box but nodded wide.
Despite having the better chances in the opening period and defending quite well the lads went in at the break a goal behind after being caught on a rapid counter attack by City. The visitors broke at speed with Sterling breaking swiftly down the right hand side and squaring for Aguero to turn the ball into the back of the net. In first half injury time City appeared to have doubled their lead although the goal was ruled out with a flag for offside.
Neither side made any changes at the break but Guardiola’s side were a lot quicker out of the blocks in the second half and Pickford had to be alert to parry away a powerful drive from Silva after the winger cut in from the right hand side. With half an hour to go Manchester City doubled their lead and sealed the points with another well taken goal after Silva picked out Sane with an incisive through ball.
The lively winger latched onto the Spaniards pass and made no mistake blasting the ball past Pickford into the roof of the net an act which eventually woke up City’s travelling support that had been quiet up until the second goal. Sunderland almost got a goal back immediately when Larsson got a sight of goal but he was denied by Caballero before Januzaj wasted a good chance nodding a corner wide.
We made a change with twenty minutes to go with Gibson replaced by Rodwell but this did little to stem the tide of the game or influence Sunderland who appeared to have surrendered defeat. It was the visitors who continued to look like adding to their lead and Sunderland were fortunate that Jordan Pickford was in fine form producing a string of saves to keep the score line respectable.
Final Score: Sunderland 0 Manchester City 2
ALS Man of the Match: Jordan Pickford
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