The Premier Leagues second lowest scorers with only 33 goals from seven players came to COMS today in a game we had to win. City has conceded just one goal in the last eight home games.
Nedum Onuaha on loan at Sunderland had to sit this one out due to contractual terms. City have never lost at home to Sunderland in the Premier League.
History and experience taught us this was a game we would probably lose, well not today.
City set out with an almost 4-4-2 formation with Silva on the left and Johnson on the right. The ref today was Howard Webb. The injured Richards was replaced by Boyota, with England’s latest captain, Barry relegated to the bench and Johnson coming in to offer more natural width.
It was a feisty affair in midfield with strong tackles from De Jong and Boyota early on. A flowing move led to Toure slipping the ball through to Johnson to score a neat finish from about ten yards out. This after just a few minutes.
Still shell shocked from the first goal, worse was to come for Sunderland. On thirteen minutes, Tevez was brought down in the box for a dubious penalty after a defence splitting through ball from Silva. He promptly brushed himself off and scored with a neat shot to the left of the keeper.
Tevez found himself on the receiving end of several harsh tackles but Howard Webb kept his cards in his pocket.
After the fourth or fifth tackle from behind Mensah was finally booked. Kolarov soon followed Mensah into the book for a rash challenge from behind on thirty five minutes.
This was swiftly followed by Sunderland’s first attempt on goal which had Hart diving to his left but the ball was always going wide. Lee Cattermole lived up to his reputation with several poor challenges which went unpunished by Mr Webb.
The first half ended with City dominating play and looking unlikely to concede.
The second half began with Bardsley being replaced by Elmohamady.
Sunderland got a corner early on as City were slow out of the blocks but as our momentum gathered more of the play was in the Black Cats half.
Boyota looked lively going forward on the right combining with Johnson and Tevez but Tevez was adjudged off side.
On 60 minutes Bruce brought Zenden on for Henderson in an attempt to spark his misfiring midfield to little avail. Silva picked up the ball in midfield and after three passes he was putting it into the net with the outside of his left foot.
On sixty five minutes Vieira came on for Johnson who had picked up a slight strain. With his first touch Vieira was putting the ball into Sunderland’s net from a Kolarov cross after a poor Sunderland clearance.
With the game well and truly won off came Ballotelli’s gloves and Dedryk Boyata to be replaced by first team debutant, Ryan McGivern.
On seventy two minutes from a Sunderland corner, City broke quickly and Yaya Toure finished with a neat chip over the Sunderland keeper from the edge of the six yard box.
With five goals on the score board and ten minutes to go the midfield genius of David Silva made way for Shaun Wright Phillips.
By this time Sunderland were dead and buried offering little but long balls into the City box easily dealt with by the towering Kompany or the ever improving Lescott.
A huge performance from Vincent Kompany, the dazzle in midfield from David Silva and the ferocity in the tackle from Nigel De Jong were too much for Sunderland. Not one blue shirt put in a bad performance but the spine of the team…Kompany De Jong and Silva were world class.
Lescott was given man of the match – he did well but there were at least three ahead of him. In all, City played with pace going forward, astuteness in defence and were clinical in their finishing. More performances like this before the end of the season will surely see us playing Champions League Football next season and hopefully we have set a few nerves jangling in a certain Club not too many miles away.
Roll on the sixteenth and bravo Manchester City.
Joe Hart – 6
Had little to do hence the average rating.
Dedryk Boyata – 7
Nice to see the lad in action after what seems to be ages. His pace down the flank was refreshing and not afraid to take players on.
Vincent Kompany – 8
He towered above Sunderland’s forward line winning headers with aplomb.
Joleon Lescott – 8
Sponsors ‘Man of the Match’ – nice on Joleon. I have to say his performances have come on leaps and bounds just recently. Bravo!
Aleksandar Kolarov – 6
Lovely left foot, just a pity he we didn’t see more of it today. Nevertheless, he put in a decent shift.
Yaya Toure – 8
My MOTM goes to Yaya. At times he can look cumbersome but he is far from it. In parts of the game he dominated the play from midfield and with a goal ta-boot he gets the nod, but only just.
Nigel De Jong – 8
I just love watching this guy play. The enforcer role certainly does him credit. He never ducks out of a challenge and today was no different.
David Silva – 8
David terrorised the Sunderland defence but tell me something new. A real gem of a player.
Adam Johnson – 7.5
Mancini decided to play Adam from the start, a worthy decision as he tore the right wing apart. Good crosses and a fantastic goal.
Carlos Tevez – 7.6
Where does he get his energy from? Another solid performance and another goal to add to this seasons tally.
Mario Balotelli – 6
I saw him smile – I actually saw him smile, not once but twice!! No doubt Bobby Manc tuned him in over the international break and from what I saw and whatever the City boss said to him worked. Let’s hope it continues. Take a leaf out of Carlos’ book Mario. Watch and learn son. Watch and learn.
Wright-Phillips – 5
Came on with 12 minutes left on the clock and so he didn’t have a lot to time to influence the game. Nevertheless he came up with the crosses when required.
Patrick Vieira – 6.5
The first touch of the ball and he scored. Cool or what? His contract expires at the end of the season and rumours suggest he’ll spend his last couple of years in professional football over in the MLS. I just wonder if his legs have got one more season in the Premier League? I think so.
Liked what I saw. A young lad with lots to learn but he’ll come good. One for the future.
Trapped the ball beneath his Italian Leather shod foot with the panache and style only Mancini could.