Sunderland vs. Manchester City: Premier League Live Score, Highlights, Recap
Despite a barrage of first-half pressure, Sunderland found the confidence to spark a second-half revival against Manchester City and seal a monumental three points thanks to Adam Johnson's 54th-minute finish.
The win was by no means a handsome one for Sunderland but Martin O'Neill's men can be pleased with the way they defended and can direct mountains of praise towards Simon Mignolet who was a heroic presence in front of the Black Cats goal from start to finish.
Sunderland Starting XI: Mignolet, Gardner, Rose, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Larsson, Colback, Johnson, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher
Sunderland Subs: Bardsley, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Vaughan, Bramble, Westwood
Scorers: Johnson (54')
Manchester City Starting XI: Hart, Kompany, Zabaleta, K Toure, Nastasic, Y Toure, Garcia, Silva, Milner, Aguero, Tevez
Manchester City Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Rekik, Barry, Razak, Sinclair, Dzeko
Kevin Friend calls for the end of play and Roberto Mancini looks desolate after surrendering points to Sunderland on their own turf once again.
The victory marks the third consecutive meeting between the two at the Stadium of Light that has finished 1-0 in favour of the home side, much to the approval of the home fans.
Sunderland started the match as the inferior side but built in confidence in the second half, defending their lead well to claim three points and move further away from the Premier League dropzone.
90'+4—SUN 1-0 MCI
However, James Milner fires his shot miles over the bar and the home crowd are in absolute ecstasy ahead of what should be a monumental victory.
90'+3—SUN 1-0 MCI
City have a late, late corner here and Mancini is urging Joe Hart to get forward.
90'+2—SUN 1-0 MCI
We're two minutes into an additional four minutes here.
90'—SUN 1-0 MCI
Prior to that Bardsley substitution, James McClean found himself with acres of space in the Manchester CIty half and with Stephane Sessegnon in support.
However, as he has done on a couple of occasions this season, the Irishman only had eyes for goal and blasted his shot wide of Hart's right post.
I'd expect Martin O'Neill to have some words for his winger after that.
89'—SUBSTITUTION (Manchester City)
Strangely enough, Joleon Lescott has come on for Javi Garcia and appears to have moved straight up front..
Arguably Sunderland's man of the match, Danny Rose, makes way for Phil Bardsley, who's making his return from a long injury lay-off.
87'—SUBSTITUTION (Manchester City)
The man who scored that controversial winner against Reading over the weekend, Gareth Barry, comes on for Kolo Toure.
87'—SUN 1-0 MCI
It's admirable that Sunderland are still willing to attack in such big numbers but, in truth, the hosts may be better off adopting a bit more of a "park the bus" mentality in these dying minutes.
Risk being exposed at the back, should they continue in their current tactics.
85'—SUN 1-0 MCI
It was always going to be like this.
Sunderland have found themselves subject to near endless amounts of pressure since going 1-0 up, but have been so assured at the back against the reigning Premier League champions.
It's ironic that this display comes in the absence of captain John O'Shea, who may find it difficult to get back in the side after Cuellar and Kilgallon's fine partnership..
Campbell's role seems to be to torment a tiring Zabaleta, presumably on the basis that, "if it bleeds, we can kill it." NAME THAT FILM!— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) December 26, 2012
81'—BIG SAVE! (Joe Hart)
After making a big booboo for the Sunderland goal, Joe Hart keeps his side in this game after denying Stephane Sessegnon a goal.
The onrushing Black Cats attacker is put through on goal after a lovely pass from substitute Campbell, but Hart rushes out, blocking the forward's shot well.
And Martin O'Neill shows that he may not be prepared to shut up shop quite yet, throwing Fraizer Campbell on for Seb Larsson.
78'—SUN 1-0 MCI
Unsurprisingly, Sunderland aren't committing anywhere near as many players when moving forward as they were in the first half, but aren't quite content with the 1-0 score, it seems.
75'—SUN 1-0 MCI
Jack Colback is penalised for blocking Yaya Toure's shot with his arms, but the Sunderland midfielder more caressed the ball and hauled it to the ground for dear life.
The free-kick is in a dangerous position but James Milner fires over from 25 yards.
73'—SUBSTITUTION (Manchester City)
As Iain Macintosh tweets, the regular replacement, Edin Dzeko, is brought on for Carlos Tevz.
Mancini has just hauled the tarpaulin off Edin Dzeko and wheeled him to position. Tevez trots off.— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) December 26, 2012
No wonder Simon Mignolet is courting transfer attention.
The Belgian star finds himself one-on-one with Sergio Aguero and despite the prolific Argentine's best efforts, he just can't find his way past Mignolet, who palms the shot out for a corner.
70'—SUN 1-0 MCI
Following the fantastic play of the last 10 minutes, the home section of today's audience break into a chorus of "Martin, sign 'im up, Martin, Martin, sign 'im up!"
68'—LAST-DITCH DEFENDING! (Sunderland)
Manchester City are in massive numbers in the Sunderland box. The problem for the visitors is that Sunderland are in even greater numbers and the home crowd go wild as several Black Cats throw their bodies on the line to prevent an equalising goal.
Carlos Cuellar and the ever-impressive Rose come in with the biggest blocks, nudging the Stadium of Light crowd into applause.
66'—SUN 1-0 MCI
Sunderland will surely have a difficult time in holding onto on-loan defender, Danny Rose, in January and even at the end of the season.
David Silva finds some space on the right wing but Danny Rose tracks back and pinches the ball from the Spaniard with ease, proceeding to initiate a Sunderland attack.
You can tell he used to be a midfielder, that boy.
63. Similar to the Reading game, City are hitting a brick-wall every time they go forward, but this time we're chasing the game.— Manchester City FC (@MCFC) December 26, 2012
63'—SUN 1-0 MCI
Inevitably, Manchester City, who are oh so good at retaining the ball, are proceeding to probe the Sunderland defence on very regular intervals.
The Sunderland defence are mostly clearing the ball out of their half and straight back to the opposition, prompting the process to begin anew.
A vicious cycle at the moment.
City fans adamant Zabaleta was fouled. Initial instinct was a foul, from one replay didn't look like it. Will check again.— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) December 26, 2012
56'—SUN 1-0 MCI
You can bet that goal means more to nobody other than Adam Johnson.
The former Manchester City winger had an unfortunate time at the Etihad Stadium and wasn't sure just how to celebrate after seeing that Hart had failed to keep the ball out.
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