Manchester City suffered a set-back in their search for the Premier League title last time out when they lost at Liverpool, and were unable to significantly close the gap at the top on Wednesday with a win at home against Sunderland.
At half-time City led 1-0, thanks to a first-minute strike from Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho. In the second half they failed to extend that lead, before falling behind to a brace from Connor Wickham. Only a late Samir Nasri shot, spilled into the net by Vito Mannone, rescued a 2-2 draw for City.
Manchester City first half analysis
HART—Hasn't had too much to do as Sunderland's best chances have all been aimed off target.
ZABALETA—Struggled after taking a knock in a challenge and isn't quite running freely yet.
KOMPANY—Has let O'Shea escape him twice from set pieces. Needs to be sharper.
DEMICHELIS—No trouble with Wickham so far.
KOLAROV—Two raids forward down the flank have not ben met with end product.
GARCIA—Solid and consistent in the centre, recycling the ball and offering support.
FERNANDINHO—His two early runs forward into the box resulted in a goal and a great chance for another. A little quiet since then.
MILNER—Energetic and certainly looking to get involved often, but not really combining well with the front men yet.
NASRI—Unable to influence the game, quickly closed down.
AGUERO—Understandably looks a little rusty. His shots have been rushed and wild.
NEGREDO—Holding the ball up well, but nothing in the area for him to attack.
Manchester City second half analysis
HART—Beaten at his near post for the second goal, missed the cross for the first. Considering he didn't have much to do, not a great game.
ZABALETA—Was strong defensively for the most part, though Sunderland overloaded him for the equaliser. Didn't get forward to great effect.
KOMPANY—Largely impressive with his defensive work in the second half.
DEMICHELIS—While he had coped well in the air in the first half, after the break he had more difficult tracking runs on the counter-attack.
KOLAROV—A few good runs forward, almost claimed an assist. A good showing.
GARCIA—More of the same; steady, without really being special. Didn't cope well against fast transitions or counters.
FERNANDINHO—Wasn't really much of a force after the break, subbed late on.
MILNER—A frustrating evening's work. Got through a lot of running, tried to dribble too much, very little end product.
NASRI—Was largely poor for the entire 90 minutes but scored a priceless equalising goal after a goalkeeping mistake, before blazing over the bar from eight yards in stoppage time.
AGUERO—Subbed 10 minutes into the second half.
NEGREDO—Did well in spells, but no real lasting impact. Subbed.
JOVETIC—Looked City's brightest attacking threat after coming on.
DZEKO—Missed one chance at the near post.
RODWELL—Scuffed an awful effort off target in his five minutes on the pitch.