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Barclays Premier League

Stadium of Light (ATT 42,190) 26th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: K Friend

S'land Sunderland vs Manchester City Man City

S'land 1

A Johnson (53)

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Adam Johnson's goal gave Sunderland a 1-0 victory over Manchester City

By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey.   Last Updated: 26/12/12 7:35pm

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Adam Johnson: Celebrates winner against former club

Adam Johnson: Celebrates winner against former club

Sunderland beat champions Manchester City 1-0 at the Stadium of Light with Adam Johnson scoring against his former club.

The winner came just eight minutes into the second half when Johnson cut inside from the right past David Silva and unleashed a left-footed shot which squirmed under Joe Hart and into the bottom corner.

However, the winner was not without controversy with the visitors adamant they should have been awarded a free-kick for a foul on Pablo Zabaleta by Craig Gardner during the build-up.

Best of the Match:

  • Man of the Match: Simon Mignolet was outstanding for Sunderland, kept City at bay - Danny Rose and Adam Johnson also excelled.
  • Save of the Match: Mignolet's save from Yaya Toure early on with his foot was excellent, and crucial
  • Pass of the Match: Great ball late on from Jack Colback was wasted by James McClean
  • Controversy of the Match: In the build-up to the goal, there was a clear foul on Zabaleta which referee Kevin Friend missed
  • Talking point? How much improvement do City need to challenge for title again

Sunderland turned in one of their best displays of the season on a day when City played only in patches, and Hart had to turn away Steven Fletcher's skidding effort and keep out Stephane Sessegnon 10 minutes from time.

However, if Johnson was the hero in front of a delighted Boxing Day crowd of 42,190, keeper Simon Mignolet deserved equal praise.

The Belgian denied Yaya Toure and Silva before the break and Sergio Aguero after it to claim a precious clean sheet and make a huge contribution towards the win.

City arrived determined not to complete an unwanted hat-trick of 1-0 league defeats on Wearside but they could not as they slipped seven points adrift of league leaders Manchester United.

They might have been ahead with just eight minutes gone, but Vincent Kompany's header came back off the crossbar and Yaya Toure's goalbound follow-up was hacked away by Mignolet.

City boss Roberto Mancini and Zabaleta were then left appealing in vain for a free-kick for Gardner's challenge on the full-back, as Johnson picked up possession and cut inside before firing home.

Sessegnon might have doubled his side's advantage within two minutes, but pulled his effort across the face of goal with City in disarray.

The visitors were almost breached once again on the hour when James McClean picked out Sessegnon in front of goal, but the Benin international could not take the ball in his stride.

Kompany, who had already been booked, was fortunate to escape a second yellow card for a block on McClean as City struggled to contain a Black Cats side growing in confidence by the minute.

Belgium international Mignolet excelled himself once again two minutes later to deny Aguero one on one, but it was Hart in the firing line with 10 minutes remaining when Sessegnon was played in by substitute Fraizer Campbell with the keeper coming out on top.

City battered away at their hosts as time ran down, but with Sunderland defending deep and with tenacity, they simply could not find a way through and McClean almost served up the perfect finish with an 88th-minute shot which flew just wide.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30

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