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Barclays Premier League

Etihad Stadium (ATT 47,046) 16th April 2014 - Kick off 19:45

Man City Manchester City vs Sunderland S'land

Man City 2

Fernandinho (2)
S Nasri (88)

ft

S'land 2

C Wickham (73, 83)

Premier League: Manchester City come from behind to draw 2-2 with Sunderland

By Ben Hampshire | @BH92.   Last Updated: 17/04/14 7:44am

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Manchester City were forced to come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium, but the result put a dent in their title chances and left Gus Poyet's Black Cats six points from safety.

Fernandinho's second-minute strike was cancelled out by a second-half brace from Connor Wickham, before Samir Nasri earned a late draw for the hosts.

Best of the Match

  • Man of the Match: Connor Wickham. Made excellent runs throughout and took his chances well.
  • Goal of the Match: Sunderland's second. A brisk break from Fabio Borini saw the visitors race down field before a fine through-ball released Wickham, who made no mistakes to beat Joe Hart at his near post.
  • Gaffe of the Match: Manchester City were gifted their equaliser as Vito Mannone pushed Samir Nasri's shot into the corner of his own net.
  • Talking point: Does that end Manchester City's title bid? Are Gus Poyet's side showing signs of survival instincts?

City made their presence felt from the off and when Lee Cattermole was caught in possession, the hosts pounced to take advantage.

Sergio Aguero raced to the edge of the Sunderland box, before a sliding a ball into the path of Fernandinho, who fired into the roof of Vito Mannone's goal.

Sunderland captain John O'Shea spurned two headed chances and Fabio Borini shot wide of the target having found space in the City box as the visitors failed to seize their opportunities to draw level.

Despite City dominating possession throughout the second half, it was Sunderland who snatched the second goal.

Emanuele Giaccherini broke down the left before beating Joe Hart with his cross, leaving Wickham to tap home from close range.

Wickham doubled his tally soon after following a quick break from Borini, which left the Sunderland striker to fire to the right of Hart.

City responded with desperation and earned a point when Nasri's shot from inside the box was pushed into the corner of his own goal by a flailing Mannone.

After playing their part to the full in Sunday's thriller at Anfield, City looked content to settle for a dour, low-scoring win: the Liverpool match no doubt underlining that verve and elan may win you admirers, but not the title.

When, however, Fernandinho fired them into the lead after just one minute and 54 seconds it seemed that had banished the pain of Sunday, yet City never really built on that early platform.

It was a well-worked goal too, though it owed much to Cattermole's brain not having got into gear. The Sunderland midfielder was robbed by Alvaro Negredo who fed Aguero, and when the return pass came the Spanish striker stepped over the ball leaving Fernandinho free to plant his shot past Mannone at the near post.

The groans from the travelling Sunderland fans were almost audible, and their frustration grew as the visitors responded by forcing chance after chance only to see them go begging.

O'Shea was the leading culprit, putting two clear headers wide, while Borini dragged his shot wide of the far post when put through to face Hart one-on-one.

Fernandinho attempted to redress the balance for City but skied an equally-good opening after Mannone had only managed to parry Aguero's fierce strike.

Aleksandar Kolarov struck wide after a stirring run down the left as the first half ended with City looking to have fended off Sunderland's best thrust, and Gus Poyet wondering what might have been.

City's malaise continued in the second half as Sunderland's performance continued to impress.

Negredo and Aguero had half chances before Pellegrini sent on Stevan Jovetic in place of the Argentinian.

Jovetic looked impressive but could not add to City's single goal and instead it was Sunderland who made the breakthrough.

Poyet looked furious when Jack Colback failed to capitalise on a one-on-one chance by Hart, but that turned to delight when Emanuele Giaccherini burst down the felt and floated a beautiful cross for Wickham to thump home with glee.

Edin Dzeko held his head after missing the target, then came a dream moment for Sunderland fans as Giaccherini broke from his home half, delivered an excellent pass to Wickham who did not break stride as he buried his shot past Hart.

Humiliation was looming for City but in a frenetic finish Nasri forced an equaliser - the ball trickling agonisingly over the line after Mannone had got his fingers to it.

The Frenchman could have won it at the death too - but his shot went up in smoke and so too did City's title hopes.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 16 39
2 Manchester City 16 36
3 Manchester United 16 31
4 West Ham United 16 28
5 Southampton 16 26
6 Arsenal 16 26
7 Tottenham Hotspur 16 24
8 Newcastle United 16 23
9 Swansea City 16 22
10 Everton 16 21
11 Liverpool 16 21
12 Stoke City 16 19
13 Aston Villa 16 19
14 West Bromwich Albion 16 17
15 Sunderland 16 16
16 Crystal Palace 16 15
17 Burnley 16 15
18 Queens Park Rangers 16 14
19 Hull City 16 13
20 Leicester City 16 10

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