Ji Dong-Won might have been offside when he scored Sunderland's winner against Manchester City on Sunday, but he won't mind. Neither will Martin O'Neill or the Sunderland faithful, who will probably remember this goal against this team as long as they live. Despite playing with two natural defenders, one playing out of position and the other coming off injured, Sunderland kept a clean sheet and snatched a late winner, defeating Manchester City 1-0.
City were, unsurprisingly, on top for the entire match. Martin O'Neill is a very experienced manager who has a history of being able to keep clean sheets against top teams, but he hasn't exactly had a lot of time with this Sunderland team. With two midfielders at fullback and a center of defense featuring John O'Shea and Wes Brown, no one expected him to pull off any magic. When Wes Brown came out injured for Matthew Kilgallon in the 26th minute, it was an all but foregone conclusion that City would win. Kilgallon had not played for Sunderland since May of 2010.
While the visitors created 27 shots, only five were on target. Simon Mignolet was very good in net, but it was hardly a case of the goalkeeper robbing the better team of points. He made a couple of solid saves, with the most important one coming in the 84th minute. David Silva, who was rested and played as a substitute, took a rip that Mignolet had to save. The rebound fell to Micah Richards, but he hit the crossbar with his header.
With City pushing everyone forward to find a winner, they were caught out on the counter by Ji and Stephane Sessegnon, who were both very good in their entire times on the pitch. With City struggling to get back, Sessegnon threaded a through ball to Ji, who rounded Joe Hart and calmly placed the ball into the back of the net. Ji moved early and was a tad offside, but the linesman was behind the play.
The goal shouldn't have been allowed, but there's no excuse for City going 92 minutes without a goal against one of the most makeshift back lines anyone is ever going to see in the Premier League. City are going to have to pick themselves up quickly, as they face Liverpool in mid-week.