Sunderland vs. Manchester City: Final score 1-0, City shocked in Wearside

Stu Forster

Roberto Mancini looked utterly perplexed. As well he should -- he'd just seen his Manchester City side lost 1-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. It didn't help that the winner came in controversial circumstances, with the Black Cats striking while Pablo Zabaleta was down and claiming a foul, but the weird goal doesn't make the dropped points any less painful.

The visitors began the match on the front foot, keeping Sunderland pinned in their own penalty box and forcing Simon Mignolet into several scrambles for the ball. But despite holding possession and continually probing around the area, City -- who saw Vincent Kompany hit the crossbar and David Silva and Yaya Toure denied by the keeper -- simply couldn't score. That was bad news for the visitors.

Sunderland issued a warning when Steven Fletcher forced Joe Hart into a sprawling save 25 minutes in, but their breakthrough didn't come until the 53rd minute. Zabaleta went down on the City left, but play was waved on and the hosts broke into the space that would have been occupied by the fullback.

Adam Johnson took full advantage of the situation, cutting inside and firing a speculative effort towards Hart's near post. The goalkeeper should have had it covered, but let the shot slip under an outstretched arm and trundle into the back of the net.

There was to be no grand response from the defending champions. City pushed bodies forward, but the closest they came to equalising would be when Mignolet blocked a one-on-one effort from Sergio Aguero. Sunderland were nearer to adding to the scoresheet, but ultimately they wouldn't have to. Ninety-four minutes of football resulted in a 1-0 loss for City, and with Manchester United winning the gap at the top of the table is now up to seven points.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.