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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Sunderland 1 - City 1

Stadium Of Light

16.00GMT

Attendance: 44,216

Johno Spares Blues Blushes

Adam Johnson scored a spectacular goal to salvage a stoppage time equaliser against Sunderland at the Stadium of light on a wet dreary afternoon.

Sunderland had just ended an abysmal run of games without a win and were hoping to double that tally against homesick City. The Blues hadn`t featured since the drubbing of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and had some serious match rust to shake off if we were to continue our quest into the top four.

A seven goal thriller was witnessed at Eastland`s earlier in the season, turning out to be the last game under Mark Hughes, and new manager Mancini was hoping for some more potent attacking play. Sunderland`s defensive skills have left a lot to be desired and after netting four at Stamford Bridge our attack was in buoyant mood. However, under Mancini, apart from a devastating 45 minutes at Chelsea, the fluidity of play has been rigid and difficult to endure.

Sunderland started brightly, City were slow to begin with and the home crowd sensed an opportunity against a ring rusty side. Mancini had opted for a defensive set up but after slack closing down and poor marking Kenwyne Jones stooped higher than any of his competitors and headed home. With a lot of football still to be played, Sunderland were expected to be on the back foot, fending off continuous breaks and several goal-mouth opportunities. Unfortunately, The Blues could only muster half-chances and anything thrown at Craig Gordon was thwarted with ease. Surprisingly, the home side were in the ascendency, creating the most chances and picking off the lacklustre City attacks with ease.

The first half went slowly for any neutral spectator with City extremely poor. After what must have been a scene or fury and rage from Mancini City came out much brighter, spurning several spectacular opportunities with Gordon at his brilliant best. Santa Cruz, Bellamy and most notably Wright-Phillips had an unbelievable to chance to equalise but their efforts were powder-puff over thunderbolt.

These chances continued but Sunderland were soaking up the pressure and slowing the tempo. Despite numerous efforts the Sunderland keeper prevented everything thrown at him and was proving a colossal in goal. Both managers made their own tactical choices, Mancini trying to force the issue, Bruce trying to prevent City`s stars from playing football and creating any more clear-cut opportunities.

However, up step Adam Johnson, the ex-Middlesbrough winger, provided some much needed magic and spark in the dying minutes of Injury time. After a deep corner, Johnson stood unfazed and composed, unleashing a dipping, left footed, wonder shot into the top corner of Gordon`s goal.

There was little time for any team to take away a vital win and a draw was probably a fair outcome. City started understandably rusty and Sunderland made them pay early on. Despite this, as the game progressed City looked desperate for the victory and could count on North East lad Johnson to net the equaliser.

win was much needed and should have been recorded but after 89 minutes of tedious football draws brought chants of "Blue Moon" and were still in the hunt for that fourth spot.

Player Ratings


Given- 6

Wasn't called into action on a regular basis. No chance with goal.

Richards-5

Defensively off the pace and his crossing was very poor.

Kompany-5

One of his poorest performances. Torrid time from Jones.

Lescott-6

Fared better than most defenders but not at his best.

Bridge-5

Injured early on.

Zabaleta-5

Was switched regularly as usual but didn't look as comfortable.

De Jong-6

Started slowly but picked up in the second half. Not at his destroying best.

Barry-5

Failed to offer anything of high importance either defensively or going forward.

Wright Phillips-5

Looked sluggish and failed to take on the opposition. Had a great opportunity which he spurned.

Bellamy-6

Tried and Tried, mainly in vain. Little went his way in a poor afternoon.

Tevez-5

Non-existent for most of the afternoon. Failed to perform at his usual high standard.

Santa Cruz-6

Put himself about and had the ball in dangerous positions. However, failed to capitalise against a poor opposition.

Vieira-6

Strange Sub and often looked off the pace. Made some crucial assists.

Johnson-6

Despite the least time on the pitch he was the most influential. After a dazzling run previously, he scored a fantastic goal to grab a point.




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The journalist

Writer: Yak Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 14 2010

Time: 7:01PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
AJ did more in the first 5 minutes than SWP did all the match. I think 5 for SWP is very generous of you.
buzz lightyear
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14/03/2010 19:17:00

Capello is watching.
Johnny Baguette
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14/03/2010 19:27:00

Sunderland is a difficult place to go so not a bad point just wish we'd start more on the front foot, hopefully we'll learn and do better at Fulham next week
arthur7171
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14/03/2010 19:41:00

transfer fees this season, city 100 million plus, arsenal 3 million league positions arsenal in the title mix, city in the s**t even the arsenal rejects are sorry they left, you cant buy class you can only sell your club to a bunch of arabs and throw money at a load of overpriced under achieving prima donnas
cornish gooner
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14/03/2010 22:38:00

Utter pants first half! But Sunderland have Craig Gordon for keeping them in it in the second. Can't afford any more slow starts if we want 4th place, I'd call this a point gained rather than 2 lost, but still, MUST DO BETTER!
fifthcolumnblue
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14/03/2010 22:39:00

Yep thats right cornish gooner, bring back danny mills, stephen jordan, joey barton and bernardo corradi! Dont think so somehow. The club was collapsing before the takeovers and heading for relegation. i dont think you will find any city fan who is bothered 'a bunch of arabs', as you so eloquently put it, is in ownership of the club. we spent 100 million plus!? oh no!!! what shall we do?!? surely we cant afford that!?! ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh wait...... yes we can :D Enjoy your bitter jealousy, its not like you've won much recently either.
eighthsin
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15/03/2010 01:19:00

Cornish Gooner - please be so kind as to explain why City are "in the *****"?. As I see it we're in the mix for a CL spot, on course for our highest ever PL position, 4. points away from our highest ever points tally. We have owners that are prepared to invest not only in the club but in the local community. Lastly, for an Arsenal fan to suggest any other team's players are "prima-donnas" is a bit rich, don't you think? Oh yeah nearly forgot 4-2 and 3-0, do them scorelines ring a bell?
Bluedub
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15/03/2010 09:09:00

great result for spurs! you still have your game in hand, but that wont count for anything when we play you and collect 3 points as per usual.
lillywhites101
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15/03/2010 09:14:00

Bring it on Lily, if Spuds come to Eastlands and are the first team to beat City there this season fair play to them. Good luck in the rest of your games against the 'Sky4', judging by recent results against them you'll need it.
Bluedub
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15/03/2010 09:20:00

Dear Cornish - Arsene has been at Arsenal for how long? Mancini has been with us for all of three months now and we're quite happy with the direction our club is taking thank you very much. For the record, our trophy count over the past 5 seasons is exactly the same, and whilst I wish you best of luck in your pursuit of the title this season (I'd count Arsenal as the lesser of three evils), the days of the Sky 4 boreopoly are fast coming to a close. And you clearly don't like it now do you my green-eyed friend?
fifthcolumnblue
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15/03/2010 09:32:00

Spectacular cross
GazJohnson
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15/03/2010 10:02:00

That crossed my mind Gaz. Would you have thought the same thing if it was down the other end? I think draw was a fair result, although we were lucky Jones was forced off because he was causing us a lot of problems.
Bluedub
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15/03/2010 10:12:00

eastlands holds no fear for spurs, why should it? its a happy hunting ground for us....we might need luck against the top 4, but city obviously need like when playing the likes of stoke and sunderland.
lillywhites101
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15/03/2010 11:40:00

*luck*
lillywhites101
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15/03/2010 11:41:00

What luck Lily? We were extremely unlucky not to have equalised sooner in that second half yesterday.
Bluedub
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15/03/2010 13:00:00

Typical spurs - bragging about something that hasn't happened yet. If you beat us then I won't stop you boasting (I know better than to even try and stop your lot crowing!) but shall we just wait and see? Of course you are welcome back to pass on your compliments to City should we beat you...
fifthcolumnblue
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15/03/2010 18:47:00

 

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