Apr 16, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Etihad Stadium
Man CityManchester City
2-2
Sunderland
Fernandinho (2'), Nasri (88')
Zabaleta (90')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Wickham (73', 82')
Borini (32'), Alonso (65')

Live Commentary: Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland - as it happened

Sunderland's Connor Wickham celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Manchester City during the Premier League match on April 16, 2014
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of the Premier League clash between Manchester City and Sunderland.

Manchester City's ambitions to win a second Premier League title in three years have taken a huge blow after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sunderland.

Fernandinho gave the home side the lead after two minutes, but two goals from Connor Wickham late in the second half looked to have earned the Black Cats a famous win.

However, Samir Nasri struck two minutes from time after a mistake from Vito Mannone, but the draw leaves him six points behind leaders Liverpool with one game in hand.

Read below to see how the action unfolded at the Etihad Stadium.


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6.46pmHello, and welcome to Sports Mole's coverage of the match between Manchester City and Sunderland in the Premier League.

6.49pmBefore the matches at the weekend, Manchester City were arguably still favourites to lift the Premier League trophy on May 11. However, after they succumbed to a 3-2 defeat to title rivals Liverpool at Anfield, that all changed. If Liverpool win their final four games, City's bid for a second Premier League crown will end in failure, but if the Reds slip up, City can capitalise with six wins, the first of which they will hope to achieve tonight against Sunderland.

6.51pmAs for Sunderland, their focus is firmly on trying to remain in the top flight of English football. The Black Cats looked strong in the first couple of months of 2014 but their form has continued on a downward spiral since losing to tonight's opponents in the Capital One Cup final. Simply put, Sunderland need a result tonight to stop the rot.

6.56pmFor those of you that don't recall, this fixture had been scheduled to take place in February, but it was postponed within an hour of kickoff after high winds cause safety fears at the Etihad Stadium. Unless the weather conditions change as quick as they did in 'The Day After Tomorrow', I reckon we are going to have no issues with the match going ahead this evening!

6.58pmI am imagine that you are all waiting for me to stop rambling and give you some team news, right? Your wish is my command. City have a familiar duo starting in attack...

7.00pmMANCHESTER CITY XI: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Milner, Garcia, Fernandinho; Nasri, Aguero, Negredo

7.01pmMANCHESTER CITY SUBSTITUTES: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Clichy, Rodwell, Dzeko, Jovetic

7.03pmWho needs Yaya Toure and David Silva when you can call upon Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo? City make five changes from the side that lost at Anfield at the weekend, which includes the recalls of the two attackers. Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner and Javi Garcia are also included in the starting lineup.

7.06pmWe had already been aware that Yaya Toure would be absent with a muscle injury, but the absence of David Silva is more of a surprise. Manuel Pellegrini has eluded to the fact that the Spaniard has been struggling with a knock lately, but there was still the belief that he would feature tonight. The pair have been City's main men in midfield during the current campaign so it will be interesting to see how they adapt.

7.08pmSUNDERLAND XI: Mannone; Vergini, Alonso, Brown, O'Shea; Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson; Borini, Wickham

7.09pmSUNDERLAND SUBSTITUTES: Altidore, Ba, Giaccherini, Scocco, Mavrias, Agnew, Ustari

7.12pmSunderland boss Gus Poyet has chosen to make just the two changes from their weekend defeat to Everton. Sebastian Larsson and Santiago Vergini have been included in place of Ki Sung-Yeung and Phil Bardsley. Connor Wickham retains his spot in attack.

7.16pmIf this match doesn't take your fancy, Sports Mole are covering two more fixtures this evening. In the Premier League, we have Everton's home clash with Crystal Palace, while we also have the Copa del Rey final between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

7.20pmSunderland fans, look away now - I'm taking a look at how these teams match up in our Stat Centre! Manchester City have scored a remarkable 57 more goals than Sunderland, but the defensive stats don't appear to be too bad. Sunderland are only five behind City when it comes to clean sheets - that's crazy! However, the Black Cats have conceded 22 more goals than their opponents.

7.24pmWe have clear skies at the Etihad tonight!



7.28pmThe main question mark in City's starting lineup will be over Sergio Aguero. Manuel Pellegrini has insisted that the Argentine striker has fully recovered from a hamstring problem but he has yet to complete 90 minutes since first suffering the injury at the end of January. I would expect that to continue tonight, but if he can score a couple of goals inside the first hour, Pellegrini could opt to save his player for later fixtures.

7.32pmSunderland's hopes of survival have been hit due to Steven Fletcher's constant struggles with injury, and that has left Gus Poyet to call upon the services of Connor Wickham. The former Ipswich Town forward was once regarded as one of England's top youngsters, but he has failed to have any kind of success in the Premier League. He goes into tonight's match without a top-flight goal to his name this season, but what better place to start than at Manchester City tonight.

7.36pmPREDICTION! You won't be surprised to read that I am tipping a Manchester City victory tonight, but by how many? I'm going to go for 4-0. Sunderland may have performed well to keep Everton down to one at the weekend, but this is a City team who need to deliver a response to losing ground at the top of the table. Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo will be expected to hit the goal trail, while there may be one or two on offer for one of the substitutes.

7.40pmWe are just moments away from the two teams making their way out onto the pitch in Manchester. City are sure to be met by an expectant crowd while the Sunderland supporters may be hoping that their team just survive the opening half hour to give themselves a chance of causing a shock.

7.44pmThe pre-match pleasantries have been completed. A quick stat for you before we begin - these two sides have met 19 times in the Premier League, with City winning 12 of them. Can they make it 13 tonight?

1 minSunderland get us underway.

2 minGOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland (Fernandinho)

2 minWell that isn't the start that Sunderland had hoped for! Sergio Aguero passed the ball into Alvaro Negredo, who dummied the ball to allow it to roll to Fernandinho, who made no mistake with his shot from inside the penalty area.

5 minGus Poyet looks fed up already, but his side have a free kick in a threatening position...

6 minCHANCE! Unbelievable chance for John O'Shea! The free kick that was swung into the middle evaded Vincent Kompany and despite having a free header from six yards out, the Irishman could only direct his effort wide.

9 minAside from the goal, Sunderland aren't doing too badly in repelling each Man City attack, but the damage has already been done.

11 minCHANCE! What was I saying? Sunderland should be two down. Sergio Aguero's 25-yard strike wasn't dealt with by Vito Mannone and after the ball had found Fernandinho, the Brazilian could only volley over from six yards.

13 minCHANCE! John O'Shea has missed another chance! Oh my. He is dominating the City defence in the air, but on both occasions, he hasn't been able to hit the target. The corner was curled to the back post, but the former United defender directed his header a yard over the crossbar with Joe Hart beaten.

15 minSunderland look extremely dangerous from every set piece that they win. On this occasion, Sebastian Larsson's free kick was headed away for a corner by Martin Demichelis, but the resulting kick came to nothing.

17 minSergio Aguero is operating in a deeper role tonight, and he is enjoying plenty of joy running at the Sunderland backline. He received the ball midway inside the Black Cats half but his shot from 25 yards was always curling wide of the upright.

19 minCHANCE! Sunderland miss another! This is incredible. Manchester City are all over the place at the back, but Sunderland can't capitalise. Fabio Borini beat the offside trap but the Italian was in two minds whether to shoot or pass, and after deciding to shoot, he saw the ball miss the far post.

22 minHis team may be ahead, but it's Manuel Pellegrini who needs to do a bit of tinkering. They have the ammunition to score four of five tonight, but they won't keep a clean sheet unless they calm things down at the back.

25 minThat's better from Manchester City. They play the ball around patiently in the final third before forcing a corner from a Pablo Zabaleta cross. However, Sunderland hold firm to ensure that the deficit remains at just the one.

27 minThere has been a goal at Goodison Park, and it hasn't gone the way that you would expect! Palace lead through Jason Puncheon, much to the delight of Arsene Wenger, who I'm sure is reading Sports Mole's coverage of the game.

29 minOUCH! I'm not sure how many times Wes Brown has been sent off this season, but I know it has been a few, and he should have another red card to his name after a crude lunge on Sergio Aguero. His studs connected with the Argentine's ankle, and the forward is lucky to still be taking part in this game.

33 minFor the first time in the match, neither side look like threatening the opposition goalkeeper, but we have another injury. Marcos Alonso attempted an ambitious effort from 30 yards but he kicked Pablo Zabaleta's foot instead, causing both of them to fall to the ground. Zabaleta is in agony, while Alonso is limping off.

35 minZabaleta hobbles off to a standing ovation from the home crowd. A little bit over the top, I'd say. Nevertheless, the game continues while the defender receives treatment on the touchline.

40 minSunderland keep Manchester City on the back foot for a sustained period, but the home side break through Sergio Aguero, who attempts to play a one-two with Alvaro Negredo, but the return ball is weak and Sunderland regain possession.

43 minIt looks like we are going to make it to the break with Sunderland just the one goal behind. I reckon that Gus Poyet would have taken that if he were offered it before kickoff.

45 minWow. There will be four minutes of added-on time.

45+2 minSunderland work the ball to Adam Johnson on the edge of the penalty area, but the former City winger can only drill his effort into the top tier of the stand.

45+4 minHALF TIME: Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland

8.37pmThe half-time whistle goes at the Etihad Stadium and Manchester City go into the break with a 1-0 advantage. At times, they've been sloppy, but after Sunderland wasted a number of chances inside the opening 20 minutes, they have rarely looked like conceding an equaliser.

8.40pmBoth teams have had six efforts on goal, but while City have hit the target twice, Sunderland have yet to test Joe Hart. However, Sunderland have created the most corners, four to two, and they have also had 46% of possession, which isn't too shabby at the Etihad Stadium.

8.45pmI don't anticipate either side making any substitutions at this stage. After conceding in the second minute, Gus Poyet will be delighted that his team have made it to half time just the one goal behind, while City were beginning to find a rhythm before the break. Sergio Aguero also looked sharp in the opening 45 minutes, which is a terrific sign for City.

46 minThe second half is underway at the Etihad Stadium.

47 minCity create the first opening of the second half, but Alvaro Negredo can only send the ball over the crossbar. The Spaniard has been quiet.

50 minCrystal Palace have netted a second against Everton at Goodison Park! Scott Dann has headed home from a corner. It's turning into a disastrous night for the Toffees.

53 minIt's been a very scrappy start to this half. Neither side can keep hold of possession, and that is resulting in shots on goal being few and far between.

55 minSergio Aguero takes the direct approach and runs at the Sunderland defence from the right. His shot across goal is deflected, which forces Vito Mannone to punch the ball towards the penalty spot, and Samir Nasri is unable to get an effort on goal.

57 minSUBSTITUTION! This is earlier than I had anticipated. Sergio Aguero is being replaced by Stevan Jovetic. Still, the South American attacker will be pleased with his performance tonight.

60 minWe are an hour gone at the Etihad, and we remain at 1-0. That flurry of goals that I predicted before the match hasn't materialised, and with Toure, Silva and Aguero, it remains to be seen whether City can come up with a second goal.

63 minSteven Naismith has pulled a goal back for Everton. They needed that, but they require a couple more if they are going to avoid missing the chance to move two points clear of Arsenal in fourth.

64 minSHOT! Stevan Jovetic has looked lively since replacing Sergio Aguero, and after taking the ball past a defender, he sent a low effort towards goal that Vito Mannone did well to claim.

65 minBOOKING! That's one of the easiest yellow cards that Martin Atkinson will give out all season. Marcos Alonso has been cautioned after bringing down James Milner, and from the resulting free kick, Jovetic sent an overhead kick over the bar.

68 minSUBSTITUTIONS! Both managers make a change. For Sunderland, Emanuele Giaccherini enters the action in place of Sebastian Larsson, while for City, Alvaro Negredo is withdrawn for Edin Dzeko. Actually, it's a double change from poyet, who throws on Ignacio Scocco in place of Fabio Borini.

73 minGOAL! Manchester City 1-1 Sunderland (Wickham)

73 minWould you believe it! Moments after Jack Colback wasted a good chance for the Black Cats, they attacked again down the left, and after a cross was drilled across the six-yard area, Connor Wickham was on hand to tap home for his first Premier League goal of the season. What a final 15 minutes we are going to have now!

76 minRemember, Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo have been replaced, while Yaya Toure and David Silva aren't involved this evening. Can City find a hero elsewhere?

77 minAll of a sudden, there is an extra urgency about Man City's forward play. Stevan Jovetic tries his luck from 25 yards, but his shot is always drifting wide of the left post.

79 minThat was Connor Wickham's first goal in the Premier League since 2011. He has certainly picked his moment.

81 minCHANCE! Aleksandar Kolarov jinks his way into the penalty area but after his pull-back found Edin Dzeko, the Bosnian could only divert the ball wide at the near post. Nine minutes to go.

83 minGOAL! Manchester City 1-2 Sunderland (Wickham)

83 minUNBELIEVABLE!!! Out of nowhere, Sunderland have the lead at the Etihad Stadium, and it's Connor Wickham who has scored again! Incredible. Emanuele Giaccherini broke with pace and intent down the left before playing the ball into the path of Wickham, who struck the ball with venom inside the near post and past Joe Hart! Can they hold on?!

87 minManchester City are stunned. The Sunderland fans are stunned. I'm stunned! Manuel Pellegrini replaces Fernandinho with Jack Rodwell (remember him?). Sunderland have three minutes plus injury-time to hold out for a remarkable win.

88 minGOAL! Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland (Nasri)

88 minThat's just heart-breaking for Sunderland and Gus Poyet! The ball was pulled back for Samir Nasri, whose shot was straight at Vito Mannone but the Italian let the ball squirm out of his hands and agonisingly into the bottom corner.

90 minCHANCE! Samir Nasri squanders a huge chance to win it for City! The ball was pulled back to him in a similar position to that of his first goal, but he blazed the effort high into the stands! What drama! Four minutes of added-on time to come!

90+2 minSunderland win a free kick on the halfway line that is delivered into the box by Vito Mannone, but Connor Wickham is ruled offside.

90+4 minFULL TIME: Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland

90+4 minFULL TIME: Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland

9.43pmThe full-time whistle goes, and the match at the Etihad Stadium ends 2-2 between Manchester City and Sunderland. I don't think that results suits either team, does it?

9.45pmSunderland will be devastated to only draw that match, but they could have very easily lost it soon after conceding the equaliser. It will be a hard one to take for Gus Poyet, but I'm sure that if they were offered that result before the match, they would have taken it.

9.46pmAs for Manchester City, that point leaves them six behind Liverpool with a game in hand. They need the Merseyside club to lose one of their four remaining matches if they are to have a shot at winning the title. They also face a fight to secure second from Chelsea.

9.47pmThat will be all from Sports Mole for this game. The middle part of the match was a bit tedious, but the start and the end were as action-packed as I have seen all season. Goodbye for now.

Fabio Borini of Sunderland and Sylvain Distin of Everton compete for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at Stadium of Light on April 12, 2014
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