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Match Analysis: Manchester City 2-2 Sunderland

Sports Mole analyses the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland.

Manchester City's ambitions to win a second Premier League title in three years has 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.

Below, Sports Mole assesses whether a draw at the Etihad Stadium was a fair result.

Match statistics

Manchester City
Shots: 16
On target: 4
Possession: 57%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 14

Sunderland
Shots: 11
On target: 3
Possession: 46%
Corners: 6
Fouls: 10

Was the result fair?

Sunderland deserved at least a point for their application at a ground where many clubs have been blown away this season. The Black Cats created at least six clear-cut chances during the 90 minutes, but so did Manchester City, who will be left ruing Samir Nasri's miss in the closing stages. Both teams will feel that they did enough to win the game, but both were fortunate to come away with a point.

Manchester City's performance

After such a bright opening, it proved to be a frustrating night for Manuel Pellegrini and his side. Whether it was tiredness or not, only they know, but City didn't play with any urgency until they were required to do so during the final few minutes. Sergio Aguero impressed before being withdrawn shortly before the hour, but the team performance was littered with errors and this result could potentially cost them the Premier League title.

Sunderland's performance

Gus Poyet looked like a man who was expecting the worst when Sunderland fell behind after two minutes, but his players responded with the type of display that they were producing earlier in the campaign. They played with determination and never once looked in awe of City's superstars. Emanuele Giaccherini was terrific when introduced midway through the second half, and he played a crucial part in both of Connor Wickham's goals. Their showing was undermined by a shocking error from Vito Mannone, but Poyet will take belief from this performance as they prepare to travel to Chelsea at the weekend.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Connor Wickham: The Sunderland attacker didn't feature for the opening 70 minutes but he came to life in the closing stages. He could hardly miss when netting his side's equaliser from three yards out but the second was confidently struck inside the near post from just inside the penalty area. It was a memorable moment for a player who has struggled to prove himself at the Stadium of Light, but this could be the springboard to greater things.

Biggest gaffe

Samir Nasri will be disappointed to miss an opportunity to win the match for his side in the final minute, but gaffe of the night must go to Vito Mannone. Nasri's shot had a decent amount of pace on it, but it was an effort that should have been held by the Italian, and you could feel the stopper's agony as the ball trickled out of his grasp and into the bottom corner. That error cost his team two points, but it would have been worse had Nasri not missed from six yards out shortly afterwards.

Referee performance

It proved to be an eventful 90 minutes for both teams, but it wasn't for the man in the middle. Martin Atkinson's only big decision came when Wes Brown slid in late on Sergio Aguero, but the defender escaped without a booking when he could have very easily have been shown a red card.

What next?

Manchester City:

Manchester City host West Bromwich Albion on Easter Monday before travelling to in-form Crystal Palace the following weekend.

Sunderland:

Sunderland travel to Chelsea on Saturday before a huge encounter with Cardiff City at the Stadium of Light.

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Sunderland's Connor Wickham celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Manchester City during the Premier League match on April 16, 2014
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4Chelsea27138642251747
5Everton2614483933646
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
7Liverpool27127847351243
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs26126842271542
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham27411122133-1223
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2738162056-3617
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

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