Premier League
Man CityManchester City2SunderlandSunderland2
By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport
Connor Wickham scores for Sunderland

Manchester City suffered a serious blow to their Premier League title ambitions as they were held to a draw by bottom club Sunderland.

City gained a second-minute lead with Fernandinho's powerful effort, but went behind as Connor Wickham scored twice in quick succession after the break.

With two minutes left, Black Cats goalkeeper Vito Mannone fumbled Samir Nasri's fierce strike into his own net.

Manuel Pellegrini says draw is 'not enough'

City are six points behind leaders Liverpool and four behind Chelsea.

They could have been even further adrift of the top two because Manuel Pellegrini's team were fortunate to earn their late equaliser, as Mannone agonisingly let Nasri's shot slip out of his grasp.

Nasri then went close to snatching a winner in the 90th minute, but his anguished reaction showed how his team's prospects have now changed.

City's hopes of repeating their Premier League success of 2012 now rely on both Liverpool and Chelsea slipping up during the final weeks of the season.

The draw was just as unsatisfactory for Sunderland, who were the better team for large periods of the game, and missed out on a chance to further close the gap on their relegation rivals.

Gus Poyet's side are six points from safety with a game in hand on the three teams above them - Cardiff, Fulham and Norwich - and the Sunderland boss will curse the way his team let victory slip.

The Black Cats have been on a wretched run of form since they lost to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final on 2 March, having taken one point from their last six league games before this match.

But they arrived at this re-arranged fixture with a decent record against City and, despite the early opener, created several good chances throughout the game.

Had John O'Shea hit the target from two close-range headers or Fabio Borini squared the ball to one of two better-placed team-mates the picture could have looked very different before half-time.

Coming three days after an energy-sapping defeat at title rivals Liverpool, City were without David Silva and struggled for fluency. Yet Fernandinho's fifth goal of the season gave them a lead to defend.

It was a well-worked strike so early in the contest. Alvaro Negredo dispossessed Lee Cattermole and then stepped over Sergio Aguero's pass, allowing the Brazilian midfielder time to fire in at the near post.

'Draw nobody expected' delights Poyet

Having last won a league game at Newcastle on 1 February, Sunderland did not let the early goal affect them and were spurred on by former City player Adam Johnson.

At times, Sunderland appeared to over-step the mark as Aguero, making his first start since returning from injury, was hacked down by Wes Brown.

After their positive start the Black Cats faded. Pellegrini's side grew in status and Aguero's deflected shot tested Mannone before the Argentine was replaced by Stevan Jovetic.

That all changed when Emanuele Giaccherini came off the bench to inspire the visitors.

First, he crossed for Wickham, who tucked in at the back post for his first Sunderland league goal since October 2011. The Italian substitute then found the on-rushing English striker as he beat Joe Hart at the near post.

Sunderland stood on the verge of a famous win, but then Mannone clawed at thin air after he failed to grasp Nasri's shot from 12 yards.

Line-ups

Man City

  • 1Hart
  • 5ZabaletaBooked at 90mins
  • 13Kolarov
  • 25FernandinhoSubstituted forRodwellat 87'minutes
  • 4Kompany
  • 26Demichelis
  • 7Milner
  • 14García Fernández
  • 9NegredoSubstituted forDzekoat 69'minutes
  • 16AgüeroSubstituted forJoveticat 57'minutes
  • 8Nasri

Substitutes

  • 2Richards
  • 6Lescott
  • 10Dzeko
  • 17Rodwell
  • 22Clichy
  • 30Pantilimon
  • 35Jovetic

Sunderland

  • 25Mannone
  • 27Vergini
  • 28AlonsoBooked at 65mins
  • 33CattermoleBooked at 89mins
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Brown
  • 11Johnson
  • 7LarssonSubstituted forGiaccheriniat 68'minutes
  • 10Wickham
  • 14Colback
  • 31BoriniBooked at 32minsSubstituted forScoccoat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 17Altidore
  • 22Ba
  • 23Giaccherini
  • 30Scocco
  • 32Ustari
  • 35Mavrias
  • 42Agnew
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
47,046

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamSunderland
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home16
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 2, Sunderland 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 2, Sunderland 2.

  3. Post update

    Offside, Sunderland. John O'Shea tries a through ball, but Connor Wickham is caught offside.

  4. Booking

    Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Ignacio Scocco (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Martín Demichelis.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Stevan Jovetic.

  9. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 2, Sunderland 2. Samir Nasri (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Stevan Jovetic.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Edin Dzeko.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Jack Rodwell replaces Fernandinho.

  12. Goal!

    Goal! Manchester City 1, Sunderland 2. Connor Wickham (Sunderland) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Emanuele Giaccherini following a fast break.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Connor Wickham.

  14. Post update

    James Milner (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jack Colback (Sunderland).

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Edin Dzeko (Manchester City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Aleksandar Kolarov.

  17. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Fernandinho.

  18. Post update

    Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Jack Colback (Sunderland).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Fernandinho.

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