Premier League
Man CityManchester City4SunderlandSunderland1

Manchester City 4-1 Sunderland

By Andy CryerBBC Sport
Wilfried Bony
Manchester City had taken seven points from their previous six matches

Manchester City thrashed relegation-threatened Sunderland but home substitute Vincent Kompany limped off soon after his return from injury.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring by heading in Kevin de Bruyne's cross.

The lead was doubled through Yaya Toure's low 20-yard drive before Wilfried Bony headed in another de Bruyne delivery.

The brilliant Belgian calmly scored before Fabio Borini's consolation, as Bony skied a penalty later on.

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City will be concerned by the second-half departure of skipper Kompany, just minutes after coming on, having missed the previous eight matches with a calf injury.

The defeat leaves Sunderland still five points adrift of Premier League safety, while City remain in third place.

The strongest in the league?

Manchester City may have lost to Arsenal last time out, but manager Manuel Pellegrini was adamant his side - when fully fit - are the strongest side in the Premier League.

Sunderland did little to test that theory as they allowed Pellegrini's men to return to winning ways in totally dominant style.

While just too good to handle as an offensive unit, the hosts were still far from convincing defensively as the Black Cats created several chances of their own.

And when Borini scored at the second attempt from close range, it meant City had failed to keep a clean sheet for an eighth successive match.

Stunning display from De Bruyne

Raheem Sterling goal
Kevin de Bruyne (17) rescued Aleksandar Kolarov's ball from the left to cross for Raheem Sterling's (7) opener

Many questioned Manchester City when they spent a club record £55m on Wolfsburg midfielder De Bruyne in the summer, who was unable to make an impression during an earlier two-year spell at Chelsea.

It increasingly looks like good business as the Belgian created chances almost at will from the right, and linked up effectively with midfielder David Silva - who was brought down for the penalty.

De Bruyne whipped in a delicious cross for Sterling's opener before a similarly accurate delivery allowed Bony to head home City's third.

He rounded off a stunning individual display with a cool finish of his own and, had it not been for some wayward Bony finishing, the win could have been even more emphatic.

What hope for Sunderland's survival chances?

When Sam Allardyce was appointed Sunderland boss in October, the Black Cats were second-bottom of the Premier League and winless in their opening eight games.

Things have improved - slightly - after three wins since, but they remain in 19th and have now lost their past four league matches.

A defeat at City won't be the result that sends them down but the ease with which they were torn apart defensively will be a huge concern for a manager who prides himself on organisation.

Man of the match: Kevin de Bruyne

Kevin de Bruyne
Only Mesut Ozil (15) has more Premier League goal assists than Kevin de Bruyne this season (eight)

What they said

Vincent Kompany injury baffles City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini on Vincent Kompany's injury: "Yes, it is the calf. Nobody understands. He had a good warm-up, he was working during the week with normality. It is difficult to understand. The most important thing is to understand why this happens.

"Nobody wins the title in December, but it doesn't mean it will be easy to beat Leicester. In the second half of the season we have to play teams around us. It is important to try to continue with this kind of performance."

Sunderland lack consistency - Allardyce

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce:

"We started slowly. We have been trying to get the players more organised and more resilient so they can play their way into the game. The only way you can do that is not concede an early goal, particularly away from home.

"Now it is three wins in nine and six losses, we are in the bottom three again and that puts pressure on us and hopefully we can ease that in January by getting new players in.

"We lack consistency. We do OK in possession but it is what we do out of possession. Our position won't be determined by what we did at Manchester City but you want to see a bit more fight than we saw today."

The stats you need to know

  • The team that has been 19th in the Premier League on Christmas Day has gone on to be relegated in each of the last four years
  • Manchester City are unbeaten at home against Sunderland in the top flight for 14 matches spanning 34 years
  • Manchester City have won 16 of their 20 Premier League home games in 2015 (D1, L3)
  • Sunderland have earned just one win and five points in their last 12 away games
  • The Black Cats have conceded a league-high 33 goals

What next?

Manchester City travel to Premier League leaders Leicester City on Tuesday, while Sunderland who entertain Liverpool on Wednesday.


Man City

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Hart
  • 3Sagna
  • 30OtamendiSubstituted forKompanyat 62'minutesSubstituted forDemichelisat 71'minutes
  • 20Mangala
  • 11Kolarov
  • 42Y TouréSubstituted forDelphat 62'minutes
  • 25Fernandinho
  • 17De Bruyne
  • 21Silva
  • 7SterlingBooked at 4mins
  • 14Bony


  • 4Kompany
  • 10Agüero
  • 13Caballero
  • 15Navas
  • 18Delph
  • 22Clichy
  • 26Demichelis


Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Mannone
  • 2JonesBooked at 36mins
  • 22Coates
  • 16O'Shea
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 11Johnson
  • 21M'VilaSubstituted forCattermoleat 56'minutes
  • 14Gomez Garcia-Penche
  • 19GrahamSubstituted forWatmoreat 71'minutes
  • 26FletcherSubstituted forLensat 62'minutes
  • 9Borini


  • 1Pantilimon
  • 5Brown
  • 6Cattermole
  • 17Lens
  • 18Defoe
  • 20Toivonen
  • 41Watmore
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamMan CityAway TeamSunderland
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester City 4, Sunderland 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester City 4, Sunderland 1.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Manchester City. Conceded by Sebastián Coates.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sebastián Coates (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Jordi Gómez with a cross following a set piece situation.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Martín Demichelis (Manchester City).

  6. Post update

    Jeremain Lens (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  8. Post update

    Offside, Sunderland. Sebastián Coates tries a through ball, but Duncan Watmore is caught offside.

  9. Post update

    Offside, Manchester City. Kevin De Bruyne tries a through ball, but Raheem Sterling is caught offside.

  10. Post update

    Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Wilfried Bony (Manchester City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Raheem Sterling.

  14. Post update

    Fabian Delph (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).

  16. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  17. Post update

    Delay in match John O'Shea (Sunderland) because of an injury.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. David Silva (Manchester City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Kevin De Bruyne.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sebastián Coates (Sunderland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Adam Johnson with a cross following a set piece situation.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City).