FOR the first 55 minutes I was in heaven, writes Keith Appleton.
I had correctly predicted the starting XI, I’d correctly anticipated Poyet’s tactics and my score prediction of 1-0 was looking increasingly inspired.
I was now eagerly anticipating next week’s lottery and basking in the glow of an excellent team performance that was starting to make ‘expert’ football pundits doubt themselves – what could go wrong!
Well, quite a lot as our Wembley Warriors were undone by two moments of world class brilliance in two awful minutes.
It may have been Mannone’s birthday, but Toure and Nasri weren’t offering any gifts and suddenly TV commentators were claiming it was game-over.
But to their credit, the Black Cats refused to roll over and looked nothing like a relegation-threatened team with every player producing a performance to be proud off, based on intelligent possession and counter attacking football.
Buts it’s a cruel game and when Fletcher spurned an opportunity to equalise in the last few minutes, City broke away and added a third which didn’t reflect fairly on the game.
However, Sunderland could still be winners assuming they replicate this performance in the remaining 12 league games – and we still have the FA Cup.