SUNDERLAND reporter Chris Young gives his verdict after the Black Cats suffered a first defeat on the road since October, at reigning champions Manchester City.
Pantilimon 8 - Beaten three times, but made a string of superb saves during the final 10 minutes to give Sunderland hope of grabbing a late leveller.
Vergini 6 - Was solid during the first half, but several games carrying an injury took their toll after the break, with Clichy making City’s second and third goals. (Coates 6 - Part of a back-line which was run ragged during final 10 minutes.)
O’Shea 7 - Led a defence which was near-immaculate for the opening hour.
Brown 6 - Gave Lampard far too much room after Sunderland levelled and was duly punished.
Jones 7 - Made a decent fist of it at left-back and won the penalty which led to Sunderland’s equaliser.
RODWELL 8 - Produced a couple of thumping challenges and netted against his former club. Didn’t do his chance of starting more regularly any harm.
Larsson 6 - Injury probably restricted him to some degree, but came closest during first half from free-kick.
Gomez 5 - Too slack in possession and looked tired. (Giaccherini 8 - Excellent cameo off the bench and finally gave Sunderland an attacking spark.)
Johnson 7 - Third goal in four games and looked to be only Sunderland player with attacking ideas during backs-to-the-wall first hour.
Buckley 5 - Made no attacking impression whatsoever. (Alvarez 7 - Brilliant run in build-up to the penalty).
Wickham 6 - Finally got his chance down the middle, but was forced to feed off scraps.
MAN CITY: Caballero 7, Zabaleta 6, Mangala 6, Demichelis 6, Clichy 8, Yaya Toure 8, Fernandinho 7, Nasri 7, Silva 7, Navas 8, Jovetic 8 (Lampard 8).