Rowell Report: To be Frank, I expected a twist

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell

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LAST WEEK’S match at the Etihad against Manchester City was a classic case of a game of two halves, where nothing really happened in the first 45 minutes, but then all exploded in a pulsating second half.

Not for the first time Yaya Toure produced something special against Sunderland, and when City doubled their lead, it looked as if there was no way back for Gus Poyet’s men.

But City’s second goal meant Sunderland had to change their gameplan, and when they attacked the back four, they probably surprised even themselves with how quickly they got back on level terms.

However, there’s usually a twist in the tail at the Etihad and it duly arrived when Sunderland inexplicably failed to mark the Premier League’s most prolific goalscoring midfielder, and Frank Lampard didn’t need asking twice.

Lampard didn’t make a run to lose his marker – he just stood there without being picked up, and that defensive lack of concentration cost Sunderland dear.

I don’t think Poyet will be unduly worried that Lampard scored the winning goal, as he’s been doing that all his career, but he won’t be happy with the time and space he was given to have a free header.

But the spirit and desire Sunderland showed to score two goals away to the Premier League’s joint top team was great to see, and another positive was Jack Rodwell’s goal and all-round performance - his best in a Sunderland shirt so far.

The bottom line though was a defeat. We ended with nothing to show for a spirited comeback and that was down to Lampard – a player that always punishes defenders if they switch off for just a second.