Sunderland head to Manchester City to open their Premier League season today, with David Moyes pitting his wits against Pep Guardiola.
Here we look back at the last five clashes at the Etihad Stadium, including three memorable efforts by the Black Cats which unluckily only secured two points.
Manchester City 4 Sunderland 1
December 26, 2015
Sunderland were left punch-drunk on Boxing Day after suffering an embarrassingly straightforward 4-1 defeat to Manchester City for the second time that season.
A week before Dick Advocaat made the decision to leave the Stadium of Light, Manuel Pellegrini’s side romped to a League Cup victory over the Black Cats and it was the same story at the Etihad Stadium, as a Kevin De Bruyne-inspired City swatted Sam Allardyce’s men aside.
City toyed with Sunderland for long periods and could easily have secured a bigger victory after going 2-0 up inside the opening 22 minutes, through Raheem Sterling, heading home a De Bruyne centre, and Yaya Toure, firing home left-footed from 25 yards.
It got worse for Sunderland when Wilfried Bony headed home, comfortably leaping above John O’Shea to nod in De Bruyne’s free-kick, before a fourth arrived from the excellent De Bruyne early in the second half, firing home after an attempted through ball came back to him off Sebastian Coates, as City continually took advantage of some awful defending from the visitors.
Fabio Borini - one of the few Sunderland players to emerge with any credit - grabbed a consolation for his second goal in as many games, yet it did nothing to prevent Allardyce’s men suffering a fourth successive defeat.
Vito Mannone made his first Premier League start of the season in a shock Sunderland line-up, which saw six changes from the side which had been beaten by Chelsea in the previous match.
Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi (Kompany 61, Demichelis 71), Mangala, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure (Delph 62), De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling, Bony. Subs not used: Caballero, Clichy, Navas, Aguero.
Sunderland: Mannone, Jones, O’Shea, Coates, van Aanholt, M’Vila (Cattermole 56), Gomez, Johnson, Borini, Fletcher (Lens 62), Graham (Watmore 71). Subs not used: Pantilimon, Brown, Toivonen, Defoe
January 1, 2015
Sunderland suffered a first defeat on the road since October after finishing on the wrong side of 16-minute, five-goal blitz at Premier League champions Manchester City.
Frank Lampard’s winner, to become the fourth highest scorer in Premier League history, ruined what had been a stirring fightback from Gus Poyet’s side, who found themselves two goals down at the Etihad.
After an utterly turgid first half, City went ahead just before the hour mark following a stunning long-range strike from Yaya Toure.
When Stevan Jovetic doubled the hosts’ advantage with a clever flick, it looked to be game over for Sunderland.
But after recalled midfielder Jack Rodwell pulled one back against his former employers, another ex-City player, Adam Johnson netted a second from the penalty spot three minutes later, after Billy Jones was tripped by Pablo Zabaleta.
However, Sunderland’s joy was shortlived after substitute Lampard - allowed to play after agreeing an extension to his City contract 24 hours earlier - headed home within two minutes to cap a stunning quick-fire spell of scoring.
Manchester City: Caballero, Zabaleta, Mangala, Demichelis, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri (Kolarov 85), Silva (Milner 90), Navas, Jovetic (Lampard 70). Subs not used: Hart, Sagna, Sinclair, Boyata.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Vergini (Coates 78), Jones, Brown, O’Shea, Rodwell, Larsson, Gomez (Giaccherini 58), Johnson, Buckley (Alvarez 65), Wickham. Subs not used: Fletcher, Cabral, Altidore, Mannone.
April 16, 2014
The start of Gus Poyet’s miracle survival.
Connor Wickham’s brilliant double kept Sunderland’s slim survival hopes alive after a shock draw at title-chasing Manchester City.
But the Black Cats were left reflecting on two points dropped after Vito Mannone’s howler gifted City a late equaliser at the Etihad Stadium.
Sunderland made an awful start when Fernadinho gave City a second minute lead, but Poyet’s side didn’t let their heads go down, with John O’Shea (twice) and Fabio Borini spurning glorious opportunities to equalise.
But the Black Cats did pull level after the break when Wickham scored only his second Premier League goal when he cushioned home Emanuele Giaccherini’s cross.
Wickham then sent the travelling Sunderland fans into dreamland when he unleashed a stunning strike on the break after more excellent work from Giaccherini.
But with two minutes to go, goalkeeper Mannone horribly spilled Samir Nasri’s shot into the net, to deny Sunderland what would have been a deserved victory against a lacklustre City.
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov, Milner, Garcia, Fernandinho (Rodwell 87), Nasri, Aguero (Jovetic 57), Negredo (Dzeko 68). Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Clichy
Sunderland: Mannone, Vergini, O’Shea, Brown, Alonso, Johnson, Larsson (Giaccherini 68), Cattermole, Colback, Borini (Scocco 69), Wickham. Subs not used: Altidore, Ba, Mavrias, Agnew, Ustari.
October 6, 2012
Sunderland slipped to their first defeat of the season today, going down 3-0 at defending champions Manchester City.
The Wearsiders’ unbeaten five-game start in the Premier League - one win and four draws - was ended by goals from Aleksander Kolarov, sub Sergio Aguero and, a minute from time, James Milner.
Kolarov curled a fifth-minute free-kick around the Sunderland wall, following a foul by the recalled Carlos Cuellar on Carlos Tevez, inside Simon Mignolet’s near post, after initially looking as if the effort would go wide.
Sunderland had their moments, but they were sunk by a second goal on the hour mark.
The Black Cats were picked apart too easily – David Silva, on the left of the box, picking out Kolarov’s over-lapping run and the full-back’s centre was brilliantly turned in at the near post by Aguero.
Milner added a third, curling the ball around a two-man wall and straight into the centre of goal – keeper Simon Mignolet being deceived by Craig Gardner’s attempt to head the ball over six yards out but failing to make contact.
Three-nil was probably a fair scoreline on the balance of play, but it could have been worse for Sunderland in the dying stages – Mignolet rushing out to make a superb block in the dying seconds to deny Aguero.
Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Lescott, Barry, Milner, Toure, Tevez (Clichy 85), Balotelli (Aguero 57), Silva (Rodwell 90)
Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, Rose (Vaughan 60), Cuellar, O’Shea, Colback, Johnson (Saha 67), Larsson, Fletcher, Sessegnon (Campbell 83), McClean
Manchester City 3 Sunderland 3
March 31, 2012
Sunderland became the first team to claim a point at the Etihad Stadium all season, denting title-chasing Manchester City’s perfect record of 15 straight wins.
But the Black Cats headed back to Wearside knowing it could, and should, have been all three points after holding a 3-1 lead up to the 85th minute.
Sunderland, knocked out of the FA Cup with a dismal quarter-final replay loss at home to Everton, were expected to be lambs to the slaughter, but, after withstanding early pressure, took a surprise lead just after the half hour when Seb Larsson passed a shot into the bottom left-hand corner of Joe Hart’s goal.
Craig Gardner fouled Edin Dzeko in the area in the 41st minute to give City a penalty which Mario Balotelli stroked home to equalise.
But Sunderland, who had beaten City at home on New Year’s Day in memorable circumstances, went into the break still ahead thanks to a great goal from Nicklas Bendtner, three minutes into stoppage time, powerfuly heading home a Stephane Sessegnon cross from the right.
Sunderland extended their lead on 55 minutes with a wonderfully worked goal, Larsson tapping home Bendtner’s right-wing cross.
They preserved that advantage until Balotelli scored a fine individual effort five minutes from time.
Then the Black Cats endured heartbreak as Aleksandar Kolarov powered home a low rocket shot from range to level at 3-3 with four minutes to go.
Manchester City: Hart, Richards (Johnson 46), Kolarov, Kompany, De Jong, K Toure, Milner (Pizarro 80), Y Toure, Balotelli, Dzeko, Silva (Tevez 58)
Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Colback, Turner, Kilgallon (Kyrgiakos 80), Cattermole (Vaughan 90), Larsson, Gardner, Bendtner, Sessegnon, Mcclean
Follow today’s City-Sunderland clash on our live matchday blog. Build-up from 3pm for the 5.30pm kick-off and reaction afterwards