Sunderland was able to snatch mediocrity from the jaws of victory today. Sunderland was ahead 3-1 against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium with about ten minutes to go. It looked like the upset was secure. Fans were heading for their cars in order to beat the traffic. However, City scored two quick goals to salvage a 3-3 tie in the Barclays Premier League.
Sunderland was able to get on the scoreboard first when forward Stephane Sessegnon was able to draw three defenders to him along the left side. He then sent a through pass to, who put the ball into the side of the net in the 31st minute.
Manchester City was able to tie the score up when striker Edin Dzeko ran into midfielder Craig Gardner in the penalty area. For some strange reason, City was awarded a penalty kick even though Gardner was actually trying to get out of the way. Nevertheless, Mario Balotelli put away the penalty with a hesitation kick into the right side of the net.
Sunderland was able to score in the first half injury time when Sessegnon sent a crossing pass into the box, which was headed by Niklas Bendtner into the goal. Sunderland was up 2-1 at halftime.
Sunderland took advantage of a lethargic-looking Manchester City when they went up 3-1 in the 55th minute. Bendtner was able to send a pass to Larsson off of a counterattack. Larsson put the ball into the net from close range to give them the two goal advantage.
Man City looked horrible until the 81st minute. That's when midfielderwas substituted into the game. Pizarro was able to coordinate a better offensive attack in the last ten minutes due to his precise passing.
The pressure got to Sunderland as Balotelli scored again in the 85th minute when he was able to run past his defender and blast the ball into the right side of the net to make the score 3-2.
Manchester City wasn't done because Pizarro set up Aleksandr Kolarov one minute later. Kolarov put the ball into the right side of the net that made the comeback complete. As of now, Manchester City is two points behind Manchester United, but Man U plays on Monday. However, City remains within striking distance for the Premier League Title. Sunderland gains a point, but they remain in 9th place. A win could have moved Sunderland all the way up to 7th place and into contention for playing in the Europa League next season. Here are the starting lineups; both teams went with the standard 4-4-2 formation.
Manchester City -- Goalkeeper: Hart. Defenders: Kolo Toure, Kolarov, Kompany, Richards. Midfielders: Yaya Toure, DeJong, Milner, David Silva. Forwards: Dzeko, Balotelli.
Sunderland -- Goalkeeper: Mignolet. Defenders: Kilgallon, Turner, Colback, Bardsley. Midfielders: Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, McClean. Forwards: Sessegnon, Bendtner.