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12 games of Christmas #6: City v Sunderland 2015

In the sixth of a festive series, we look back at a memorable game over the Christmas period...

Where and when...

Premier League  

City 4-1 Sunderland

Etihad Stadium, 26 December 2015

 

Report...

The Blues secured a return to winning ways with a dominant display against the Black Cats.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock, heading home Kevin De Bruyne’s cross, before Yaya Toure doubled the lead with a low drive.

Wilfried Bony extended the advantage – also heading home a De Bruyne delivery – and the Belgian capped a scintillating display by netting the fourth.

Fabio Borini grabbed a consolation for the visitors, while Bony missed the chance to add to his tally, failing to convert from the spot.

 

What it meant...

City remained well in the title-chasing pack, sitting in third place – three points behind league-leading Leicester.

The Blues sat a point behind Arsenal, three points ahead of Tottenham and five ahead of Crystal Palace in fifth.

The defeat left relegation-threatened Sunderland in 19th spot with 12 points.

 

Highlights

Reaction...

Manuel Pellegrini: "It was a very important victory - not only because we won the three points but also because of the way we played.

"We returned to our normal performance of playing attractive football, trying to scoring goals.

"I said after the Arsenal game it is difficult when you lose to discuss positive things but we had more than 60% of possession for the ball so that gave me some sign we were returning to our style.”

Kevin De Bruyne: "Before the game the manager said we need to play in the same style [as the Arsenal game] and obviously we did play a complete game offensively as well as defensively.

"I think all the players found their space very well today. "We are in contention at the top so for the moment we are fine. Obviously we want to go higher but we're in all the competitions so for the moment it is fine."

Media reaction...

"Stand up David Silva, the conjurer they call Merlin. The Manchester City star with the gold-dust feet was both mesmerising and spell-binding as he pulled out every trick in the book to leave Sunderland exiting stage left with their fourth straight Premier League defeat.

"Spaniard Silva formed a magical double act alongside Kevin De Bruyne – and with City facing the early season pacesetters Leicester on Tuesday night they lit the title fires once more." – Steve Millar, Daily Star

***

“Sunderland eased City’s passage to victory although with Kevin De Bruyne in this form, they needed little assistance. The Belgian scored one and made two more. Midway through his first campaign in Manchester, his tally stands at 10 goals and as many assists." – Richard Jolly, the Guardian

***

"City dispatched Sunderland with ease and looked comfortable throughout. This was their 16 home win out of 20 Premier League games in 2015 – a superb record worthy of praise. Right from the off, they were far better to a lacklustre Sunderland side. Quicker, sharper and technically superior, the only surprise was they didn’t score more." – Rob Pollard, Manchester Evening News


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