By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City salvaged a point against Sunderland having stared in the face of defeat for much of the match at the Stadium of Light, with Micah looking solid at right-back.
City were looking for a repeat performance after their destruction of Chelsea in their least league outing, but Steve Bruce’s men had their own idea as Kenwyne Jones attacked early on before finding Shay Given with his shot.
And it was the Black Cats’ forward who drew first blood as Steed Malbranque picked him out with a left-footed cross and, without a challenge in the centre of City’s box, Jones headed home with nine minutes on the clock to make it 1-0.
Micah was attempting to break forward in support of the midfield at every opportunity and on one such occasion he went down under pressure from Keiron Richardson, but the referee waved play on.
At the other end, the 21-year old had to be alert to the danger as he slid in to block Malbranque’s shot on goal, and with the hosts in front City found it tough-going to make any real headway at the other end.
Another charge by Micah saw him cut the ball back for Shaun Wright-Phillips, and while the latter’s shot was miscued, Gareth Barry should have done better with his own which curled wide.
The first-half belonged to Sunderland as their hard work restricted City to half-chances, but Roque Santa Cruz was set clean through within moments of the restart after a fine ball by Carlos Tevez only for the Paraguayan to see his effort denied by Craig Gordon.
Wright-Phillips then tried to catch Gordon off guard with a near post shot which the Scotland international was equal to, and he made it three saves in quick succession with another block from Bellamy’s cross-cum-shot.
Tevez was also to be disappointed by the impressive Black Cats keeper, latching on to the loose ball and shooting form point-blank range, but the score remained as it was following an instinctive save by Gordon.
City were increasingly gaining the upper-hand as Sunderland’s quick start seemed to catch up with them, and Bellamy’s pace took him through on goal only for Gordon to deny his opponent.
When Roberto Mancini’s men did make the break through it seemed unfair on Gordon given that it came in the wake of another fine stop from Bellamy once again.
The corner was only cleared as far as Adam Johnson, and the Sunderland-born midfielder curled the ball in beautifully with his left foot only for the cross / shot to evade Gordon and his defenders and level the game at 1-1.
The final whistle was then blown much to the disappointment of the home crowd who were so close to celebrating their side’s victory, but Bruce will have been pleased with his players’ efforts.
Sunderland: Gordon, Hutton, Turner, Mensah, Ferdinand, Campbell, Richardson, Meyler, Malbranque, Jones, Bent. Subs: Carson, Bardsley, McCartney, Zenden, Henderson, Da Silva, Kilgallon.
Man City: Given, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Zabaleta, De Jong, Barry, Bellamy, Tevez. Subs: Taylor, Ireland, Adam Johnson, Santa Cruz, Sylvinho, Vieira, Toure.
Sunderland: Jones (9’)
Man City: A Johnson (90’)