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Sunday January 1, 2012Sunderland 1 - 0 Manchester City

By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games

Manchester City were made to pay for failing to take advantage of their dominance in possession as Sunderland secured a smash-and-grab win at the Stadium of Light.

Despite enjoying a large percentage of the ball, clear cut chances were few and far between, and substitute Dong-Wong Ji was on hand to fire home a winner to hand Martin O’Neill’s men a 1-0 win.

Sunderland were the most dangerous looking of the two sides early on and Nicklas Bendtner should have done better when he was set through on goal only to take the ball too wide following fine goalkeeping by Joe Hart.

James McClain then forced a solid low stop from City’s stopper with the visitors looking sluggish, whilst Stephane Sessegnon went close with a speculative overhead kick which Vincent Kompany cleared.

Finally City conjured something up, with Simon Mignolet making a stop first from Edin Dzeko’s effort before Samir Nasri saw his short cleared off the line.

Dzeko struck the woodwork minutes later with a half volley in the last real effort of note in the first half, whilst he went close not long after the interval with a low drive.

Micah was introduced along with Sergio Aguero and David Silva as Roberto Mancini went for the win, and the possession stats rocketed as City probed the Sunderland defence! Dzeko and Yaya Toure spurning opportunities in dangerous positions alike.

Micah himself went closest to a goal for the away side following a Parry by Mignolet, diving in with a header that struck the crossbar before John O’Shea’s hacked clearance, and City were to rue it as Sunderland grabbed the winner.

Ji Was picked out following Sunderland’s first break for 10 minutes and he kept his composure to dribble round Hart and slot the ball home to make it 1-0, leaving Mancini and the City faithful speechless and seal a much needed three points for the home side. They do, though, remain top of the Premier League on goal difference, and they now prepare for a home clash with Liverpool on Tuesday.

Sunderland: Mignolet; Gardner, Brown, O’Shea, Colback; Larsson, Cattermole, Vaughan, McClean; Sessegnon, Bendtner. Subs: Carson, Kilgallon, Elmohamady, Ji, Meyler, Noble, Laing.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, De Jong, Barry, Yaya, A. Johnson, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Clichy, Savic, Milner, Silva, Aguero.