HT: Manchester City 1 SAFC 2. Justice at the interval

Jake leaves no Stone unturned in his search for optimism

Finished 3-3: this report now supersed by

We have not won at Man City since 1998, when Kevin Phillips scored the only goal at Maine Road. We managed to score twice in the first half in the grander surrounds of the Etihad today.

It is difficult, on the strength of a lazy, stuttering stream with Citycentric commentary, interspersed with Barnes and Bennett in Sunderlandcentric coverage on the radio, to be sure whether Edin Dzeko dived or merely took advantage of Craig Gardner’s carelessly proffered leg to ensure there was contact that could, and was, interpreted as a foul. Balotelli, who would say with some reason that he should have a penalty earlier, tucked the spot kick away.

But no one listening or watching to this game could be in any serious doubt that when Nicklas Bendtner put Sudnerland back ahead, it was to give Sunderland a thoroughly deserved first-half lead. Sessegnon had played crucial parts in both goals, setting up Seb Larsson for a great finish to put us ahead and then crossing superbly for Bendtner’s header.

Who knows whether we can keep up the magnificence of this display for the remaining 45?

But this was a first-half performance of strength, passion and enterprise. Ha’way the Lads …

And I loved this, from Andy Potts, listening in Moscow, at the Blackcats list: “Enjoyed our Russian commentator telling us Cattermole without a yellow card was like a cake without cream.”

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