This is a day every Sunderland supporter will savour for a long time. Martin O’Neill was forced by injuries and sickness to pick a team to play the high-flying millionaires of Man City that had one wag speculating before kick-off that we’d do well to keep them down to single figures. We did 11 better than losing 10-nil. Here is Martin’s celebratory post-match e-mail …
The team gave absolutely everything today. I’ve been saying that for the last couple of weeks now, the effort has been fantastic, but today it was overwhelming.
I really couldn’t speak any higher of these lads. Their effort was fantastic; the crowd’s was too. They really helped get us over the line.
Simon Mignolet has just come into training this past week. He had a mask fitted about 10 days ago and with Keiren Westwood being ill, he stepped in and was fantastic.
Sebastian Larsson has been ill, he couldn’t get out of bed yesterday but decided this morning he would go for it, whether he lasted 10 minutes or half an hour – he did fantastically.
Lee Cattermole was also brilliant and the two fullbacks – who are midfield players – put in an incredible effort throughout the game.
The three points are of paramount importance to us as we’re in a real dogfight. I know that sounds strong, but it’s true – we need points and it’s so important.
We had chances ourselves and I accept the fact that Manchester City are a brilliant side and they’ll go very close to winning the league this year.
They camped outside our box for 10-15 minutes and we couldn’t get the ball. We threw bodies in front of shots and it was just a great effort all round.
When Ji came on to score that goal, icing on the cake seems to spring to mind!
It was sensational, fantastic and it was shared by 40,000 of us.
All the best,