Man City v Sunderland live!

22 March 2009 12:34
That's it. City claim their eight successive Premier League win over Sunderland, which means the Black Cats are still under real pressure. Thanks for joining me and don't forget to stick with for all the news, views videos and reaction.

90 I'm beginning to lose faith in Robinho after another great chance for the Brazilian goes begging. The Samba star strikes well, but straight at the impeccable Fulop.

89 Elano and Robinho create a chance for Fernandes on the counter, but Fulop pulls off another strong save to keep his side in the game with time running out.

89 Edwards' overhit corner comes to nothing to the disappointment of the Sunderland faithful to his left. City counter and Elano forces an acrobatic save from Fulop.

88 Fernandes is booked after catching Whitehead with a late challenge.

87 Fernandes comes on for Kompany as City try to use up some time and take some of the sting out of Sunderland's attacks.

86 Reid and Collins are causing problems after a couple of corners lead to goalmouth scrambles. The ball eventually finds its way to Leadbitter to shoot, but Given gets behind it well.

85 Richards goes off to be replaced by Garrido.

85 Collins crosses into the box for Cisse and the striker then handles the ball as it comes across before claiming Richards was the offender. Definitely not a penalty and that really is cheeky from the Frenchman.

84 Cisse plays Reid in for Sunderland's best chance of the game, but Dunne gets across to concede the corner.

83 Reid is then booked for his foul on Richards that was borne of frustration from not winning an earlier free-kick.

80 Ferdinand is booked for his protests to the referee's assistant for not flagging Richards offside. I don't think he was and it was a stupid card to pick up.

79 Richards again forces his way into the Ctiy box and crosses, but Robniho is caught on his heels.

76 The substitutions are a last throw of the dice for Sunderland. They have given it all in this game, but have been lacking up front. Leadbitter is yellow-carded after tangling with Bellamy.

74 Cisse comes on for Jones and Reid is on for Malbranque

73 Sunderland were down to nine men with Bardsley being treated after conceding that corner, but City are unable to capitalise. Robinho hits a tame shot at Fulop and that is another let off for the Black Cats.

70 Wright-Phillips charges down Collins' attempted clearance and then Anton Ferdinand half blocks the cross. Robinho looks certain to score with the ball dropping down towards his head, but Bardsley gets back to nod just over for a corner.

68 Bellamy gets his first touch down near the corner flag and the striker wins a throw in off Collins deep in Sunderland territory.

65 Here comes Bellamy on for the roundly applauded Bojinov. It's too late for the Welshman to get the first goal, but surely he's just the kind of player to capitalise against a tiring foe.

64 Jones offers a glimmer of hope up front but the blue tide is coming back wave after wave now and proving increasingly difficult to stop.

60 Richards again breaks free down the right before centring for Elano. The Brazilian looks certain to score as he breaks towards the six yard box, but instead slots his shot just wide. That's a real let off for Sunderland.

57 Sunderland are in one of those spells where they cannot clear the ball and Jones concedes a free-kick on Bojinov when trying to get back and help out. Richards heads in from the resulting Elano free-kick. Robinho tapped it in on the line so that will be a case for the dubious goals panel to sort out.

54 Bojinov and Richards combine down the right and the young defender feeds the ball back invitingly for Wright-Phillips. Lacking composure the winger blasts over though and that is a real disappointment after what was a great build up.

52 Bardsley is fortunate to get away without a second yellow card after sliding in through the back on Robinho. Sunderland cannot afford to go down to nine men so it looks like Sbragia could be forced into the substition.

51 Wright-Phillips and Elano both show great feet trying to break down this solid defensive wall in front of them. But the Black Cats are holding firm.

49 The ever-threatening Richards is caught offside trying to break into the box and the Eastlands faithful are starting to get a tad frustrated.

47 Another moment of controversy as Davenport is booked going down under pressure from Dunne in the box. Replays show the City defender did have a hold of his arm before the Sunderland sub went down rather easily it has to be said. If you don't go down you don't get them though.

45 We're back under way here with Sunderland kicking off and they win an early corner and then have a promising free-kick midway into the City half through Edwards running at Zabaleta.

Bellamy has been warming up at half-time and he's 5/1 to be the opening goalscorer. Can't get much closer than Robinho came but I'm still backing the little man to bounce back.

They've managed to hold on until half-time at least and it's 0-0 going into the interval. City will expect to win this though against 10-man Sunderland. They've had their chances through Wright-Phillips early on and Robinho's tame penalty.

45 Jones wins a free-kick to the ironic cheer of the Sunderland fans and they have still got a long way to go if they are to hold out here. Jones, Malbranque and Edwards continue to look dangeous up front, but the big man can look very isolated at times.

44 Richards is perhaps fortunate not to get booked after fouling Malbranque again and then kicking the ball away needlessly.

42 City are now camped in the corner of Sunderland's goal with Richards putting in a really robust challenge on Malbranque. Probably a free-kick and what aggression from the young man. He is such a tremendous competitor.

39 Edwards is growing into the game and starting to give Zabaleta a difficult time down the right flank. He wins a corner, but Sunderland lack numbers in the box and City are able to clear.

38 Leadbitter tries to go under the wall, but is blocked appeasing the screaming Given behind them.

37 The corner is cleared, but Sunderland keep the pressure on and Dunne concedes a free-kick right on the edge of the box attempting to tackle Malbranque.

35 Sunderland make their best break of the half with Jones looking a threat when he gets the ball. The rangy striker then wins a corner off Richards.

33 Kompany has another attempt on goal, but Sunderland just cannot clear their lines decisively. Richards then gets a shot away inside the box, but it is blocked out for a corner by Collins. Bojinov heads the resulting set-piece over.

31 Robinho and Elano both make strong runs at the Sunderland defence, but Kompany wastes the opportunity erring with his right boot and sending his shot over the bar.

30 Robinho and Bojinov combine to almost send Elano in and the pressure is really beginning to build.

29 City are knocking the ball about confidently trying to move the Sunderland defence around, but the Black Cats are sitting back and just soaking up every attack so far.

26 Richards is looking really dangerous in tandem with Wright-Phillips down the right. The latter of which finds Robinho, who can only nod on for Fulop to gather.

25 Jones and Malbranque work a shooting opportunity for Edwards, but the winger fires high and handsome disappointingly for Sbragia's side.

23 Bojinov and Barsley were both booked in the aftermath of the penalty and the former United defender, in particular, is treading a fine line from here on in.

22 Robinho takes the penalty instead of Elano for some reason and City pay the price. The Brazilian does that stuttering run up and then hits his shot weekly into the grateful arms of the diving Fulop. What a let off.

19 City win a penalty as Richards is brought down by Malbranque in the box. Terrible lunging challenge from behind and it's all going City's way here so far.

17 Davenport comes on for Murphy as Sbragia tries to reorganise his troops.

16 Bojinov's free-kick shot rises just over the bar to the 'oohs' of the Eastlands faithful.

15 Real moment of controversy as George McCartney tugs SWP back with the winger trying to get on to the end of a through ball. Fulop was coming out to claim the ball so it seems a little harsh and it was the linesman that gave it. Massive blow for Sunderland and they now have a free-kick to defend on the edge of their own box.

13 Sunderland have rarely been out of their own half so far, but Whitehead wins a free-kick on the halfway line to alleviate some pressure. Their passing has been poor so far though and the move comes to nothing.

11 Hughes can have no complaints about the opening Bojinov has made to the game in his first start since August 2007. That ball through to SWP was superb and followed a lovely interchange with Elano.

10 Elano shows tricky feet in the centre of midfield to the delight of the crowd and Wright-Phillips is then played through on goal by Bojinov for a one-on-one with Fulop. The former Chelsea man spurns the opportunity, though, chipping just wide when he seemed certain to score

8 Onuoha rises above Jones to meet the ball delivered swiftly from the corner, but cannot direct his header down to test Fulop.

6 Elano sets Wright-Phillips away down the left and the England winger wins an early corner.

4 Nigel de Jong snaps in with a strong tackle in midfield and looks like he has a point to prove.

3 Michah Richards wins a free-kick gallivanting down the right, but it comes to nothing and Sunderland are able to break through Malbranque, Jones and Leadbitter. The latter's cross is a little too high for his striker though and Given gets his first touch of the ball.

1 A stifled rendition of Blue Moon rings out as Elano and Bojinov kick off, but no sooner have they done so than they gift keeper Martin Fulop an early touch.

14:59 The teams are out to a warm welcome from the Eastlands crowd and Sunderland looked really psyched up. Just how much of an effect that 120 minutes in Denmark will take on City remains to be seen. Here goes.

14:45 City are 4/6 for the win with skybet, with Sunderland 9/2 to take the three points and draw level with their hosts in the table. The Draw is 5/2, but I'm going to boldly tip Robinho for the first goal at 5/1. The Brazilian has yet to break his scoring duck in 2009, but I reckon today could be the day!

14:35 Nigel de Jong starts after missing City's Uefa Cup tie with Aalborg, while Ched Evans drops to the bench and Craig Bellamy has failed to recover from a knee injury. Valeri Bojinov starts up front, while Richard Dunne is back in the centre of defence and Kevin Ireland has been left out of the City squad altogether. Anton Ferdinand is back for Sunderland, meanwhile, and Ricky Sbragia has gone with Kenwyne Jones up front. Phil Bardsley can also expect a hot reception after the former United player's latest comments about the blue half of Manchester in the morning press.

14:30 Here are the teams, as promised. Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Zabaleta, Wright-Phillips, Elano, De Jong, Kompany, Robinho, Bojinov.Subs: Hart, Garrido, Fernandes, Evans, Etuhu, Berti, Bellamy.

Sunderland: Fulop, Bardsley, Collins, Ferdinand, McCartney, Edwards, Whitehead, Leadbitter, Murphy, Malbranque, Jones.Subs: Gordon, Cisse, Yorke, Reid, Davenport, Healy, McShane.

Referee: Steve Tanner (Somerset)

Source: SKY_Sports