Citizens capital gain over Black Cats
Written By: Robert Halter
The Black Cats were the underdogs in the capital crunch with the Citizens for the showpiece final of the 2014 Captial One Cup at an early afternoon kick off time on Sunday, March 2 at Wembley Stadium. On eight minutes, Manchester City had the first bite of the cherry but Sunderland’s Vito Mannone was at full stretch to palm away Sergio Aguero’s pillar driver on eight minutes. But it was the Black Cats that drew first blood a minute later, with a ball over by Adam Johnson against his former club and after hesitancy from City captain, Vincent Kompany, from a tight angle on the right hand side of the penalty area, Fabio Borini, tucked the ball past Costel Pantilimon, into the left corner. On just under the quarter of an hour mark, Wes Brown put a header over from a Seb Larsson corner, as Sunderland were unable to stretch their lead. In the twenty sixth minute, Aguero broke down the right flank but the final touch from Samir Nasri, eluded him after advancing through on goal. Borini was again in the thick of things on thirty two minutes, after making a crucial headed clearance from a Nasri corner. On thirty eight minutes, Kompany made amends for his earlier mistake by denying Borini a goal scoring opportunity with a saving tackle. The Citizens were the quickest out of the traps for the second half and two minutes in, a dipping curling strike by Pablo Zabaleta turned past the top left corner of the crossbar. On forty nine minutes, Nasri created the space for David Silva, whose tamely hit shot was comfortably collected by Mannone. But a minute later, Ki Sung-Yueng, produced a long range thunderbolt that an alert Pantilimon had to palm over, after a bolt from the blue by the Black Cats. But the grand stage was left to Yaya Toure in the fifty fourth minute, as Zabaleta laid the ball off for Toure, who from outside the box bent the ball into the top right corner. It turned the game around, as within two minutes, the Citizens produced another piece of quality to forge ahead as Aleksander Kolarov provided the perfect platform for Nasri to curl the ball in from close range. City then switched Aguero for Jesus Navas before the Black Cats made a double change of Steven Fletcher for Larsson and Craig Gardner for Johnson. The tails were up for City in just over the hour mark as Kolarov teed the ball up for Nasri again, who sent a soaring shot over. On seventy one minutes, the Black Cats were unable to capitalise on hesitancy by Zabaleta after Fletcher lapped up the rebound but could only direct his strike into the path of Pantilimon. Further changes were made as Sunderland’s last substitution saw Emanuele Giaccherini replace Lee Catermole while City took off Silva for Javi Garcia. In the eightieth minute, Kompany was close to a crowning moment from Nasri’s corner but was unable to put the icing on the cake as he diverted the ball wide. With the Captial One Cup in site, show boating by Zabaleta was met with a rip roaring strike over the top in the eighty fourth minute. At the end, the Citizens took off Eden Dzeko for Alvaro Negredo. The game was finally signed, sealed and delivered in the eighty ninth minute, after a commanding run by Toure from the centre of the park which provided the space for Navas to beat Mannone at his near post with an acute finish to round off a 3-1 win for the Citizens to land their new manager, Manuel Pellegrini a major trophy while the Black Cats latest boss, Gus Poyet saw his team pick up the losing medals.