How Big of A Missed Opportunity Was City’s Loss to Sunderland?
January 4, 2012
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It’s never easy to lose to a team in the bottom half of the league, but this story has definitely popped up all over the football news world. Manchester City was unable to come away with any points at all in their match-up against Sunderland, as they went down 1-0 when Ji Dong-won scored a goal in injury time to pull off the incredible upset at home. A loss is a loss, and losing in the Barclay’s Premier League is never anything to turn your nose up at regardless of who the team is, but the story behind this is exactly why it hurt Manchester City so badly.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini had some choice words about his teams loss, in a game that he called a “must win”, mainly due to the fact that the team who was tied up with them, Manchester United, lost on Saturday to Blackburn. It was a tough weekend for both teams at the top of the league, who both currently have 45 points, but one of them had a serious chance to bump that total for 48 and grab a firm hold of first place. A lot of it had to do with the missed chances to score for City, but it was really a combination of huge saves by Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet on two big named players in David Silva and Sergio Aguero, and also the fact that Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards both found the woodwork, but were unable to net a goal.
It wasn’t only City who had their fair share of chances though, as Sunderland put up quite a performance against this team. Nicklas Bendtner had a great opportunity that was stopped by City goalie Joe Hart, and in the second half Stephane Sessegnon just missed putting in a goal of his own. Interestingly about the win for Sunderland, is the fact that this was actually the second year in a row when they have beaten City at home in a 90th minute thriller.
Mancini made a few statements about the fact that the team simply didn’t recognize when they needed to be content settling for the one point, and instead left themselves very vulnerable, which led to Sunderland getting the game winner late. Life doesn’t get any easier right now for this team though, as they now head home to take on Liverpool this Tuesday, and then play Manchester United on Sunday in a huge FA Cup match-up which could be very telling about both teams.