Sunderland Halt Citeh's Charge
Manchester City's hopes of winning the Premier League received a bit of a blow as Sunderland held them to a 2-2 draw at the Etihad Stadium, but the Black Cats could have done even better.
City were expected to narrow the gap between themselves and Liverpool by three points but Gus Poyet and his men had other ideas as they fought back from a goal down to come within just a few minutes of winning the game when the home side equalised to make it 2-2.
City didn't look to be a whole lot to worry about without the services of Toure and Silva, but that fact only came to light after City took the lead after just two minutes.
With Sunderland still cold Aquero put in a pas that Negredo allowed to run passed him and Fernandinho was on hand to fire the ball home inside Mannone's near post.
After the goal, its fair to say that the visitors had any danger from City under control, in fact they had the better of the chances with O'Shea heading two efforts just wide of the target and Borini firing just past the upright.
City didn't look their usual selves after the half time break either with one of their goal machines, Aguero, going off just before the hour mark of his comeback game.
Sunderland began putting more effort into getting an equaliser and Colback saw a shot saved by Hart in the City goal, but the England man was beaten very soon after that when Giaccherini crossed for Wickham to volley the ball into the net for his first goal since coming back from being out on loan.
And that goal soon turned into a brace when Wickham ran onto another ball from Giaccherini while on the counter and fired past Hart to make it 2-1 to Sunderland.
With every minute that passed after the goal, hopes grew ever bigger but with the clock showing less than two minutes of normal time to go, Jovetic cut the ball back for Nasri and his shot straight at Mannone looked like nothing to trouble him but the keeper fumbled the ball and it squirmed past him and trickled over the line to make the score 2-2.
Nasri could have won the game for City shortly after when he lifted a shot over from six yards out.
Man City: Hart 6; Zabaleta 6, Kompany 5, Demichelis 5, Kolarov 5; Fernandinho 6 (Rodwell 87), Garcia 5; Milner 6, Aguero 6 (Jovetic 57, 6), Nasri 5; Negredo 5 (Dzeko 69, 6).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Clichy.
Sunderland: Mannone 5; Vergini 6, O'Shea 6, Brown 6, Alonso 6; Cattermole 6; Johnson 7, Larsson 6 (Gianccherini 68, 7), Colback 6, Borini 5 (Scocco 69, 6); Wickham 8.
Subs not used: Altidore, Ba, Mavrias, Agnew, Ustari.
Booked: Borini, Alonso.
Ref: Martin Atkinson.