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 Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 09:50 GMT
City sink sad Sunderland
Marc-Vivien Foe opens the scoring for City
Marc-Vivien Foe opens the scoring for City
Sunderland 0-3 Man City

Sunderland remain deep in relegation trouble after Manchester City recorded a comfortable victory at a deserted Stadium of Light.

Goals from Marc-Vivien Foe, Sun Jihai and Shaun Goater handed City all three points as they continue their rise up the Premiership table with their fifth win in seven games.

Foe scored his first ever goal for City just before the break and the opener seemed to damage Sunderland's already fragile confidence.

Sun Jihai doubled the visitors' advantage in the second half, before Goater contributed a superb third late on to compound the Black Cats' misery.

Key incidents
36 mins: Bjorklund heads against his own post
44 mins: Foe puts Man City into the lead
62 mins: Sun Jihai doubles City's advantage
83 mins: Anelka misses from two yards out
87 mins: Goater scores a classy third

The poverty of Sunderland's performances so far this season meant that they went into the game without having scored in more than six-and-a-half hours of football.

But Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson kept faith with his misfiring strike force of Tore Andre Flo and Kevin Phillips.

The pair have yet to form any kind understanding, which often resulted in Flo running into the same space as Phillips in a poor opening period.

Five wins in seven is great, but seven in seven would be better

Man City boss Kevin Keegan
The latter did have two half-chances to add to his only goal of the current campaign.

However, he was first deceived by the flight of Kevin Kilbane's cross and then denied by some last-ditch City defending.

Michael Proctor spurned the hosts' best opportunity to end their goal drought, firing straight at City goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel from inside the area.

Not surprisingly, City played some pretty football but could not quite penetrate the Sunderland rearguard, who lost Jody Craddock in the pre-match warm-up to an ankle injury.

Just as the first half seemed set to end in stalemate, Foe chased Sun Jihai's free-kick.

He made the most of Jurgen Macho's hesitancy to lift the ball over the Sunderland keeper and stroke it into an empty net.

The same duo swapped roles for City's second goal. Foe surged forward and spotted Sun Jihai making a darting run into the Sunderland area.

Sun Jihai of Manchester City celebrates his goal
Sun Jihai weighed in with City's second

Macho failed to deal with Foe's cut-back, spilling the ball at the feet of Sun Jihai who made no mistake to virtually end the game as a contest.

In an attempt to reduce the deficit, Wilkinson made a triple substitution, bringing on the exciting David Bellion.

And the pacy Frenchman just failed to connect with a corner which would surely have brought Sunderland a goal.

Bellion then fashioned another good chance, forcing a good save from Schmeichel.

City striker Goater applied the gloss to an impressive away performance, finishing a three-man move involving Nicolas Anelka and Eyal Berkovic with a crisp strike.


Sunderland: Macho, McCartney, Wright, Babb, Gray (Stewart 66), Bjorklund, Kilbane, Thirlwell, Proctor, Phillips (Bellion 66), Flo (Kyle 67).
Subs Not Used: Poom, Williams.

Man City: Schmeichel, Dunne, Jihai, Distin, Howey, Tiatto, Horlock, Berkovic, Foe, Anelka, Goater.
Subs Not Used: Nash, Benarbia, Huckerby, Wiekens, Jensen.

Booked: Tiatto, Jihai.

Attendance: 36,511

Referee: S Dunn (Avon).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Ron Jones
"These are troubled times for Sunderland"
 Man City boss Kevin Keegan
"It will help our goal difference a little bit"
 Sunderland boss Howard Wilkinson
"It doesn't get more disappointing than that"
 VOTE RESULTS
Will Kevin Phillips leave Sunderland?

Yes
 87.52% 

No
 12.48% 

17081 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Sunderland fans look dejected after their latest defeat as BBC Sport Online profiles the team battling to avoid relegation from the Premiership
The survival rivals

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