McNair own goal gets Guardiola off to winning start

McNair own goal gets Guardiola off to winning start
Image credit: VAVEL
Manchester City
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Manchester City: (4-2-3-1) Caballero; Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy (Iheanacho 80'); Fernandinho, Silva (Delph 64'); Nolito (Jesus Navas 59'), De Bruyne, Sterling; Aguero.
Sunderland: (5-3-2) Mannone; Love, Kaboul, Kone, O’Shea, van Aanholt; Rodwell, Gooch (Khazri 65'), Watmore (Januzaj 64'); Borini, Defoe (McNair 83').
SCORE: 1-0, Aguero PEN 4'. 1-1, Defoe 71'. 2-1, McNair OG 87'.
REFEREE: Bobby Madley. Booked: Gooch (42'), Love (67'), Kolarov (90+1').

So, Guardiola is off to a winning start in England - just. McNair's unfortunate own-goal and Sergio Aguero's penalty gave City a deserved win, but Jermain Defoe's stike would have shook the hosts. I've been Jonathan Walsh, be sure to stick with VAVEL for more commetator curses and coverage of this weekend's Premier League action.

FT - Manchester City 2-1 Sunderland (Aguero PEN 4', McNair OG 87' - Defoe 71')

90+1' Kolarov goes into the book late on for a cynical challenge out wide. Not long left now.

90' A superb block denies Iheancho after Aguero leads the breakway. Four minutes added on.

Just four minutes after coming on, McNair ends up being hit with the ball after Mannone parries a cross and it falls into the Sunderland net. There is little anyone can do, as it would have gone in anyway with Delph ready to pounce. He is still the greatst export from Ballyclare.


83' The greatest export from Ballyclare has came on for Sunderland, as McNair replaces Defoe. Time to shut up shop. All changes made for both sides.

80' City finally get men forward with pace and find de Bruyne on the edge of the area, only to see him send his shot into the stands. More of that needed for Guardiola's men. Iheanacho replaces Clichy.

76' That's set the cat amongst the pigeons! City fans are silent and their side are yet to issue a response. The Sunderland support have chirped up and their side have duly upped the tempo.

What a simple but well-worked goal! Januzaj the creator, manages to work space on the edge of the area before slipping Defoe in through the heart of the City defence. He slides under Caballero, sending the away end delerious.


68' A cross would have been a more conventional option, but instead the Belgian shoots and brings a good save from Mannone. Sunderland eventually clear.

67' Donald Love goes into the book after a cynical challenge, chance for de Bruyne to deliver from the left wing..

64' Changes for both sides. Fabian Delph reaplces David Silva, while Sunderland bring on Wahbi Khazri and Adnan Januzaj for Gooch and Duncan Watmore.

61' Close! The hosts almost add a second after the ball bounces around in the box before dropping to Aguero, though he swivels and shoots wide.

59' Some nice play sees City get Aguero in behind the defence, but he's called for offside. Nolito replaced by Navas in the game's first substitution.

55' Don't worry, the website isn't broken *touch wood* there's just very little to say other than City have the ball - still. Jesus Navas preparing to come on.

50' The break has changed absolutely nothing in terms of City's play, they looks just as dominant as before the interval. Tough to get going, from a Sunderland point of view.

Second-half! City get us back underway in Manchester, no changes for either side.

HT - Manchester City 1-0 Sunderland (Aguero 4')

42' Gooch earns the game's first yellow for pulling back Raheem Sterling.

41' SAVE! Rodwell's shot takes a deflection wide and the resulting corner is poor, but Sunderland keep it in the danger area and it falls for Defoe. The veteran striker pokes towards goal and Caballero does well to save from close range.

36' This has really been a half for footballing purists, or Manchester City fans. Very little to say other than the Citizens have the ball, nothing in the way of clear-cut chances, penalty aside.

31' A rare foray forward from Love sees the youngster whip a good ball into Defoe, but pressure from Stones forces him to handle and the chance is gone.

27' Bobby Madley replaces the ball, insert jokes about possession and touches here. Much like Guardiola's Bayern, an early goal has killed the tempo to this one.

23' The hosts come again and apply more pressure on the Black Cats' goal, but Mannone does well to parry a cross into the air and then collect.

19' Sterling tries a hopeful shot from the edge of the area that flies well over the area, though the hosts did do well to create the space initiallly.

16' It's all calmed down now after that incredibly frantic start at the Etihad, but City are, unsurprisingly, dominating possession massively.

11' Good play by Gooch! A poor Caballero clearance is capitalised upon and Sunderland move the ball quickly to the left, but the youngster's cross goes through the box without a team-mate's touch.

10' Another chance for the hosts and Aguero, although it's easy pickings for Mannone to his left.

7' City continuing to apply pressure on the Sunderland back-line, as van Aanholt concedes a corner. De Bruyne's ball in is woeful, though, and ends up nearer to the half way line than the box.

From defence to attack for many people's title favourites, and Aguero calmly slots home the penalty for his and City's first goal of the season. 1-0!


4' PENALTY CITY! Van Aanholt brings down Sterling in the box..

3' Caballero forced into an early save. Van Aanholt's free-kick is dealt with comfortably by the 'keeper, as Gooch's ball to the back post is eventually headed behind for a goal kick.

2' Early free-kick chance for Sunderland after Manchester City overplay at the back, Defoe almost slipped in.

Kick-off! We're underway at the Etihad!

17:27. The teams are out on the pitch as both managers make their competitive bows. It's going to be a good one!

17:20. 10 minutes until kick-off at the Etihad, who are you tipping tonight?

17:10. Manchester City, without Joe Hart: (4-2-3-1) Caballero; Sagna, Stones, Kolarov, Clichy; Fernandinho, Silva; Nolito, De Bruyne, Sterling; Aguero.

17:00. Here are your teams, starting with Sunderland: (5-3-2) Mannone; Love, Kaboul, Kone, O’Shea, van Aanholt; Rodwell, Gooch, Watmore; Borini, Defoe.

Now you're up to speed with everything coming into the game, join us again at 5:00pm for team news and further build-up to today's tussle. If you want some further reading, David Nunn's preview will tie you over in the meantime.

Predicted Sunderland line-up: (4-2-3-1) Mannone; Love, Kaboul, Kone, van Aanholt; McNair, Rodwell; Borini, Khazri, Januzaj; Defoe.

Predicted Manchester City line-up: (4-2-3-1) Hart; Zabaleta, Stones, Otamendi, Clichy; Fernando, Fernandinho; Sterling, Silva, Nolito; Aguero.

The Black Cats have somewhat of a midfield crisis at the moment, with Lee Cattermole, Sebastian Larsson and Jan Kirchhoff all out injured. The usual midfield partnership are not expected to be out for long, although Larsson is set for six months on the sidelines. Billy Jones is also injured, meaning new signings McNair and Love will likely be thrown into action at the deep end.

After City's summer spending spree their squad now has real quality right through it, even more so than before. Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gündogan are both out with long-term problems, and the same can be said of Samir Nasri. Bacary Sagna, Leroy Sané and Kevin de Bruyne may sit this game out after their Euro 2016 commitments this summer, though the Citizens will still have a remarkable squad at their disposal.

It's been a stuttering period of business in terms of the Black Cats' July and August movements. They sealed their only four arrivals in the last few weeks, as Allardyce finally left and transfers could commence. Papy Djilobodji is the big money signing to date, costing £8m to bring him in from Chelsea. Paddy McNair and Donald Love made the switch from Manchester United for a combined £5.5m, and Adnan Januzaj has joined on loan from the Red Devils.

Can Moyes guide his side to an unlikely result in Manchester? | Image credit: Sunderland AFC
Can Moyes guide his side to an unlikely result in Manchester? | Image credit: Sunderland AFC

It has been a very busy transfer window for the incoming Spanish coach, as he welcomed over £160m worth of players into the Etihad. John Stones and Leroy Sané add up to well over half of that alone, with Ilkay Gündogan and highly-rated Brazilian teenager Gabriel Jesus also costing over £20m each. Nolito, Marlos Moreno and Oleksandr Zinchenko have also joined the club. Eden Dzeko headlines the Citizens' few departures.

This is the first time we will see both managers in competitive action. Guardiola's move to Manchester was well-documented and was announced well before last campaign came to a close, but the same cannot be said of Moyes' appointment. After much back-and-forth between Sam Allardyce and his decision to take the England job, Sunderland acted quickly to appoint the Scot. He maintained their unbeaten pre-season form, but can he keep that run going when it really matters?

Good evening and welcome to VAVEL's live text commentary of Manchester City's game against Sunderland on the first Premier League matchday of the 2016-17 season. The Citizens will be keen to finally get going after Pep Guardiola's arrival and the heavy summer spend that has come with the Spaniard's appointment. As for the Black Cats, David Moyes is now at the helm after a topsy-turvy summer of change with the future looking no clearer as transfer sagas continue to dominate.