• FT

    Man City

    3

    Sunderland

    0

  • FT

    Chelsea

    4

    Norwich

    1

  • FT

    Swansea

    2

    Reading

    2

  • FT

    West Brom

    3

    QPR

    2

  • FT

    Wigan

    2

    Everton

    2

  • FT

    West Ham

    1

    Arsenal

    3

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Etihad Stadium

Attendance: 47036

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Manchester City

  • Aleksandar Kolarov 5'
  • Sergio Agüero 60'
  • James Milner 89'

3 - 0

FT

Watch Live on: ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    James Tyler: Bye for now!

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, then. Enjoy the 10am games, look for an Andy Carroll hat-trick vs. Arsenal at 12.30pm, then see you back here TOMORROW at 1.30pm ET for Barcelona v. Real Madrid. Should be alright.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, maybe so. But Milan's history, etc etc etc

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    Juventus vs Napoli is the biggest Serie A game this year though

  •  

    James Tyler: Cheers, all, for joining us! Shame we had to see Man City win in the process. Alas.

  •  

    James Tyler: We'll have an eye on it. Not much we can do when Serie A and La Liga fail to confer over their biggest games.

  •  

    [Comment from Mort]
    how about the Milan derby?

  •  

    James Tyler: In the interim, check us out on Twitter:
    @JamesTylerESPN
    @rogbennett
    @PCarrESPN

  •  

    James Tyler: 1.30pm ET

  •  

    James Tyler: 30 mins before kick-off...

  •  

    James Tyler: We will be OPEN tomorrow for El Clasico. Mark it. Rog and me.

  •  

    James Tyler: Right then. Boot Room needs to be shuttered. Exterminators first -- roaches found our stash of meat pies -- followed by a steam cleaner for the carpet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Three lovely goals for City, too. More importantly, a precious clean sheet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Then, proverbial floodgates opened. Dam burst, etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: Weird game. All too easy for City. No pressure from the Mackems midfield allowed Yaya and Silva to shine. Tevez worked hard, Kolarov deadly from the set piece. That said, game was muted until Aguero entered for Balotelli.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Man City is unbeaten in 33 straight home league games, chasing the club record of 41 set from 1919-21.

  •  

    James Tyler: And City fans treated to some fulltime Oasis, as is the custom.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ha! Indeed. RODDERS FOR BALLON D'OR

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Clean sheet, Jack Rodwell MOTM

  •  

    James Tyler: FULL TIME: Man City 3, Sunderland 0. Easy as you like. Mackems offer little meaningful resistance.

  •  

    James Tyler: Last call for Darke/Macca questions... #FCBootroom

  •  

    James Tyler: 30 seconds left.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    James Milner scores his first goal in 20 appearances. His 5 PL goals vs Sunderland are his most vs any club.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Aguero free again with Mackems defending rather shoddy. Turns infield but can't beat Mignolet's outstretched hand despite having the net at his mercy.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Way to give Rodwell some confidence back Mancini. Let him play injury time in a game that you're already winning 3-0.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Jack Rodwell: the ultimate 3-0 sub?

  •  

    James Tyler: With a three-goal cushion, Rodwell can be safely deployed.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR MAN CITY: David Silva off, Jack Rodwell on.

  •  

    James Tyler: He takes the set piece, takes a healthy deflection off the Sunderland wall and whizzes through Mignolet. Unlucky for Sunderland.

  •  

    James Tyler: James Milner

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR MAN CITY!

  •  

    James Tyler: Aye, and he's had a good game. Lost Fletcher in the box a couple of times but has general owned the center back spot in Kompany's absence.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Did I see that Richards made the rare start today, as well?

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick for City, left side of the box. Narrow angle.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD FOR SUNDERLAND: Craig Gardner with a thuggish, unnecessary foul on a rampaging Kolarov.

  •  

    James Tyler: Two minutes left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kolarov sublime free kick for goal #1, super sub Aguero with a lovely near-post finish for goal #2. Balotelli started but couldn't finish. Good days for Yaya Toure and David Silva as well. Much needed elixir for the confidence after Wednesday's whimper vs. Dortmund.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sunderland's parked bus stuck in tunnel, Mackems offer meek resistance to bombastic City side.

  •  

    [Comment from FOP Aaron]
    Oh no, overslept, what have I missed?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City: Kolarov has two shots from the edge of the box. Both blocked. First one looked to be an obvious handball.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR MAN CITY: Tevez off, Gael Clichy on. Good, industrious day for Carlito. More importantly, no drama.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Sunderland: Gardner uncorks one from distance, Hart dives for it and Lescott's headed intervention almost sends it in at the near post. Pings out for a corner, one that Sunderland does nothing with.

  •  

    James Tyler: Six minutes left. City allowing Sunderland to have a go.

  •  

    James Tyler: IF IT HOLDS, would be City's first clean sheet of the season.

  •  

    James Tyler: You and Roberto Mancini.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan]
    More than another goal, I'd like to see City serve up a bagel.

  •  

    James Tyler: Micah Richards connects with another corner but his effort's blocked.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SUNDERLAND: Sessegnon off, Frazier Campbell on. The young striker gets booed because yes, he played for Man United once. These City fans have the minds of elephants.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another flowing upfield move for City ends with Zabaleta winning a corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Less than 10 minutes left in a bit of a mercy killing.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD, SUNDERLAND: Jack Colback nibbles a bit too much of Pablo Zabaleta's ankle on the right flank.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Sunderland deploying the always risky "Zonal Standing Around" in the second half.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Sunderland: Fletcher does well to find a bit of room at the top of the box. Takes his own low shot. Hart smothers comfortably.

  •  

    James Tyler: Weird that Sunderland did that last season and lost 5-0 to City the season before. Heading for a 5-0 defeat today, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Makes me wonder how Sunderland managed 4 points against City last season.

  •  

    James Tyler: City players seemingly lining up to shoot. Aguero has transformed this game since coming on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Did look like Jack Colback made a decent enough tackle.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yaya Toure pleads for a penalty. Lee Probert's not giving that. Not in this game.

  •  

    James Tyler: Much easier to look aggressive against such a helpless/passive opponent. Sunderland just trying to limit the damage at this point.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, yes and no. They also smell the proverbial blood in the water. Sunderland offering little resistance.

  •  

    [Comment from Will]
    this seems like the aggressive offense we saw from city last year

  •  

    James Tyler: "Chance" for City: Micah Richards has had enough of unmarked headers. Tries a bicycle kick from 15 yards instead. Nowhere near goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another surging City attack, another corner. Martin O'Neill's side barely hanging on. Could be down 5-0 by now.

  •  

    James Tyler: They absolutely have a chance with four still to play in the group, but it doesn't look good. Need maximum points against Ajax and must hope that Dortmund can't contain Real Madrid both home and away.

  •  

    [Comment from Pierce]
    Do you think City really has any chance getting out of their UCL group? Sorry if you've already covered this, but if it wasn't for Hart, they'd have gotten schellacked against Dortmund, which I fully expect to happen when they travel to Germany.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's the other way round. The most interesting guy IS Ian Darke.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Does Ian hang out with the most interesting man in the world guy? I picture him doing so

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Another unmarked header on target from Richards but a superb diving save by Mignolet to keep it out.

  •  

    James Tyler: City with another corner. Played short. Barry has a shot that is blocked by Craig Gardner's head. Corner again.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Keep the questions for Ian Darke and Macca coming: #FCBootroom

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Sunderland! Larsson guides a header goalward but Sessegnon fouls Joe Hart under the ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Sunderland as Kolarov heads an overhit cross behind.

  •  

    James Tyler: There was a defender on the line, mind. But that one was destined to ping in off the bar. Just about stayed out.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! This is a mess now. Tevez free again behind the Mackems defense. Mignolet comes off his line to get it but can't. Tevez shows patience to hold it, finds David Silva on the edge of the box. Silva's chip hits the bar with Mignolet scrambling to get back on his line.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Quick break up the middle as Silva/Aguero combine in midfield. Ball is fed wide for Tevez but he drags his shot inches wide of the far post.

  •  

    James Tyler: Johnson reportedly feeling "unwell." I'm sure, Adam. I'm sure.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SUNDERLAND: Adam Johnson off, Louis Saha on. Warm Etihad applause for the ex-City man as he leaves the field.

  •  

    James Tyler: I don't think the club had a choice. Gyan followed the money. Don't blame him for that. Football careers are largely brutish and short.

  •  

    [Comment from Chick23]
    Why did Sunderland ever let Asamoah Gyan go, he was exactly what they needed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Set piece headed clear at the near post.

  •  

    James Tyler: David Silva with a breezy, unchallenged run infield from the right touchline. Neat quick passes from there and City has another corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: A neanderthal shove by John O'Shea on Yaya Toure in midfield. Obvious foul.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wouldn't ANYONE be an upgrade?

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Aguero would certainly be an upgrade over Torres though.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Superb band. #musictweet RT @guardianmusic: Tame Impala: a trip inside the head of main man Kevin Parker gu.com/p/3apt6/tw #music

  •  

    James Tyler: Reserves bench, I bet.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Would Johnson be on the bench if he was still playing for City?

  •  

    James Tyler: Err, I think Chelsea is doing just fine, Pierce.

  •  

    [Comment from Pierce]
    Every time I see Aguero play I die a little bit inside. All that talk a few years back of Chelsea picking him up, almost certain to sign... and now this... I can only dream of how gloriously he would work with Mata, Hazard and Oscar...

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Sergio Agüero likes Etihad Stadium: 17 goals in 19 league games there.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd imagine so. Matter of time.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Floodgates to open now?

  •  

    James Tyler: Adam Johnson surely not enjoying being on the receiving end of this.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's certainly livened things up a touch.

  •  

    [Comment from Chick23]
    Talk about a super sub, well done Mr.Aguero

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Sunderland's reward for daring to open up/attack in the second half: going 2-0 down. No wonder bus parking en vogue.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jack Colback to LB where Rose was. Hopes that the injury-plagued Vaughn can add something robust in midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR SUNDERLAND: Danny Rose off, David Vaughn on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Really good goal. A knee-buckling uppercut after an hour of light jabs.

  •  

    James Tyler: Simple stuff, brilliant finish. Kolarov's left-flank cross, Aguero turns it sharply past Mignolet at the near post. Gorgeous finish into the top corner.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Sergio Aguero!

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR MAN CITY!

  •  

    James Tyler: Been a much more open second half, largely because Sunderland is showing more willingness to attack, thus opening more space for City to counter.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Guessing Mancini removed Balotelli due to his lack of "tracking back." Or he just likes to make things interesting.

  •  

    James Tyler: You can hear the fireworks from here.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Balotelli's off to destroy the locker room, I bet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Micah Richards springs up to meet the corner but Mignolet makes a fine save.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'd probably sneak Tim Krul in there. Took over for Shay Given once upon a time and made the Magpies' #1 position his own.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pepe Reina's far-too-frequent gaffes have dumped him down the list.

  •  

    James Tyler: Love Michel Vorm of Swansea. A steal last season in the transfer market.

  •  

    [Comment from Pierce]
    That makes me curious JT, your last statement saying "That's on form"... Overall, even if they aren't on form at the moment, who fills out your top three?

  •  

    James Tyler: That's your opinion, and I swear I didn't coerce you!

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Boot Room is more entertaining.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's slow to exit. Taking his time with the slow jog. High fives Adam Johnson en route to the sideline. Perfunctory greeting for his replacement. Trudges sharply down the tunnel. No eye contact for Mancini.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR MAN CITY: Balotelli off, Sergio Aguero on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Boot Room is in the US. The other chat is in London.

  •  

    [Comment from Casey]
    But what exactly makes Boot Room different than a Live Chat?

  •  

    James Tyler: This is interesting. 54th minute and Balotelli about to be removed. Should be fun to watch.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kolarov sharp to deny Fletcher reaching a Sessegnon through-ball.

  •  

    James Tyler: Currently? Joe Hart, Cech, Brad Friedel. That's on form, mind.

  •  

    [Comment from Cechs Headgear]
    Who are your top 3 GK's in the PL?

  •  

    James Tyler: Um, si?

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Ooooo, will you guys be talking Spanish for El Clasico?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Superb reflex stop by Hart to deny Fletcher's close-range header. He was offside, mind you, but still. Micah Richards is losing Fletcher far too easily. Not good. Well, it's good for Sunderland.

  •  

    James Tyler: Forgot to mention USMNT games and things like MLS Cup.

  •  

    James Tyler: Using that as a *ROUGH* template and you'll be fine. I will note, however, that it's obviously subject to change.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tech wizards are working on it. The shorthand assumptions are as follows: The Boot Room will be open for early AM Saturday games, Big Sunday games (like, for example, tomorrow afternoon's Clasico), Monday PM EPL games, and both midweek CL matchdays.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Can't believe I forgot about the Boot Room chat today. There needs a be an app that will remind me every time you are having one.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Awful corner is half-cleared. Second effort finds Richards unmarked in the six-yard box; his header is blocked and Danny Rose does brilliantly on the line to deny his follow-up shot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Opening up a bit now. Yaya Toure strikes one from the edge of the box that Mignolet parries smartly over the bar. Was largely unsighted given the sun in his eyes.

  •  

    James Tyler: Moment of panic for City. Joe Hart almost had to do something.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Sunderland! Larsson opens up the City defense with an angled cross-field chip into the box, Fletcher sneaks in behind Micah Richards but the City defender recovers well to block Fletcher's volley.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good infield run by David Silva but his pass for Yaya Toure at the top of the box is too strong. Ball gets away from him.

  •  

    James Tyler: Feels like a training exercise.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, that too.

  •  

    [Comment from kempy]
    Forget clinical, maybe City can get more than 2 on target this half

  •  

    James Tyler: Adam Johnson does well down the right, rockets a cross in that Lescott turns behind for a corner. Set piece amounts to nothing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sessegnon's industry will be key if the Mackems are to have a better second half.

  •  

    James Tyler: For the record, I'd have Balo taking every PK.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    James Tyler: One would assume set pieces are practiced at great length. And I'd imagine managers do draw up a hierarchy of potential takers. But on the field, players generally sort it out.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryan]
    Seems like Balotelli wants to take every free kick and every penalty. I wonder how often the taking of free kicks is discussed during training.

  •  

    James Tyler: Gamesmanship? Not that it's needed.

  •  

    James Tyler: City keeps Sunderland waiting by lingering in the tunnel.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jack Colback and Adam Johnson conferring prior to the restart. Amazing it's only 1-0. Sunderland fortunate that City is lacking a clinical attitude around goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Every touch Craig Gardner has had has been destructive.

  •  

    James Tyler: Any team can press an opponent. Mercifully, chasing the ball and making heavy tackles doesn't require a ton of skill. It's a good approach for a lesser team. But they're just not trying.

  •  

    [Comment from Corning]
    so far the teams that have subdued City have flooded the middle of the park with 'runners'; Sunderland should follow suit; i'm just not sure they have he personel...

  •  

    James Tyler: Answer is: not that great? To be fair, this is hardly the game for him to showcase himself. Rather isolated on the wing and his side seemingly not committed to attack.

  •  

    [Comment from Mort]
    we'll find out how good adam johnson really is without all the superstars around him.

  •  

    James Tyler: City really isn't the team you want to see enjoying comfortable possession. And yet Martin O'Neill is content to let the Etihad hosts knock it around like a training exercise.

  •  

    [Comment from adlarcada_ESPN via Twitter]
    Seeing Balotelli want to take every free kick made me look.. it turns out he hasn't scored in 16 direct free kicks in past 3 PL+UCL seasons

  •  

    James Tyler: Not sure the counter-attack approach is working. Some pressure on City in possession in midfield might be a start. David Silva and Yaya Toure being afforded all sorts of space to pick passes.

  •  

    James Tyler: What does Sunderland need to do in the second half? Besides wake up.

  •  

    James Tyler: The dreaded international break. I reckon we'll have swept out the Boot Room sufficiently to host the USMNT game.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    It'd be a lot nicer to see Dempsey back in a US kit, rather than Tottenham's...if he's selected for the squad.

  •  

    [Comment from EFC Mike]
    Roger any predictions for Everton today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Back in the saddle. Son woke up. He had a dream that Sunderland got thumped in the second half. And he might be right. The Mackems look largely lifeless, defending too deep and not committing anyone forward to give Fletcher a chance around goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Back in a sec. And Sir Ian/Macca get your questions in.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: HALF TIME: Man City 1, Sunderland 0. The most muted, lop-sided one-goal game I've seen in a while.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Dortmund who? City will feel relieved to have recovered their pedigree. Barry shielding, Yaya forward, Silva flickering, Tevez snapping and no Garcia or Maicon. But Sunderland never really got going in that first half...

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for Sunderland: Larsson's deep cross from the left flank is toe-poked toward goal by Stephen Fletcher. Easy stop for Joe Hart.

  •  

    [Comment from Myo]
    Looks like Sunderland are playing the strategy of 'Get the Goal Keeper Cold'

  •  

    James Tyler: Cuellar does just enough to shank the ball away from Carlos Tevez at the edge of the box.

  •  

    James Tyler: Can't be much stoppage time here. Clock shows two added minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from Coop]
    Mancini is probably happy that Super Mario hasn't punched him in the throat yet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Promising attack by Sunderland down the right. Sessegnon doing yeoman's work to fake Lescott out and create room for a cross. When it eventually comes in, Seb Larsson spins and shins it out for a goal kick. Worst shot ever?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: They would both obviously prefer to be Sir Ian

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I would ask the question about who Sir Ian would rather be. Sir Alex Ferguson or Mancini with the rest of the campaign ahead of them.

  •  

    James Tyler: Two minutes to half time. Keep sending queries for Sir Ian Darke and Macca to solve: #FCBootroom

  •  

    James Tyler: #RoqueSantaCruz

  •  

    James Tyler: Heh. Was just thinking about Jo the other day. Amazing how many duff players have had the honor of passing through Man City in recent seasons.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sunderland playing as if it was them. not us, who had to get up at 7.30 AM for this game.

  •  

    [Comment from Emma]
    That left back you forgot? Jo. Okay, he wasn't technically a left back, but we was always left back in the locker room...

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    @j85royals More like Sunderland backing off and both players dropping deep to get ball unchallenged.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City: deep defending by Sunderland allows Gareth Barry a shot from 25 yards. He plasters it wide of the mark.

  •  

    [Comment from myo]
    worse I've seen sunderland play this season.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: An amazing statistic that about Fletcher. Though pass to McClean would have been the wiser option in that position. Sunderland lacking in composure going forward

  •  

    James Tyler: "Chance" for Sunderland: Stephen Fletcher gets his first shot of the game. It's on target from the edge of the box but right at Hart. Easy save.

  •  

    James Tyler: BALO WATCH: Thinks he's fouled in the Sunderland box, a claim rebuffed by ref Lee Probert. Files another grievance in his mind. Surely plotting his red card masterstroke.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City: Corner barely cleared, Balotelli traps it at the top of the box and tries to gently curl a shot inside the far post. He's off by a few feet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City: Tevez with typically busy work in the attacking third to fend off Colback and Gardner, though his shot pings off a Sunderland shin and out for a corner.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Low Center of Gravity. Tevez.

  •  

    James Tyler: As ensconced as Mr. Scarf looks at the Etihad, all it takes is another turgid month to flip it on its head.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, Mancini regarding squad. Fergie regarding job security.

  •  

    James Tyler: There's your chat reminder, too. Ask something good and you'll hear your Twitter handle from Sir Ian Darke himself. #FCBootroom

  •  

    Roger Bennett: great question JT. who would you rather be right now? Mancini or SAF? Mancini right? squad wise.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    With under 15 mins to half time, keep sending your questions for Ian Darke & Macca to answer at half-time: #FCBootroom

  •  

    Roger Bennett: My eggs have arrived

  •  

    James Tyler: How happy do you think Mancini is at present, Rog? Elated to have a 1-0 lead, 30 mins of a clean sheet? Angry that the score isn't 3-0?

  •  

    James Tyler: 33 mins in. Even Roberto Mancini is turning on the style, heel-flicking a ball to a Sunderland player so he can take the throw-in.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sunderland in no apparent hurry to score their Steven Fletcher goal

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Man City looks much sharper today. Why? Yaya Toure and David Silva have room to exude their natural class. Simple.

  •  

    James Tyler: Again, I'm amazed that Juventus wanted him. I'm guessing after RvP, they went for the "next best thing."

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Bendtner only went to Juve because he heard they sometimes wear pink jerseys.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner eludes everyone, drops kindly for Kolarov but he scythes his long-range shot high over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City: Dangerous cross from the right is booted out for a corner by Gardner as Balotelli was steaming in at the back post to meet it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Half an hour gone and Joe Hart's gloves remain largely pristine.

  •  

    James Tyler: That's something so insane, not even Balo would do it.

  •  

    [Comment from Mr. Guest]
    Bendtner is in my EPL fantasy team

  •  

    James Tyler: James McClean: last season's Raheem Sterling. Promising and much-hyped young tyro winger.

  •  

    James Tyler: James McClean is down in left corner, crunched by Micah Richards as he was trying to hoist a cross in. Heavy tackle but he seems to be fine.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sunderland's game plan: get ball to James McClean. Hope stuff happens.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Woof. RT @ballsdotie: GIF: Alexander Kolarov's Fantastic Free Kick. bit.ly/SRJmMp

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Jeremy. You know comments like that are auto-publish

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Are these games necessary when it's obvious Everton's gonna take the title?

  •  

    James Tyler: Re: Bendtner... amazing how the lad keeps failing up. A move to the Serie A champion. Not entirely sure how he managed that. Guessing his agent is a genie.

  •  

    [Comment from Coop]
    Looking for Bendtner scoring for Sunderland from Italy.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 5 of his 19 touches in the final third. Much more advanced than against Dortmund...

  •  

    [Comment from Mr. Guest]
    Is Yaya in an advanced role today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Promising Mackems attack is snuffed out for a Sunderland throw-in deep in City territory.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Simulation can feed a family of four. RT @nocoastoffense: "Making a meal of it" is a really good euphemism for diving

  •  

    James Tyler: Mackems fans have some fun with hiding the ball so David Silva can't take the corner. Sunderland clears the set piece and then block James Milner's follow-up cross.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli might get a red card for assaulting Kolarov over the next set piece.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Balo let Kolarov know, amateur hour is now over.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kolarov gets to take it again. Smacks it off Seb Larsson's face and out for a corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli taps his eyebrow, presumably where he was assaulted with a footy boot.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Now that's a gingy ginger

  •  

    James Tyler: BALO WATCH: Does well under a high ball to corral it at the top of the box. As he tries to turn and get into the box, Jack Colback catches him in the face with a high boot. Anger rising... more importantly, another dangerous set piece for City.

  •  

    James Tyler: No scarf for Roberto today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Bid was rebuffed by Martin O'Neill. Cristiano Ronaldo would be needed as a makeweight.

  •  

    [Comment from Coop]
    Heard Jose is doing cash plus Kaka for O'Shea?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Spanish for steak and kidney

  •  

    James Tyler: All you can eat olives.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tapas, Rog.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Incentives a euphemism for Pies?

  •  

    James Tyler: Any manager would love John O'Shea. Jose Mourinho's prepping a January bid. 30m plus incentives.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    What Sir Alex wouldn't do to have O'Sea back right now..

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Lovely move to pry Sunderland open. Through-ball for Zabaleta at the back post finds the right back but Mignolet stays large and rebuffs the close-range shot. Tevez wins the ball back in the Mackems box but scuffs his shot wide from 15 yards.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Great save... Mignolet. One of few goalkeepers to have a university degree.

  •  

    James Tyler: File this comment away. I'd tend to agree.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: As opposed to when?

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    This feels like a Balo red card game.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's dedicated to the bank balance project, but you can say that about 99% of footballers. In fact, everyone but John O'Shea. He's in it for the right reasons.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lloris for one. apparently.

  •  

    [Comment from Spicer]
    Friedel, at 73, probably would better than a lot keepers.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yaya. Adore watching him. But you never get the sense he is 100% dedicated to the City project.

  •  

    James Tyler: 19 minutes into a sleepy game, all told. Yaya Toure has a run down the left flank but O'Shea artfully snuffs out the danger. John O'Shea.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Once again the hackles on Balo's mohawk are up

  •  

    James Tyler: BALO-WATCH: He's down around the half-way line having collided with Craig Gardner. Looked like a body check but Balo has internalized his fury. Look out, Craig.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wrong. In 4-5 years, Brad Freidel will be 73 and just entering his prime...

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    In 4 to 5 years time, Neuer will be the best goalie

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Like Moses confronting the Burning Bush I should imagine

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassages]
    It has to feel good to get a shout out from Sir Ian!

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli has a shot from 30 yards. It's lamentably off-target. Over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: Has that acceptable arrogance, too.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Balo clearly having a running argument with that inner voice.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Casillas

  •  

    James Tyler: Sunderland settling into the game -- finally. Some good passing in the City half until Zabaleta mugs McClean on the left touchline.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: He will be in 4 or 5 years time.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan M]
    Is Joe Hart the top goalkeeper in the world? He sure seems like it.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Chilavert was a pretty confident dude.

  •  

    James Tyler: So many goalies come to mind, Rog. Van der Sar restrained his confidence but you knew it was there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Can't hurt to ask. Send resume

  •  

    [Comment from Nicholas]
    Do you know if city is looking for volunteers for psychologists?

  •  

    James Tyler: Dreadful delivery by Seb Larsson. Can't clear the near post.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hart exudes a lovely arrogance. who was the last keeper you saw who did similar? Reina in his pomp?

  •  

    James Tyler: Barry heads it behind for another corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Sunderland as Zabaleta takes no chance with the far post cross, especially as Fletcher lurked behind him.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Balo has, what they call in England, the "hump." shoulders curved. attempting to affect nonchalance. keep your eyes on him. meanwhile, James Milner limping. very sad to see....

  •  

    James Tyler: They're both Rosicrucians. Or Freemasons. Or Scientologists. I forget which

  •  

    James Tyler: Spiritually.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Are Martin O'Neill and Tony Pulis related?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Sunderland: Free kick hoisted into the box and half-cleared to Sessegnon, but his volley from 30 yards is comfortably over the bar.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: First test for City...

  •  

    James Tyler: Sunderland free kick as David Silva fouls in midfield.

  •  

    James Tyler: Interesting to see Balotelli dropping deep in search of possession. He's trying to play as the link-up man in the final third. Not with much success early, mind.

  •  

    James Tyler: Martin O'Neill is already pacing in the technical area. He'll not have had a game plan for Cuellar's foul/Kolarov's solo brilliance.

  •  

    James Tyler: Mackems shell-shocked after just eight minutes.

  •  

    James Tyler: Gardner gives it away cheaply to Yaya Toure in the center circle but the wide pass for Balotelli skids out for a Sunderland throw.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes. Just try and make that claim to your fantasy football administrator.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Balotelli demands the assist for how he placed the ball on the free kick

  •  

    James Tyler: Most impressive bit about the free-kick for me: Kolarov taking it left-footed from the left side of the box. Not the usual protocol but it worked.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT and I just did. But the roof on the Boot Room is quite low. Looked more like two old blokes shuffling.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan M]
    Time to do the Poznan!

  •  

    James Tyler: Jack Colback. Fire-headed youth prospect.

  •  

    James Tyler: or rebound, even.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: "The red haired player in midfield." They are called Gingies, Sir Ian.

  •  

    James Tyler: How will the Mackems reound?

  •  

    James Tyler: With that kind of evidence, Balotelli will have little complaint backing away from a future set piece.

  •  

    James Tyler: Take a bow, Carlos Cuellar. He should get the assist.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wow. what was more impressive? The free kick? Or that Balo listened to Kolarov?

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Credit to Balotelli for letting Kolarov hit that.

  •  

    James Tyler: 100 PERCENT POLYESTER

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    What do you guys think Balotelli has written on his shirt today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Superb crack with his left foot. Curls over the wall and tucks inside the near post.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Alex Kolarov tonks the set piece past a helpless Simon Mignolet. Well, then.

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR MAN CITY

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wow.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Very funny JT. Nice to see Milner standing by a football again in public.

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick, City. Edge of box on left side. Balotelli and Kolarov hovering over it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tevez must be pining for Buenos Aires after a tackle like that.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Tevez limping... Dzeko likes.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    No way that was a yellow!

  •  

    James Tyler: Cynical stuff to snuff out a fast break. Could have been a red.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD: Carlos Cuellar comes in late/hard/poorly/without a hello on Carlos Tevez.

  •  

    James Tyler: Adam Johnson has his first run/dribble down the right but his cross is easily picked off. City breaks quickly...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: That was what they call an "industrial" tackle

  •  

    James Tyler: Look, they do well with what they've got compared to bigger teams.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan M]
    JT, maybe Sunderland can win the League with the 4-4-2 this year if its effective

  •  

    James Tyler: Sunderland in possession, a couple of early passing triangles. David Silva of all people breaks it up.

  •  

    [Comment from MB90]
    Cmon City!!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes, John. Sunderland runs out two disciplined, touchline-hugging wingers. If Kolarov and Zabaleta get too bombastic, there will be plenty of space for McClean/Johnson to punish.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ok. 42 seconds was all it took. Good by Joleon's standards.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Is 3-in-the-back (great euphemism btw) really that dangerous against Sunderland? They are not exactly Dortmund

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lescott mistake free in the first 20 seconds.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    James Tyler: Sunderland running the most effective 4-4-2 in the biz. Watch for Adam Johnson and James McClean. Not convinced that Sessegnon can lead a line but I'll bet he's a withdrawn striker/"false nine"

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Poor man's O'Shea

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Didn't Ibrahimovic win eight consecutive league titles?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: That 3 at the back experiment was one of the most awkward spells of football I have had to watch this season. Made you almost experience feelings of sorrow for Manchester City which is like rooting for Microsoft.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's never good when managers tinker to that extent. Except if you're Paul Lambert and you work at Norwich. Or you're Claudio Ranieri.

  •  

    James Tyler: The Christmas Tree? In October? Oh dear.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay]
    Maybe Mancini did learn from Wednesday. Lineup shows 4-3-2-1 formation.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's a dour good luck charm, I suppose

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Teams with O'Shea win things. He is a proven winner. Pele. Maradona. Beckenbauer. O'Shea.

  •  

    [Comment from Evolution Pro]
    For Macca, do you think Mancini should play Edin Dzeko more often or is his fate always going to be the super sub? he is better than that to me

  •  

    James Tyler: Yet his personal accolades? United Reserve Team MVP, 2001-02. Boggles the mind. He's touched the Champions League. Lifted it, even. Now, he's playing for Sunderland.

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNPressPass via Twitter]
    Video & Podcast links of our last show featuring @Marcotti @JanuszESPN + Steve Nicol previewing El Clasico tinyurl.com/95m7cyd

  •  

    James Tyler: O'Shea's haul: 5 Prem title winners' medals, an FA Cup, three league cups, four community shields, a Champions League title and a Club World Cup.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Terry's shirt? He Hate Me

  •  

    James Tyler: For one of the most average players in the last 20 years, his personal trophy cabinet rivals that of Barcelona.

  •  

    James Tyler: JOHN O'SHEA ALERT

  •  

    James Tyler: Terry's shirt should say something entirely different, Rog. Probably for the best he can't change it.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Why can Kun Aguero have his nickname on the back of his jersey? They don't allow Terry to have JT. or Fellaini to have Big Fella?

  •  

    James Tyler: But he's not nearly moody or brooding enough.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    Steven Fletcher is so pale he could be in a mopey teenage girls ideal vampire

  •  

    James Tyler: Though stealing late wins is "the mark of champions," I'm told.

  •  

    James Tyler: Awful, John. Really hope not.

  •  

    [Comment from john]
    3-2 city, winner in extra time of course

  •  

    James Tyler: Stephen Fletcher will be crucial today for Sunderland. He's a poor man's RvP. Scores, leads a line effectively yet gets absolutely no kudos. I was amazed no team beyond Sunderland put in a bid to rescue him from relegated Wolves.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 2-1 City. 82nd minute goal from Lescott. Dzeko to knee on in before the whistle. job done. question marks remain.

  •  

    James Tyler: Statsie, are there any intriguing stats to be aware of prior to kick off? What's Sunderland's all-time record vs. City?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Sir Ian is omniscient. He knows what you are thinking now Jerremy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, your predictions?

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Does Sir Ian take questions by way of raven?

  •  

    James Tyler: James Milner. Gareth "Gaz Baz" Barry. Two of the least interesting footballers in history, yet both oddly effective for City.

  •  

    James Tyler: Roberto Mancini with seven changes from the Dortmund game. Squad rotation or punishment?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How do you limit your questions for Sir Ian to just one? That would be my Ian question.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    #FCBootRoom Use it to communicate directly with Ian Darke and Macca

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:
    CITY: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Balotelli.
    Subs: Pantilimon, Nasri, Dzeko, Aguero, Rodwell, Clichy, Toure.

    SUNDERLAND: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose, Johnson, Larsson, Colback, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher.
    Subs: Westwood, Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Meyler, Bramble, Saha.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: has television seen such a charismatic duo since cagney and lacey was cancelled? Macca firing on all cylinders this morning.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: umon. you are a poet

  •  

    [Comment from umon]
    need to watch game

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Going to be interesting to watch Sessegnon for Sunderland. He has not been the imposing presence he was last season. Watching him run at Yaya could be a bellwether...

  •  

    James Tyler: Forehead and eyeballs, Rog.

  •  

    James Tyler: Important note about Sunderland: the only Prem team not to taste defeat against City. That makes them a "bogey team" if you like small sample sizes.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Exactly where did you rub it JT?

  •  

    James Tyler: Far too early, Rog. But the Deep Heat smell is keeping me alert.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: It is 7.30. Too early for a weekend. But somehow, Sir Ian's dulcet tones takes the pain away. Looks well, too.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arise for Sir Ian.... telecast is starting.

  •  

    James Tyler: In honor of Mr. Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland goal, I made sure to grab a Belgian waffle.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What. Do you wish you had made some eggs before entering the boot room as well?

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    Exactly what I was thinking Sir Bennett.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: is football a euphemism for mental? we will see

  •  

    James Tyler: Football, yes. Can't speak to the rest

  •  

    [Comment from Nicholas]
    Is Balotelli 100% fit in football terms?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Going to be interesting watching Tevez today. See his how his focus and passion has survived some time on the bench. I prefer him with Kun. He and Balo can look as different as smooth jazz and death metal up front

  •  

    James Tyler: Remember last year's meeting? Sunderland up 3-1 with less than five minutes left? Cue Balotelli and Alex Kolarov for the late draw.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah. Always the Dzeko.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: ... AN 87th minute winner

  •  

    Roger Bennett: And nicks and 87th minute winner right?

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll stick my neck out: Sunderland leaps out to 1-0 lead, City equalizes in second half.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Is that Paul Carr's aftershave we smell in the Boot Room?

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    RT @JamesTylerESPN: Boot Room's open! @rogbennett, me, Man City/Sunderland in #EPL. j.mp/SBHBZ6 Send questions for Darke/Macca: ...

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, Rog. Problem should be plural. Weird that this is almost the EXACT SAME SQUAD that throttled opponents last season en route to the title. And yet this year they look like underachieving doppelgangers.

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mancini claims to know what City's "problem" is... could he have been referring to their defensive instability, there insipid creativity in midfield, or their forward's lack of empathy?

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    I think Tevez and Yaya will find a way around the bus...my fantasy team is desperate for it!

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll say we have upset potential here. Unless Yaya Toure has rediscovered himself since Wednesday's disappointing outing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Plus the Dortmund hangover.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll say yes. This feels like a trap game for City prior to the international break, a time during which the entire squad flees for a week back at their respective homes.

  •  

    [Comment from Bungle]
    Will Sunderland get one past Mr. Hart today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Fletcher's in form, Sunderland plays with two decent wingers and a nifty CAM in Stephane Sessegnon. And Micah Richards is being asked to play CB.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Fascinating game in prospect. Sunderland are so hard to break down. And City have not exactly excelled creatively in the final third. Knowing that Fletcher is contractually guaranteed a goal... going to be interesting...

  •  

    James Tyler: If I'm Joe Hart, I'm taking extra smelling salts prior to kick-off.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: No Kompany... what do you make of that JT?

  •  

    James Tyler: That's Micah Richards at center back.

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:
    City: Hart, Zabaleta, Richards, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, Barry, Y. Toure, Silva, Balotelli, Tevez

    Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, Rose, Cuellar, O'Shea, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Boot Room's open! @rogbennett, me, Man City/Sunderland in #EPL. j.mp/SBHBZ6 Send questions for Darke/Macca: #FCBootRoom

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Good morning east coast. Good evening west coast. I smell football

  •  

    James Tyler: It's obvious that Mancini can't quit the 3-5-2, no matter how hard he tries. I'm still not quite sure why he's convinced it's the best system for City to use.

  •  

    James Tyler: You would *think* so....

  •  

    [Comment from Jay]
    Didn't Mancini learn from Wednesday about not playing three at the back?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: So, with two of the three remaining unbeaten teams in the Prem facing off today at the Etihad, which one will topple?

  •  

    James Tyler: It also seems like Roberto Mancini is running three at the back.

  •  

    James Tyler: Already, the lineups are full of fascination: Vincent Kompany's injured and Micah Richards is back for Man City.

  •  

    James Tyler: I haven't cleaned the Boot Room since Wednesday. That said, the heady aroma is keeping me alert for Man City v. Sunderland.

  •  

    James Tyler: Morning, all!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Manchester City

  • 28(9)

  • 15

  • 12

  • 61%

    39%

  • Sunderland

  • 8(4)

  • 17

  • 11

Manchester City

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 Joe Hart

D

2 Micah Richards

D

5 Pablo Zabaleta

D

6 Joleon Lescott

D

13 Aleksandar Kolarov

M

7 James Milner

M

18 Gareth Barry

M

21 David Silva
M
17 Jack Rodwell

M

45 Mario Balotelli
F
16 Sergio Agüero

F

32 Carlos Tevez
D
22 Gaël Clichy

F

42 Yaya Touré
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
G 30 Costel Pantilimon
D 22 Gaël Clichy
D 28 Kolo Touré
M 8 Samir Nasri
M 17 Jack Rodwell
F 10 Edin Dzeko
F 16 Sergio Agüero

Match Stats

  • Manchester City
  • Sunderland
28(9) Shots (on goal) 8(4)
12 Fouls 11
15 Corner kicks 4
2 Offsides 3
61% Time of Possession 39%
0 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
4 Saves 6