Own goal gives Guardiola victory over Sunderland

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Manchester City players celebrate a goal

Manchester City players celebrate a goal

Pep Guardiola needed a late Paddy McNair own goal to make a winning start at Manchester City as David Moyes lost his first game as Sunderland manager.

Sergio Aguero’s penalty, after Raheem Sterling was fouled by Patrick van Aanholt, gave City an early lead.

But Guardiola, who left England keeper Joe Hart out of his starting XI, saw his new side concede to Jermain Defoe.

City made few chances, but snatched an 87th-minute winner when debutant McNair headed into his own net.

Pep Guardiola, seen giving encouragement to Kevin de Bruyne, watched his side claim 77% of the possession against Sunderland

It had been 195 days since City announced Guardiola would succeed Manuel Pellegrini at Etihad Stadium, and results stagnated during that period, with five wins from last season’s final 15 Premier League games leading to a fourth-placed finish.

Guardiola, 45, arrived in Manchester with six league championships to his name – three each from his spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich – and brings an expectation he will guide City to a first Premier League title since 2014.

But any hopes of an instant revolution were curtailed by a lethargic performance that lacked creative spark, despite dominating possession against a side that only avoided relegation in their penultimate game last season.

And, while City may have required good fortune for the decisive goal – McNair heading in Jesus Navas’ cross at the back post, it provides a winning platform for Guardiola, who was lacking injured first-team players Vincent Kompany, Samir Nasri, Nicolas Otamendi and new signings Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan.

Hart’s absence from the starting line-up is the most eye-catching decision of Guardiola’s early days at City, and will raise the question whether the 29-year-old’s 10-year stay at Etihad Stadium could be coming to an end.

The former Shrewsbury player has made 347 …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper