Five-star City thrash Sunderland
Manchester City moved up to third in the Barclays Premier League with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Sunderland at Eastlands.
Adam Johnson, making his first start since injuring his ankle in January, opened the scoring in the ninth minute and skipper Carlos Tevez doubled the Blues' advantage on the quarter hour from the penalty spot.
Second-half strikes from David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure completed the rout as City leapfrogged Chelsea in the table and moved further clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race for Champions League football. Roberto Mancini's side are now six points ahead of Spurs, who do have a game in hand.
The hosts made a lively start to the game before taking the lead nine minutes in. Playing a one-two with Toure down the right, Sunderland-born Johnson received the return pass in the box, controlled the ball and then lashed it past Black Cats goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
Six minutes later Tevez latched on to a lofted ball from Silva and burst into the area, where he was brought down by Phil Bardsley. Referee Howard Webb booked Bardsley and awarded a penalty which Tevez took himself.
Mignolet dived the right way and appeared to get a hand to the effort but it squeezed in off the upright and City were cruising.
Mario Balotelli then drove into the area and brought a save out of Mignolet, before City's third goal arrived in the 63rd minute. Tevez ran on to a long ball from Nigel de Jong and squared for Balotelli, whose shot ricocheted off Turner, allowing Silva to tuck home from close range.
Johnson was then taken off for Vieira in the 66th minute, which swiftly looked like a stroke of genius on Mancini's part. A minute after his introduction, the Frenchman was on the scoresheet, getting on the end of a Aleksandar Kolarov cross which deflected off Joleon Lescott.
Mignolet clawed Vieira's effort away but the goal was given and replays showed the ball had indeed crossed the line.
Sunderland looked utterly deflated and after Balotelli had stung Mignolet's palms, it came as little surprise when City scored their fifth in the 73rd minute. Lee Cattermole lost his bearings and gave the ball straight to Toure, who gleefully dispatched it over Mignolet and in to seal the rout.