Bent keen to repeat City win

Bent’s injury-time penalty put big-spending Manchester City to the

sword as the Black Cats claimed their first league win of the

season, their reward for a spirited fightback at the Stadium of

Light yesterday. The victory followed last season’s home successes

over Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham, and brought into sharper

focus their failings on the road, where they have, manager Steve

Bruce pointed out after the game, won only 10 times in 108

top-flight outings. Sunderland head for Bruce’s former club Wigan

after the international break before embarking upon a run of

fixtures in which they will face Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester

United in the space of three weeks. Bent said: “We have Wigan away,

and with our away form…and then it really starts with some of the

big boys. “But we have shown once again we are capable of playing

against anyone and the main thing is we are all mentally switched

on against those teams. “But we need to translate that into playing

against the teams around us. We always play well against the top

teams, but the teams around us, we struggle.” The victory over City

came after a gritty display which saw the Black Cats hanging on for

dear life before the break before gradually forcing their way into

the game to win it at the death. Carlos Tevez was guilty of a

glaring first-half miss with the goal at his mercy, and keeper

Simon Mignolet pulled off vital saves from Yaya Toure before the

break and substitute Emmanuel Adebayor 11 minutes from time to pave

the way for Bent’s last-gasp heroics. It was he who won the

decisive spot-kick three minutes into injury-time when he was

hauled to the ground by Micah Richards as he tried to meet Ahmed

Elmohamady’s cross in front of goal. Bent said: “All I can remember

was [Vincent] Kompany stretching for it. He clipped it on and I was

just about to head it into the net and all of a sudden, I felt all

these arms go around me and drag me to the floor.” The

26-year-old’s penalty was not his most sweetly-struck, but it ended

up in the back of the net to give him a fourth goal of the

campaign. Two of those strikes have come in the league, both of

them from 12 yards, and while he is desperate to register from open

play, he will take his goals however they come. Bent said:

“Obviously, I’ll take the goals I have got already, but at the same

time, I would love one to fall to me that I could just smash into

the empty net. “But as long as they keep going in, however they go

in, I’ll keep taking them.” Bent was last night named in the

England squad for the European Championships double-header against

Bulgaria and Switzerland and will hope for a chance to erase his

World Cup disappointment. He said: “I know there are one or two

injuries, but at the same time, if the door is back open again, I

will relish it and if I can get a piece of the game, I will be

absolutely delighted. “Everyone wants to play for their country and

whenever you play for your country, it is an honour. “If I am able

to do that this week, I will be over the moon.” By contrast, City

boss Roberto Mancini will spend the international break reflecting

on what might have been and unable to do a great deal about it with

so many of his players away. He said: “It’s frustrating because now

we have two weeks before we can start again. “When you have a

break, it is better to go with a win or a draw. “After the first

half, nobody would have thought we could lose this game.”