Man City routs Sunderland 5-0 in Premier League
Manchester City produced an attacking masterclass to blow away Sunderland 5-0 on Sunday, reviving hopes of a second-place finish in the Premier League.
Recalled winger Adam Johnson drove home the opener and top scorer Carlos Tevez converted a penalty to put City 2-0 ahead by halftime, setting up City's biggest win of the season.
Midfielders David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure scored goals in a 10-minute spell midway through the second half as Sunderland was overwhelmed by incessant waves of City attacks.
''We dominated the game from start to finish,'' City defender Joleon Lescott said. ''Collectively, we were on song.''
The victory lifted City into third place, a point above Chelsea and three behind second-place Arsenal. Both London clubs, who drew on Saturday against Stoke and Blackburn respectively, have a game in hand.
Crucially, City, which was beaten 2-0 by Chelsea last time out, moved six points above fifth-place Tottenham in the fight to secure a top-four finish and make next season's Champions League. Although Spurs also have a game in hand, they are still involved in Champions League, leaving City in a good position to qualify for Europe's elite competition for the first time.
Demonstrating an attacking mentality rarely seen under defensive manager Roberto Mancini, City was irresistible going forward with Italy striker Mario Balotelli and Tevez, who took his tally to 19 for the season to be second only to Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, dovetailing well up front.
''We started fantastic,'' Mancini said. ''All the players played very well, starting well and pressurizing the opponent from the first minute.''
Johnson exchanged passes with Toure before firing a low shot in at the far post in the ninth minute, and Tevez doubled the lead from the spot six minutes later after he was brought down by Phil Bardsley
Silva poked home a close-range finish in the 63rd after Balotelli's attempt at goal rebounded perfectly into the path of the Spain winger, and Vieira - with his first touch after coming on as a substitute - slid home a cross by Aleksandar Kolarov in the 68th.
Toure added more gloss to the scoreline when he pounced on a stray pass by Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole, strode forward and clipped the ball past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.
''We were nowhere near good enough,'' Sunderland manager Steve Bruce. ''We were second best all over the pitch all afternoon. We had our backsides kicked.''