Defender's double gives City the edge
The FA Youth Cup sponsored by E.On 2007/08 Semi Final 1st Leg
Sunderland v Manchester City
Thursday March 6, 2008, 7.00pm
The Stadium of Light, Sunderland - Att: 4,191
Staples, Kay, Liddle, Hourihane (Galer 83), Cornforth, McArdle, Henderson, Colback (c), Waghorn, Cook (R.Noble 46), Luscombe.
unused subs: Brown, Hunter, L.Noble.
Hartley, Trippier, Mee (c), McGivern, Tutte, Boyata, Weiss, Kay, Ball, Sturridge, McDermott (Tsiaklis 70).
unused subs: Ibrahim, Johansen (GK), Mak, Nimely-Tchuimeni.
Goals: 0-1 McGivern 38, 0-2 McGivern 59
Sunderland: McArdle 14, Cook 33, Hourhane 73, R.Noble 82.
The young Blues remain unchanged for the third cup tie in succession and would dearly love to match the previous two away wins in this semi final first leg.
Sunderland started the better of the two sides and looked to have done their homework on City's two tricky wingers, McDermott and Weiss, with the latter attracting a three man defensive unit to keep him out early on.
The hosts were forcing the issue without creating any real chances and eventually mid-way through the first 45 City's wide men managed some joy with a couple of low crosses into the Black Cats' box but to no avail.
On 28 minutes Andrew Tutte played a beautiful left footed ball through for Sturridge to chase on to - unfortunately Staples in the home goal just got there in time to hoof clear into the empty stand.
Shortly afterwards, having already carded Sunderland's McArdle, the referee added Cook's name for a shocking tackle on Boyata.
Then, as City were getting more into the game, Weiss left the three men trailing as he went on a fine run to earn a vital corner. And it was from that corner the Blues took the lead on 38 minutes.
Sunderland failed to clear properly and from 15-yards out Ryan McGivern's deflected right footed volley crept into the net to put City 1-0 to the good.
HALF TIME: Sunderland 0-1 City
Sunderland made the only change at the break, taking Jordon Cook off, before the striker was sent off after he picked up a yellow card in the first half.
Out earlier than the Blues to prepare for the second half - Sunderland started well with substitute Noble 's right wing run setting up the chance for Luscombe to smash the ball off the post. Luckily for City, Henderson could only sky the rebound high and wide with 48 minutes on the clock.
Eight minutes into the second half City could have doubled their lead. Donal McDermott’s lovely ball through the middle set David Ball away, his finish was good, but not good enough to beat Staples who turned the ball behind for a corner.
And it was to be from another City corner that the Blues did double their lead on 59 minutes.
McDermott floated the ball in from the right and left back McGivern rose to head home and give City a stronghold on the semi final.
The home side weren't beaten despite behind two down and almost got back into the tie following the best move of the match on 69 minutes. A flowing passing move ended with a great couple of City blocks - none more important than McGivern's off the line clearance from Noble's drive.
Sunderland threatened again on 77 minutes as Henderson's fine cross from the right was headed over by Colback.
The game ebbed and flowed at both ends as time ticked away in this first leg. So as the whistle blew, City can take a two goal lead back to the City of Manchester Stadium for the second leg this coming Tuesday - tickets on sale now.
Highlights of the game can be seen on MCFCTV.com tomorrow morning.
FULL TIME: Sunderland 0-2 City