Five-star City swagger back into top three


MANCHESTER CITY manager Roberto Mancini toasted a fruitful weekend after seeing his side capitalise on their rivals’ failings with a swashbuckling rout of woeful Sunderland.

Adam Johnson, Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure all scored as City leapfrogged Chelsea and moved to within touching distance of second-placed Arsenal.

“I am very happy because we got three points, moved above Chelsea and are now just three points behind Arsenal. It’s true they both have a game in hand, but this was a good day for us,” said Mancini.

“This was an important weekend for us, too – a big weekend will be when we win something – but it was important, nonetheless. I was surprised we won by five goals but I am not complaining.”

Mancini singled out England winger Johnson, who netted a fine opener, and striker Mario Balotelli, even though he was one of the few who did not trouble the scoresheet.

“Johnson is a very important player for us and we have missed him because he is the only player in our squad who can play the role he does,” he added. “Mario was much better today, he worked hard for the team, was strong, didn’t get involved with the referee or opposition and concentrated on what he needed to do.”

Johnson swapped passes with Toure to score after just nine minutes and Tevez doubled the lead on a quarter of an hour with a penalty after he had been fouled by Phil Bardsley.

City crowned the win with three goals in 10 second-half minutes. First Silva tucked away a rebound and then Vieira turned home Aleksandar Kolarov’s drilled cross, before Toure capitalised on Lee Cattermole’s suicidal back-pass.