Manchester: Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has admitted that Manchester City suffered “a complete disaster” after being held at home by bottom club Sunderland on Wednesday.
The 2-2 draw, three days after the 3-2 defeat by Liverpool, leaves City’s Premier League title hopes in tatters.
Fernandinho had opened the scoring for City less than two minutes into the game but in the end Manuel Pellegrini’s tired-looking side were relieved to rescue a point.
A distraught Joe Hart of Man City after drawing against Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium. PIC/Getty Images
“It’s a very disappointing result,” said Fernandinho.
“The whole team is disappointed about the result, especially in the way we played. The result was a complete disaster for us.”
City sorely missing the injured David Silva and Yaya Toure, are now six points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand. The Citizens had appeared to have held off Sunderland’s challenge until two fine goals by Connor Wickham in the second half threatened a real upset.
Samir Nasri grabbed a point with a late equaliser but then missed a glorious chance for a winner as City’s hopes of making up lost ground faded.
‘Mentally not there’
Pellegrini lamented his team’s lack of intensity for the poor result. “I think we couldn’t take out of the mind the game against Liverpool and that was the consequence why the team didn’t play well. We needed more intensity but our mind maybe was not in the moment to do it.”
“Maybe at the moment Liverpool and Chelsea have better chances than our team because we are in third position but we still continue fighting until the last game.”
“Remember this team two years ago were six points behind the leaders and they won the title at the end. So it is difficult - but it is not the last game we play today.”
As for Gus Poyet’s Sunderland, who came into this match on the back of five consecutive losses, their survival hopes remain alive, if only just.
Everton lose to Palace
Everton’s top-four hopes suffered a blow as they crashed to a surprise 3-2 defeat at Goodison Park against Crystal Palace, whose Premier League survival now appears assured.
The Toffees had been looking to take the opportunity to leapfrog Arsenal into fourth place in the race for Champions League football.
But instead they remain fifth - a point behind the Gunners, with both clubs having four more games to go - after they were undone by a Palace side who were worthy victors of an absorbing contest.
The result, Everton’s first home loss since Boxing Day and only their second all season, brought their seven-match top-flight winning streak to an end.
Palace’s own run of victories, meanwhile, extended to four games as they moved up to 11th, on to 40 points and 10 points clear of the relegation zone, with four more fixtures left.
Palace led Everton 2-0 thanks to goals from Jason Puncheon and Scott Dann on either side of the half.
Steven Naismith reduced the deficit with a close-range finish in the 61st minute, but Cameron Jerome restored Palace’s two-goal cushion.
Kevin Mirallas’ effort with four minutes of normal time remaining then set up a nervy finale which Palace managed to hold.