Seven goals, a penalty, a red card - this game had everything, but Sunderland weren’t able to emerge with any points, despite scoring three goals away on a snowy afternoon at title contenders Manchester City on this day back in 2009.
Mark Hughes was sacked after the game, despite winning, with the City board already lining up his replacement in Italian football legend Roberto Mancini.
Sunderland were tenth in the table going into the game but were without a victory since defeating Arsenal in November, though Steve Bruce had put together a decent side, with Darren Bent leading the line and scoring goals freely, regardless of the opponents.
The game got off to a bad start, with Roque Santa Cruz opening the scoring, before Nyron Nosworthy brought down Craig Bellamy in the 12th minute to give away a penalty that was dispatched neatly by Carlos Tevez.
My main memory stood in the away end that day was our fans being pelted with snowballs when Santa Cruz scored the opening goal - twats! We threw them back like, but still.
Just four minutes later though, a cracking header from John Mensah got us one back, before a lovely strike from Jordan Henderson put the ball beyond Shay Given to get us level.
Ten minutes before half time, though, the irritatingly good Bellamy nabbed himself a goal to take City into the break with a one goal lead.
On the hour, we got ourselves level again - Nosworthy passed to Henderson, who delivered an inch perfect cross which Kenwyne Jones headed home from six yards out.
Just seven minutes later, though, City got the winner - Roque Santa Cruz stabbing home from close range to get his second of the game.
Perhaps the most controversial moment of the match occurred in the final moments of the match, when Michael Turner received a straight red for a fairly innocuous challenge which the referee deemed worthy of a straight red.
Steve Bruce wasn’t happy, though, and expressed his dismay after the game:
The red card was obscene. It was two players competing for the ball. A centre-half going up to win it and I’d expect him to go up and win it. He’s going to miss three games unless the referee has got the guts to rescind it. For the spirit and commitment of the players we deserved something but unfortunately we didn’t get it.
Sunderland went on to appeal the length of the ban rather than the offence itself, which led to Turner receiving an extra match from the FA for something that wasn’t even a red card to begin with. Another banter moment in the long and storied history of the banter club that is Sunderland AFC!
STARTING XI: Fulop, McCartney, Turner, Nosworthy, Mensah, Malbranque, Henderson, Reid, Cattermole, Campbell, Bent. SUBS: Carson, Bardsley, Da Silva, Richardson, Healy, Murphy, Jones. GOALS: Mensah (16), Henderson (24), Jones (62).
Manchester City’s Team
STARTING XI: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Sylvinho, Kolo Toure, Ireland, Wright-Phillips, Barry, Santa Cruz, Tevez, Bellamy. SUBS: Taylor, Zabaleta, Kompany, Petrov, Weiss, Robinho, Adebayor. GOALS: Santa Cruz (4), Tevez (12, Pen), Bellamy (35), Santa Cruz (69).
REFEREE: Andre Marriner