Monday, 23 March 2009

Sunderland win reax

Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail
Richards, however, was a definite bright spot, scoring the winning goal and contributing the type of athletic, rampaging performance from right back that was his trademark until the crisis of confidence that all but ruined the first half of this season.

Playing now in his preferred position, the 20-year-old has slowly improved since City manager Mark Hughes broke up what was becoming a calamitous central pairing with Richard Dunne and this was perhaps his best performance for a year.

Tim Rich, The Guardian

Not so long ago, confidence had visibly drained from Richards. The central defensive partnership with Richard Dunne was not working, his fitness was questionable and so was his self-belief. His manager, Mark Hughes, responded by returning him to right-back and from the moment Sunderland saw their left-back, George McCartney, dismissed, Richards exploited a freedom to make some driving, muscular runs.

His first won the penalty but there were others that inflicted almost as much damage on an overstretched Sunderland defence, which although succumbing to an eighth successive defeat to Manchester City showed rather more resilience than might have been expected.

Ian Herbert, The Independent

Manchester City remain upwardly mobile, their seventh straight home win in all competitions suggesting that seventh place in the table might be their destiny, but you wonder more as the weeks go by whether the man who was to have been central to the Arab owners' project for the club will be present on the onward journey.

The word from the Robinho camp is that the Brazilian is quite satisfied in Manchester, though there have been no goals since December and the insipid nature of a missed penalty – a shimmy, a half-shot and goalkeeper Marlon Fulop barely needing to strain a sinew – summed up his afternoon.

Kaveh Solhekol, The Times

Robinho has saved his best performances for the City of Manchester Stadium this season, but not for the first time the Brazilian was upstaged by Wright-Phillips. The former Chelsea man showed no side-effects from having played for two hours against Aalborg in Denmark in the Uefa Cup on Thursday, when City had no problems with penalties, and his link-up play with Richards and Elano caused Sunderland so many problems that it seemed almost inevitable that City would make the breakthrough.

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