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After today's 3-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium it's time for us to go through each player individually as we review the performances and dish out some marks based upon how they performed today.
Simon Mignolet - 6
Mignolet was magnificent last week against Wigan Athletic, but this week not so much. I completely disagree with the criticism of him for the first goal, in which it was just a very good hit from Kolarov, and to be honest he didn't have much chance with any of the home side's strikes. A couple of reasonable but expected saves to keep the score down to just the three.
Craig Gardner - 5
Didn't enjoy the best of games, and not the best time to do so Phil Bardsley close to a comeback. Spent most the first half in a tussle with Mario Balotelli, and it was the Italian who had the last laugh as his side walked away with the win. The flick on James Milner's late freekick just put a cap on a bad day at the office. He's sure to bounce back though.
Carlos Cuellar - 4
Cuellar looked like a player who'd missed a few games injured and a shadow of his former self. The day started badly with him playing Carlos Tevez on side and fouling him in a last ditch attempt which could have been much worse than the yellow he received. A few decent stops, but ultimately a sloppy game.
John O'Shea - 6
Looked to play the ball out of defence when possible and didn't commit any huge errors. Not much to write home about, but he didn't have much help from those around him this afternoon.
Danny Rose - 7
Energy was impressive, and he did well to clear an effort off the line but was unfortunately withdrawn early with a slight cut on the head. He didn't do too badly though in the limited time he was on the pitch. Perhaps didn't get forward as much as we would have liked, but didn't have much of a chance with McClean in such poor form. That really is a minor point though.
Jack Colback - 5
A strange game for Colback, who is usually the model of consistency. Today he seemed off the pace and in what was a great opportunity to step up and be a leader, he was left wanting and never at any point asserted himself on the game. Like the rest though, he'll bounce back and will hopefully have learned a trick or two.
Seb Larsson - 5
Lots of running as we'd expect but seemed to disappear out the game as it wore on. One of the more surprising aspects of today for Larsson was his set piece delivery, which was way below it's usual standard. There's still questions to be asked about whether he can compete for a central midfield role.
Adam Johnson - 6
Of our attacking trio, an under the weather Adam Johnson was perhaps the most lively. The only reason his mark remains relatively low is we didn't really see much of him until the start of the second half. Still yet to get truly into the swing of things, we'll be expecting much more of him after the international break when there'll be no excuses.
Stephane Sessegnon - 6
You begin to wonder about Sessegnon. Earlier Martin O'Neill remarked that he's not having the "no preseason" excuse any more, so you have to put the question out there now about his form, and whether it warrants a place in the team. Sess managed to show enough in some brief moments in the second half which should ensure he remains in the team, but too many more under-par performances won't be tolerated.
James McClean - 4
A really, really poor game from McClean. In fact I'd go as far as to suggest it was his worst in a Sunderland shirt since he arrived. He rarely touched the ball, and when he did it bounced off him and City were back in possession. There's something not right about him at the moment, and you wonder if last season was a fluke or not. I don't think it is, he should come back from form, but after a game like this his place could well be under-threat for the derby as he looks completely out of gas and more worryingly - tricks.
Steven Fletcher - 7
Had to feed of scraps all day and while he didn't score for the first time this season he came as close as anyone did with a few strikes on target and a bullet of a header flagged offside. He'll be disappointed not to hit the net, but he did everything he could given the circumstances.
David Vaughan - 5
Honestly barely noticed him on the pitch. Good for him to get a few more minutes and closer to full match fitness.
Louis Saha - 5
Similar to Vaughan without the fitness aspect, his impact on the game was minimal.
Fraizer Campbell - 5
Exactly the same as the other substitutes in that he made absolutely no impact after coming on.
Man Of The Match - Steven Fletcher
Difficult to pick out a Man Of The Match from our side of things but if you had to pick one, it had to be Fletcher. He barely touched the ball but when he did he was the only one who seemed to do anything with it. Breaking the streak of goal scoring hopefully will have him out to make amends against the Mags in two weeks time. Danny Rose comes in with a good shout, but ultimately it was Fletcher who came closest to getting us back into things.