Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure, Wilfried Bony and Kevin De bruyne were all on target for Manchester City as they trounced Sunderland 4-1 at Etihad Stadium on Boxing Day.
- Manchester City 4 Sunderland 1
- Sterling opens the scoring
- Toure, Bony and De Bruyne all score
- Borini pulls one back for Sunderland
- Kompany injured again
Manchester City made a barnstorming start to the game, going ahead early on through Raheem Sterling before Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony also struck to effectively put the game to bed before halftime.
De Bruyne then added to his two assists with a goal five minutes after the break, before Fabio Borini pulled one back soon afterwards and Bony missed a penalty.
There were no further goals as City got back to winning ways with a confident victory over the struggling Black Cats, but it came at a price as captain and star defender Vincent Kompany suffered a recurrence of his calf injury not long after returning to the pitch.
City started brightly and were already threatening the Sunderland goal in the opening minutes, before Raheem Sterling went down under a challenge from Billy Jones, and received an early booking for simulation.
But the English winger made the breakthrough soon afterwards when De Bruyne picked up the ball from Aleksandar Kolarov's errant cross and sent it back in for Sterling to nod home from close range.
City's lead was doubled just three minutes later through Toure, who picked up possession from deep and made his way forward before smashing a low drive into the bottom corner to add to his superb strike against Arsenal earlier in the week.
And the Citizens were three goals up not long afterwards. Fabio Borini had just set Danny Graham up for a header at the other end, but while that was wastefully wide, Wilfried Bony made no mistake with his effort, meeting De Bruyne's ball in with a confident finish into the bottom corner.
There were further chances as the game ticked past the half-hour mark: Steven Fletcher overhit a chance for the Black Cats; David Silva dribbled forward and pulled his shot wide; Fabio Borini forced Joe Hart into a save; and Sterling fluffed a chance to grab his second of the game.
Sterling did find the net again but he was offside when De Bruyne played him in, before Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala almost combined to score from a corner, but Patrick van Aanholt and Vito Mannone were able to clear.
De Bruyne continued his good work after the break and received the ball from Silva. He tried to play in Bony but had it bounce back to him, setting him up perfectly for a confident finish.
Sunderland pulled one back in the 58th minute, five minutes after De Bruyne's effort, when a poor shot from Lee Cattermole turned into the perfect through ball for Fabio Borini, who latched onto it down the left flank and tucked home on the second attempt.
City had a 66th-minute penalty when Silva was brought down in the box, but Bony stepped up to the spot and sent his effort over the crossbar.
The bad news for City came soon afterwards when captain Vincent Kompany, only just substituted on for Otamendi in the second half, had to be taken off with a recurrence of his calf injury, with Martin Demichelis replacing the Belgian for the rest of the match.