Manchester City scored three goals in 11 minutes against Sunderland to decide the outcome of the Premier League match in the first half, but substitute Vincent Kompany's return from injury lasted even less time Saturday in the 4–1 victory.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City scored three goals in 11 minutes against Sunderland to decide the outcome of the Premier League match in the first half, but substitute Vincent Kompany's return from injury lasted even less time Saturday in the 4–1 victory.
Sunderland's Vito Mannone was selected ahead of former City goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon for his first league start of the campaign in a decision which quickly backfired.
Raheem Sterling, Yaya Toure and Wilfried Bony all struck in the opening 23 minutes at the Etihad as the hosts recovered from losing at Arsenal on Monday.
Kevin De Bruyne added a fourth early in the second half when Kompany was still on the bench.
City brought on Kompany just after the hour, yet only after again conceding without him on the pitch when Fabio Borini beat Joe Hart at the near post. It was the 10th time in the league this season that City has failed to shut the opposition out when its captain has not been present.
Kompany was on for only nine minutes before heading straight down the tunnel with a calf injury.
After his first appearance since Nov. 8, the Belgian was forced off again after appearing to injure himself when he tried to poke the ball away from Borini. Kompany came on in the 62nd minute and went off in the 71st.
"Yes, it is a calf. Nobody understands," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told BBC Sport. "He had a good warmup, he was working during the week with normality. It is difficult to understand."
Sterling broke the deadlock after 12 minutes with a header from De Bruyne's fizzing right-wing cross.
Mannone was picking the ball out of his net again five minutes later when Toure steered a 25-yard (meter) left-foot shot into the far corner, and it was 3–0 soon afterward as De Bruyne's free kick was glanced beyond Mannone from 15 yards by Bony's downward header.
De Bruyne had a simple finish for his 10th City goal in the 54th.
Bony sent a penalty over the bar in the 69th.