Pep Guardiola started his first premier league game with Manchester City at Etihad stadium on a good note, after his side defeated Sunderland 2-1 to earn a maximum three appoint in his first experience with home fans.
It was Paddy McNair’s late own goal that handed Manchester City a 2-1 win over Sunderland in Pep Guardiola’s first match in charge.
Jermain Defoe’s equalizer made Guardiola’s win doubtful in the Premier League opener at the Etihad Stadium but substitute McNair, signed from Manchester United this week, headed into his own net after 87 minutes, to ensure that Pep recorded success in his debut for Manchester City.
Guardiola made an immediate impact at City by dropping Joe Hart and Yaya Toure and on the field his side quickly took the lead with a Sergio Aguero penalty.
Yet by the finish, the talk had refocused on Guardiola, who punched the air with satisfaction at the final whistle.
The former Bayern Munich manager could hardly have caused big problem by leaving out England number one Joe Hart in a move certain to increase speculation over his future, while one-time team lynchpin Toure did not even made the squad.
New £47.5million signing John Stones was given an immediate debut alongside fellow new recruit Nolito while Aleksandar Kolarov played in an unfamiliar central defensive role.
It may take time for Guardiola’s blueprint for success to become evident but it was clear the team now have a different, non-stop approach.
Sterling remained full of running into the second half and troubled the Sunderland defence as he reached the byline and crossed but Aguero shot wide in the ensuing goalmouth scramble.
City were made to rue that miss as Sunderland hit back through the evergreen Defoe 19 minutes from time.
FabioBorini’s pass to Jack Rodwell drew out Stones and the former City midfielder quickly played in Defoe, who found himself with time to stroke the ball past Caballero.
That was not in the Guardiola script but his team produced the required response.
Substitute Jesus Navas broke down the right and his cross took a fortunate ricochet off Vito Mannone to hit McNair on the head and go in.
City almost claimed another in injury time when Kelechi Iheanacho broke clear but his shot was deflected over.