Last week’s victory at Fulham was City’s first in five Premier League games and Roberto Mancini looked to ensure they would be celebrating again by making seven changes to the side that drew with Borussia Dortmund in Wednesday’s Champions League meeting.
Sunderland took a point away from the Blue half of Manchester last season and Martin O’Neill was hoping to build on the Black Cats’ first success of the season against Wigan.
One of Mancini’s changes saw Carlos Tevez restored to the starting lineup and he was heavily involved in City’s opening goal after four minutes, beating the offside trap before being brought down by Carlos Cuellar 20-yards from goal. Kolarov proceeded to curl a wonderful free kick around the wall and past Simon Mignolet at the near post after much deliberation with Mario Balotelli.
The visitors responded positively with Stephane Sessegnon volleying over from the edge of the area but they failed to pose any problems for Joe Hart in the City goal before the break. Chances were at a premium for top scorer Steven Fletcher and his best chance of the game came just after half time as Micah Richards blocked his stinging volley.
Danny Rose then cleared off the line from Richards and Mignolet tipped a Yaya Toure drive over the bar before Aguero came on for Balotelli. It didn’t take the Argentine long to make his mark steering home Kolarov’s whipped cross.
Tevez then drilled wide and David Silva clipped the crossbar as the hosts sought a third goal. It came with a minute remaining as Milner found the net from a free kick to seal an easy win for the champions.