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Premier League: Manchester City 3 Sunderland 3

Manchester City struck twice in the last six minutes to salvage a 3-3 draw at home to Sunderland in the English Premier League on Saturday.

Hosts City trailed to Sebastian Larsson’s goal in the 31st minute of the match at Etihad Stadium.

The Sweden international shot low from the edge of the area, beating City goalkeeper Joe Hart to give the visitors the lead.

City levelled from the penalty spot three minutes before half-time.

Mario Balotelli was the man to convert after Craig Gardner was harshly adjudged to have tripped Edin Dzeko.

But Sunderland were not to be denied a half-time lead.

Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner restored the away side’s advantage with a clinical header from Stephane Sessegnon’s cross.

It was 3-1 to Sunderland 10 minutes into the second half, with Larsson on target for the second time in the match.

Bendtner turned provider for his former Arsenal colleague, sending a low cross into the box for Larsson to turn home.

Martin O’Neill’s visitors retained their two-goal buffer heading into the final minutes, and it looked as through City would suffer a major blow to their Premier League title hopes.

Balotelli offered hope of a comeback when he netted following a dynamic solo run in the 84th minute.

And less than 60 seconds later City were level, thanks to a thumping long-range drive from fullback Aleksandar Kolarov.

The dramatic draw sees second-placed City close to within two points of league leaders Manchester United.

But the reigning champions will now have a chance to move five points clear at the top with victory away to Blackburn on Monday.

Sat 31 March, 2012
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