Matchday Memories: On This Day 2000 – See Strachan’s Sky Blues Squeeze Past Sunderland

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Gordon Strachan -City’s ‘gaffer’

On this day (12th February) in 2000, in their penultimate season in the top flight, the Sky Blues took on Sunderland in the Premier League and managed to squeeze past them by the odd goal in five after being 3-0 up at half-time! The two sides had fought out a 1-1 draw in the North-East at the end of August and the Sky Blues, under manager Gordon Strachan (a current CCFPA member), were hoping to repeat their recent run of good form at Highfield Road (two wins out of the last three).

Robbie in the Sky Blue 1999

That’s what they did, but made it harder work than necessary.  Motor racing supremo (and Sky Blue celebrity fan) Eddie Jordan watched proceedings.

The Sky Blues got off to a great start and threatened to blow away the Black Cats, managed by future Sky Blue gaffer (and CCFPA member) Peter Reid. The scintillating first half performance started with a third minute goal from our young Irish star Robbie Keane, followed up on thirteen minutes with a goal from our Moroccan magician Moustapha Hadji (also now an Association member) who was awesome throughout the game and had a hand in all three goals.

Our Belgian forward (and former CCFPA member) the late Cedric Roussel completed the Sky Blues goal burst of three in a quarter of an hour after eighteen minutes! All looked set fair for a humiliation of the Wearsiders.

Hadji in Action

Sky Blue Cedric

However, the away team resorted to bully-boy tactics including a career ending horrendous tackle on City’s Steve Froggatt (also a CCFPA member) early in the game by the Black Cats’ Nicky Summerbee. Peter Reid‘s men staged a comeback and Kevin Phillips grabbed a goal back six minutes before the hour. Then, only two minutes before the final whistle Alex Rae managed to get another for the visitors and a nailbiting end ensued especially when future Sky Blue Kevin Kilbane hit the City post in the last minute! Fortunately it didn’t go in and the Sky Blues held on to a lead that shouldn’t have been so fragile.

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