Pep Guardiola’s reign as Manchester City manager got off to an edgy start after his side defeated Sunderland 2-1 on Saturday to start their 2016-17 Premier League campaign with a victory.

A late own goal from Paddy McNair bailed City out of trouble after Jermain Defoe scored in the 71st minute to cancel out Sergio Aguero’s fourth-minute opener from the penalty spot.

Guardiola made a host of changes to the Citizens’ XI for his first league match in charge, with Willy Caballero taking Joe Hart’s place in goal and Aleksandar Kolarov standing in at centre-back alongside new arrival John Stones.

Despite the loss, Sunderland manager David Moyes could afford to take his share of positives from the result, as noted by theMirror‘s Kevin Maguire:

Guardiola will care little for how scrappy his first Premier League win came to fruition, just that three points means his side got the season off to a successful start.

Manchester City have just three days to prepare for the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday, and Guardiola will be forced to adapt quickly to England’s hectic schedule.

Sunderland, meanwhile, will have to recover swiftly as they look forward to next Sunday’s north-east derby against Premier League new boys Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light.

 

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