Sunderland under-18s slipped to their first defeat in five matches as league-leaders Manchester City continued their unbeaten start to the league season on Saturday.
A first-half brace by Lorenzo Gonzalez secured all three points for City and forced the young Cats to return home to Wearside empty handed.
With only four minutes on the clock, City's expensively assembled side took the lead to put themselves on course for a 15th unbeaten league match.
Gonzales pounced from close range to give the hosts an early advantage before stopper Michael Woud had to make two great saves to prevent the lead from increasing as City piled on the pressure.
However, Sunderland’s resolve finally cracked 20 minutes after falling behind, Gonzalez again the man in the right place at the right time as he met Poveda’s cross to double his tally for the afternoon.
It was all City for the remainder of the half but it was a different story in the second period as Sunderland regrouped after the break.
Elliott Dickman made two substitutions with Jake Hackett and Sonny Best for Ben Kimpioka and Jacob Young and there was a distinct improvement for the rest of the match.
While City held firm, the Lads had two good chances with Chris Allan drawing a good save from City keeper Maric before Jack Diamond should have done better as he failed to hit the target from a good position.
Those were the crucial chances for the Black Cats, and City ensured they rallied in the closing stages to maintain their impressive league form in the U18 Premier League.
Speaking post-match Dickman said: "It was a game of the proverbial two halves - all City in the first when we were poor.
“But the second half was far more encouraging. We certainly made a game of it and showed good character to come back so well."
Man City: Maric, Frimpoya, Rosler, Latibeaudiere, Smith, Pozo, Foden, Dele Bashina, Poveda, Hardy, Gonzales
Sunderland: Woud, Taylor, Krusnell, Allan, Storey, Young (Hackett 45), Kipioka (Best 45), Gamble, Diamind, Connelly, McAughtre