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City 3-2 Sunderland: The Lampard edition

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

After a dismal first half the game jumped into life after the break with four goals in seven minutes following Yaya Toure's opener saw City throw away another 2-0 lead before the man of the moment Frank Lampard come off the bench to score the winner.

Rather than discussing the match too much here (you can check out my Metro report if you wish) I thought it worth posting up some interesting comments from Manuel Pellegrini after the game when he discussed Lampard's importance at City but also raised the question of his future, and how it may not be as clear as we were led to believe.

Was he impressed by Lampard?

Impressive, no, because nobody can be impressed by him. He is a top player during his whole career and he has an important amount of goals. I always say he is a very important player for us - that's why we brought him here at the beginning of the season. It is very important also now that he will stay with us until the end of the season.

Is it possible that Lampard may join New York earlier than May, say if City were knocked out of the Champions League?

No. When you asked me before we qualified for the Champions League if there is some link between the situations, I always said no and Frank knows exactly what I think about that. He will stay here until the end of the season, no problems about that.

On whether he understood the outrage over the announcement:

That is why every time you ask me about Frank Lampard during December. I repeat once again we are trying to keep Frank but it is not easy because others are involved in this situation. Maybe all the New York fans, and I understand perfectly, they want to see Frank playing because for the fans in New York to see Frank play is an amazing thing. I hope that he will be there next year but I think that in this moment the best decision for him, for the club, for New York is to stay here with us.

The interesting word here was Pellegrini 'hopes' Lampard will be there (in New York) next year. Pressed further, on whether this meant Lampard may not ultimately head to New York, Pellegrini said

You are talking May or June? We are just in December. You cannot have all different questions about Frank Lampard. He will stay now with us until the end of the season in May maybe you can start thinking about what will happen in the future. He will stay with us until May.


What we know now is that there was no contract in place between Lampard and New York, meaning he was not on loan at City but on a short term contract, which has now been extended. This means there is no 'break' of a contract with New York, but it certainly goes against what had been agreed in that he would be there for the start of the MLS season.

Pellegrini was pressed a couple of times over his comments that appeared to imply that there was no guarantee that Lampard would even head to New York at the end of the Premier League season. In response to this he did not confirm that this would be the case:

Does this then raise the possibility that Lampard never heads to New York and that the summer could even see him sign an additional one year for instance at City? Clearly the club (and probably Lampard) have been pleasantly surprised at him impact, hence the desire to extend his stay.

Don't you get the impression there's more to come with this whole situation?