U21s suffer defeat at Etihad Stadium.
Manchester City U21 6 Sunderland U21 2
Sunderland U21s' trip to the Etihad Stadium ended in defeat as Manchester City ran out 6-2 winners.
City established an early three-goal lead before a young Sunderland side reduced the arrears thanks to an own goal.
The hosts struck again to make it 4-1 at the break before adding a fifth goal in the second half, with Mikael Mandron replying for the Black Cats before City rounded off the scoring late on.
The sides went into the game level on points with City having recently seen a 12-game winning streak come to an end.
Jordy Hiwula fired the home side into an early lead when he raced on to a through ball to beat Joel Dixon. The same player then volleyed home a second goal before Seko Fofana made it 3-0.
Oliver Ntcham nodded Jordan Laidler's cross into his own net to reduce the arrears, while at the other end Dixon made two superb saves to deny Hiwula his hat-trick.
The unfortunate Tom Robson turned Sinan Bytiqi's cross past Dixon for 4-1, while Fofana added a fifth goal 10 minutes into the second half.
Mandron grabbed a goal back late on when he rounded City keeper Ian Lawlor to score before Cole netted at the other end deep into stoppage time.
Sunderland, who have won 10 of their 18 league games this season, are back in action on April 3 when they head to Reading.