David Silva gets on the score sheet with his third goal [GALLO/GETTY]

Five goals by five different players propelled Manchester City to third in the English Premier League after thumping Sunderland 5-0 on Sunday, reviving hopes of a second-place finish.

Winger Adam Johnson drove home the opener and top scorer Carlos Tevez converted a penalty to put City 2-0 ahead by half-time.

David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure scored goals in a 10-minute spell midway through the second half as Sunderland were overwhelmed by incessant waves of City attacks.

The victory lifted City into third place, a point above Chelsea and three behind Arsenal. Both London clubs have a game in hand.

Crucially, City are now six points above fifth-place Tottenham in the fight to secure a top-four finish and make next season's Champions League.

Earlier Bobby Zamora struck twice to help Fulham beat Blackpool 3-0 to lift his team closer to safety and plunge their visitors deeper into relegation trouble.

European goal

City manager Roberto Mancini is under pressure to secure a place in Europe's top flight competition and his club will only have themselves to blame if they do not qualify next season after this rout.

With Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham all failing to win on Saturday, City were desperate to capitalise against a Sunderland side that had lost five of the previous six league games.

Sunderland were being touted to land a Europa League qualifying spot not so long ago but a poor run of form had seen them drop down the table.

And Steve Bruce's side were quickly staring at another defeat as City established a commanding 2-0 lead in the opening 15 minutes.

Johnson broke the deadlock in the ninth minute, the England international finishing off a quality move with an equally impressive finish.

It was started by Toure, who swapped passes with Johnson before his reverse pass found the winger bursting into the penalty area to shoot past Simon Mignolet with a low finish.


Saturday April 2

 West Ham 2-4 Man Utd
 Birmingham 2-1 Bolton
 Everton 2-2 Aston Villa
 Newcastle 4-1 Wolves
 Stoke 1-1 Chelsea
 West Brom 2-1 Liverpool
 Wigan 0-0 Tottenham
 Arsenal 0-0 Blackburn

Sunday April 2

 Fulham 3-0 Blackpool
 Man City 5-0 Sunderland

And six minutes later it was 2-0 after Tevez beat Sunderland's Belgium international keeper from the penalty spot after Phil Bardsley had clattered into the striker inside the area.

Spanish influence

Once again it was Silva who was pulling the strings for City, the Spaniard's clipped pass over the top of the Sunderland's over-worked defence shortly before half time only narrowly beating Tevez's outstretched foot.

Silva did get on the score sheet with a simple tap-in after Mario Balotelli's snap shot from Tevez's cross had been blocked in the area in the 63rd minute.

Sunderland were shell-shocked but there was worse to come.

Vieira had only been on the pitch a few moments when he slid home the fourth goal with his very first touch from Aleksander Kolarov's cross in the 67th minute.

It was given by the linesman as Mignolet attempted to clear it off the line, television replays showing the official made the right decision.

Still City were not finished and Toure completed one of the best days of Mancini's reign after lobbing the keeper following a catastrophic pass by Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole.

City are 10 points behind their neighbours Manchester United, who have 66 points from 31 games, and while that may be too far behind to mount a realistic title challenge they do stand in the way of United's bid for a treble as the sides meet in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Source: Agencies