Manchester City 3-2 Sunderland

In New York, this will not have gone down well. In Chelsea, West London, they won’t be too thrilled either. Manchester City’s decision to keep Frank Lampard in England rather than release him to fulfil an obligation to their feeder club New York City FC has been received predictably badly in the United States. At a stroke the Barclays Premier League champions have undermined the very credibility of their MLS project and alienated a customer base they have desperately been trying to court. Here on our side of the Atlantic, though, Lampard has simply proved too valuable to lose and it was perhaps to be expected that he would play a defining role in his first appearance since his decision to remain at City until the end of the season was announced late on New Year’s Eve.