The pair were not impressed by Roberto Mancini’s men as the Black Cats bagged a point in a 3-3 draw at the Etihad on Saturday.
Scotland international Bardsley believes all the hype surrounding City is way off the mark.
He said: “They weren’t the team that they’ve been made out to be. They weren’t that impressive.”
And Sunderland skipper Cattermole reckoned City were not up for the battle.
He insisted in Match of the Day magazine: “We took City apart on their own pitch. Once we got the ball down, I didn’t think they had the hunger to chase it down.”