The pair were not impressed by Roberto Manciniâ€™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: â€śThey werenâ€™t the team that theyâ€™ve been made out to be. They werenâ€™t that impressive.â€ť
And Sunderland skipper Cattermole reckoned City were not up for the battle.
He insisted in Match of the Day magazine: â€śWe took City apart on their own pitch. Once we got the ball down, I didnâ€™t think they had the hunger to chase it down.â€ť