Match Report: Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland
By Lee Savery
Manchester United recorded a comfortable victory over struggling Sunderland in a match that saw the return of Nemanja Vidic from injury.
It took just twenty minutes for the league leaders to exert their dominance on the Black Cats with the game pretty much over from that early on due to two United strikes.
Firstly, some great play from Ashley Young down the left hand side resulted in a cross that former United player John O’Shea failed to clear. The ball landed to Robin van Persie who stroked it into the top corner from close range. It’s the Dutchman’s 12th Premier League goal and his 15th in all competitions.
The second came from Tom Cleverley. Michael Carrick found him on the left of the penalty box before he opened his body and found the far corner with a wonderful strike. The home side were well and truly in control and playing some nice football with ease. Wayne Rooney had a seemingly easy chance to make it three just three minutes after Cleverley’s strike. Young’s cross was headed down by van Persie before Rooney, somehow, volleyed it wide.
United’s No. 10 would get the goal he craved just before the hour. Van Persie and Young exchanged passes before van Persie easily went past Titus Bramble before picking out Rooney with a low cross.
The game was won and the home side were cruising. This allowed the introduction of captain Vidic to replace Rio Ferdinand on 71 minutes. Every United fan at Old Trafford rose to their feet for the Serbian.
However, his return would be part of the defence that conceded a rather soft consolation goal for Sunderland. After a cross from the right was not cleared, Stephane Sessegnon’s cross found Frazier Campbell who had the simplest of headers from inside the six-yard box. His first goal against United since leaving the club.
A comfortable win for the Red Devils but one they, realistically, would have expected but the return of Vidic will be the biggest plus for Sir Alex Ferguson as they maintain their six point lead over neighbours Manchester City.
Man of the Match Poll & Player Ratings: Manchester United vs. Sunderland HERE.
Share your thoughts with the Stretford End Arising forum.