Match Report: Manchester United 1-0 Sunderland

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Managerless and rudderless Sunderland defended with ultimate resilience but Nemanja Vidic’s last gasp strike secured a vital goal for the Champions.

It had been a frustrating afternoon for Manchester United as the Black Cats, instilled with steely desire after their turbulent week which saw ex-Reds legend Roy Keane depart the managerial hotseat, set up their side with only a point in mind – illustrated by their lack of any attempts at all on goal.

The 23 shots that the home side mustered meant that they just about deserved the win, but a question mark or two was raised over Sir Alex Ferguson’s selection. Sticking with the same eleven that won well at neighbours City last week may not on its own have been a surprise, but after the stellar performances of Tevez, Anderson and Giggs in midweek the trio may have felt their inclusion was merited.

As it was, the visitors two banks of five in front of the keeper restricted United to few clear cut opportunities – a Berbatov effort, a Rooney drive from a Ronaldo free kick and a Park scuffed shot from a Rooney pass were the best chances of the opening half. And after the interval, it took a while for United to get back into the swing of it. Fletcher and Park showed plenty of effort but nothing in creativity – the talents of Rooney, Ronaldo and Berbatov were ineffective, leaving the brilliant Carrick to occasionally excel but all too often find his own range limited.

Changes were made after an injury to Ronaldo to see the trio that performed so admirably in the Carling Cup introduced – and almost immediately they made an impact, Giggs screwing a volley wide, then cleverly finding Anderson whose shot was blocked with the goal gaping, then the Welshman found Vidic who headed straight at the stand in keeper Fulop.

Carrick and Rooney had chances before Berbatov found himself with lots of room, but could only head over.

It seemed as if United were heading to a frustrating goalless draw but with exactly 90 minutes on the clock, Vidic reacted quicker than anyone to a deflected Carrick drive that hit the post and rebounded, to convert and ensure the champions stayed in touch with their rivals.


3 Comments on Match Report: Manchester United 1-0 Sunderland

  1. The last ten minutes presented very exciting attacking football by the Red Devils. Kept us all on the edge of our seat surely!

    I was so friggin’ relieved when Vidic netted the winner. I couldn’t bear the thought of yet another goalless draw coming from our beloved team. Not with the wins nothced by the top two, we would’ve killed our chances of retaining the league title.
    New Fans, Seasoned Fans, We’re United Fans

  2. Sunderland with 10 men blocking their goal mouth from start to end MU still managed to slot in the goal that they needed badly. This has been the worst football match we ever seen and if fact goalkeeper VDS can easily leave the field for a long period without touching the ball at all. If its Chelsea,Arsenal or Liverpool this match can only end up with a draw if Sunderland use the same tatics.

  3. It can be very difficult to play against this kind of 9-0-1 system, but I’m still a bit disappointed that we didn’t manage to create more openings considering that we had more than 70 percent(!) of the possession. We needed to move the ball around faster and switch play from one side of the pitch to the other quicker and more often. I agree that Carrick was our best player.

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