As Manchester United welcomed Sunderland the talking point was Louis Van Gaal’s preferred formation and players for the game. To start with United went with 4 men defence and the much needed width coming from Ashley Young (left) and Angel Di Maria (right).
There were obvious signs of United looking to use the width as Ashley Young and Angel Di Maria helped United pile on the number of corners early on. However, it was Sunderland who had the first big chance of the game only to see David De Gea holding his ground firmly.
Sunderland’s came with an obvious game plan of pressing United high and with intensity. Sunderland looked to take out Daley Blind (United’s key man in midfield) and it showed as United looked short on ideas when they had the ball in the early minutes of the game.
United’s first chance came out of nothing when Di Maria’s cross caused havoc in Sunderland’s back line but Ashley Young could not keep his shot on target. United looked to use Valencia’s crossing on every possible occasion. It brought about United’s next chance as Young’s shot was luckily cleared by John O’shea.
As the game progressed, United grew in the game. Van Gaal’s side kept the lion share of the possession but failed to create any meaningful chance. As a result, going in to the half time game was locked at 0-0, but it becoming more likely and likely for United to find the goal.
Van Gaal began the second half with a surprising decision by replacing Angel Di Maria with Adnan Januzaj.
Game seemed to be heading towards a draw when Radamel Falcao produced two outstanding touches in the box to draw the foul from John O’shea and win the penalty for United. It was a double blow for Sunderland as not only the penalty was awarded to United and Wes Brown was wrongly sent off as well.
Wayne Rooney stepped up and slotted his first goal in 8 games for United to put his side ahead 1-0. Since the goal, United had control of the game with Marouane Fellaini coming on.
Manchester United dominated the possession since their 1st goal and their patience paid as off on 85th minute when Januzaj’s shot was pushed away by the Sunderland keeper only to find Rooney’s head and the skipper did not make any mistake in doubling United’s lead.
In the end it was a pretty comfortable second half and an easy win for Manchester United as the home side closed the game at 2-0 with Wayne Rooney scoring the two goals, his first in 8 matches. Sunderland had early chance to score but if you miss your chances at Old Trafford, more often than not teams do come out short like Sunderland did today.
The victory would mean a lot to Van Gaal and his side who are on their quest to make in to top 4 this season and 3 points tonight will go a long way in securing United’s position at the top end of Premier League table.
5th minute: Connor Wickham had the chance to score, David De Gea held firm
12th minute: Double chance for United from Di Maria’s cross, Young shot was wide
26th minute: Young’s shot fortunately cleared by O’shea on to his own cross bar
Half-Time: Adnan Januzaj replaced Angel Di Maria
64th minute: Penalty to United & red card to Wes Brown
65th minute: GOAL – Wayne Rooney (Man United – Pen)
85th minute: GOAL – Wayne Rooney (Man United)
90th minute: DISALLOWED GOAL – Manchester United (Offside)
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