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Sunderland AFC v man united (A)...

I heard we were fourteen to one to get a win today, which was worth a punt. Man United are on a good run being unbeaten in eight but we’re definitely getting better ourselves and the all-round showing against Watford was heartening. Moyes’ return to Old Trafford will add further spice to the occasion. With Ibrahimovic in form I doubt if we’ll keep a clean sheet but I also think we can get a goal ourselves. I haven’t heard any definite team news apart from Kirchhoff being out again but we should be fielding a strong side. With the transfer window about to open again this could possibly be one of our last chances to see Pickford play for us and we’ll need him to put in another great performance if we’re going to get a result. Big Sam’s appointment at Palace will no doubt give them a shot in the arm but I hope Watford sort them out in the early match to get the day off to a good start. I’d prefer West Ham to beat Swansea away and all being well Man City will beat Hull. I’ll be watching the game at a mate’s house in Sunderland and maybe it’s just a residual positive feeling hanging over from yesterday but I think we’re going to get something from this game. Match prediction: 1-1.

Watford pulled a goal back to draw with Palace so that wasn’t too bad. When the team-news came through Seb was starting as was Borini and the side looked about as strong as it could be. Pickford did well in the fifth minute to block a low cross from Pogba as we weathered a storm of United pressure. Five minutes later Anichebe was down injured for a while but fortunately recovered. We soon won our first corner and got a shot or two in which was the start of a good couple of minutes for us. From a Man United corner Pickford cleared it just past the half-way line for Defoe to control it well and bear down on their goal before shooting wide. We soon won a free-kick in a very good spot for which Blind was yellow-carded and PVA hit a great shot that De Gea saved well. At the midway point it was still goalless and we’d done well so far. There was an ecstasy of fumbling as Anichebe and Borini tried shots in their box and it finally went for a corner. We won another free-kick on the half-hour but Seb hit it well over. Seb’s passing left a lot to be desired too. Next thing a deflected Borini shot had De Gea stretching to save it. United took the lead six minutes before the break when we allowed them too much space and Ibrahimovic combined with Blind in the left of our box and the latter slotted it past Pickford. There were three minutes of stoppage-time and Pickford again saved well from Pogba before we conceded a dodgy free-kick in a very dangerous spot that Pickford pushed out for a corner. It was 1-0 at the break. 

It took us about ten minutes to get into the game after we kicked off again. Meanwhile United had three good attempts on our goal, twice through Pogba and once through Ibrahimovic. When we did finally put an attack together we were painfully slow and they cleared it easily. Pickford saved well with his foot from an Ibrahimovic shot when it looked certain he would score and this was directly after our first corner of the half. It was nearly all United though we were holding tight at the back but why were we dropping so deep? With twenty minutes to go we managed a couple of decent attacks that came to nothing but offered some hope. Anichebe and Defoe were starting to click. United made their second substitution when Martial replaced Mata but we hadn’t made any changes yet. Fifteen minutes to go and we were still in with a chance. We’d been joking all the way through the game about a goal being scored while one of us was in the lav and unfortunately it fell to me to hear a chorus of swearing through the bog wall. When I emerged I watched the replay of Ndong losing the ball that ended in Ibrahimovic slotting their second past Pickford.  We promptly brought on Khazri and Love for Seb and Ndong but things only went from bad to worse as a cross came over from the right and Mkhitarayan did an overhead back-heel number to flick it into the net. He was offside though. It wasn’t quite over yet as right on full-time a Denayer effort was cleared only for Borini to hit a beautiful shot into the top left-hand corner. It ended 3-1. Swansea lost 4-1 at home and Leicester lost too so let’s hope Man City stuff Hull this evening. That’ll take the heat off us a bit.

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