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Sunderland AFC v man united (h)...
match report

Ten man Sunderland were comfortably beaten by Manchester United 3 -0 at the SOL on Sunday lunchtime thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford. David Moyes’ struggling side were reduced to ten men on the stroke of half time when Seb Larsson controversially saw red for a challenge on Ander Herrera.

Under fire manager David Moyes was without John O’Shea who is in Ireland following the death of his father whilst Adnan Januzaj was ineligible to face his parent club. Having featured against Leicester on Tuesday Victor Anichebe was pushing for a recall to the starting eleven as Sunderland welcomed Jose Mourinho side to Wearside.

The visitors would offer a huge test to Sunderland having gone on a 20 game unbeaten run in the league whilst Sunderland have failed to score in their last six games. Mourinho was able to call upon record signing Paul Pogba but was without Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young who both have knocks.

Moyes made one change to the side that started against Leicester with Victor Anichebe replacing Fabio Borini. Sunderland started the game but were on the back foot from the off although United didn’t really threaten despite dominating the possession. Sunderland eventually grew into the game and we won a free kick on the edge of the box after Rojo caught Defoe with a high challenge but Oviedo’s shot was straight down the throat of Romero.

Lee Cattermole had an effort from range which Romero held comfortably before at the other end Lingard fired a low curling warning shot which Pickford did well to turn round the post. With half an hour played the visitors took the lead with a world class strike from Ibrahimovic who evaded Billy Jones before turning to arrow a shot into the right hand corner of the goal beyond the diving Pickford. The visitors almost doubled their lead straight away when a loose ball fell to Fellaini but Pickford managed to smother the ball.

We were forced into an early change five minutes before the break when Manquillo replaced Oviedo before Anichebe almost equalised. The big forward used his strength well to turn Rojo in the box but his left foot shot from close range was turned round the post for a corner which United easily cleared.

Seb Larsson was then dismissed for an innocuous looking challenge on Herrera in the middle of the park. The Swede was driving forward and slid in low to knock the ball past Herrera and when the whistle blew I actually thought we were being awarded a free kick only for the ref to give the decision against us and then brandish the red card at Larsson. Larsson was incensed with the decision and didn’t leave quietly arguing his case with the referee and then the fourth official.

We didn’t make any changes at the break but whatever Moyes said in his half time team talk didn’t work as we were further behind instantly after the restart. Mkhitaryan was afforded for too much space and time in the box and drove a low shot beyond Pickford into the bottom corner.

Jordan Pickford got a whack from Ibrahimovic when they clattered into each other going for a 50/50 which got a cheer as the Swede came off worse. Pickford was called into action a few more times to deny a through ball from Blind and a chipped effort from Rashford. At the other end the best we could muster was a Jermain Defoe free kick which was comfortably held and a wayward volley from Manquillo.

Our misery was compounded at the death when Rashford linked up with Ibrahimovic and steered a shot past Pickford to seal the victory. Mourinho’s side almost got a fourth in injury time when Ibrahimovic went clean through on goal but Pickford did well to thwart the danger.

Final Score – Sunderland 0 Manchester United 3

ALS Man of the Match – Didier N’Dong

Aidan Crowe

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