Post Match Reaction: Manchester United 3 - 1 Sunderland

Clive Mason

Manchester United started like a train to take a three goal lead, but Sunderland finished strong to make it nervy right up to the full ninety minutes.

A goal a piece for Robin Van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney was enough to ensure the three points belonged to Manchester United and maintain our six point lead over City. A goal for former youngster Fraizer Campbell was Sunderland's sole consolation, although they will be heartened by their second half performance, when it could have been ever so easy for them to roll over. The other main talking point from the game was the return of Club captain Nemanja Vidic, who played the last thirty.

United's passing was slick and fast. Sunderland could not live with the movement and it wasn't long before the opener came. RVP shooting after fantastic work from Ashley Young who wriggled and turned to get a cross away. It should have been cleared, but John O'Shea picked out a wonderful ball for United's hit man. He made no mistake, unlike Patrice Evra who skied a similar finish moments before.

The second was beautifully worked. Tom Cleverley seized the ball on the left, made an untracked run after passing to Micheal Carrick. Carrick played a wonderful ball back to Clev who did not have to check his run as he curled home. United were steaming ahead.

Plenty more chances came and went. The most notebale will probably be Rooney's, whoose difficult half volley sailed just past the post. It could have been about five by the half time whistle went.

The only chance of note for Sunderland in the first half came when Jonny Evans Rio Ferdinand had a complete brain fart and let McClean in down the left who bore down on goal. He went for glory instead of cutting it back and David De Gea made a fairly routine save.

De Gea was far far busier in the second half however. Nothing world class but he displayed good hands and stayed sharp. I think today was a perfect opportunity to see why Micheal Carrick is vital to this team. As soon as he went off, the control we had over the game evaporated.

Despite this, United extended their lead. RVP and Ashley Young linked up. The dutchmen sent in a cross and Rooney managed to see the ball home. The positives ended there however.

Sunderland soon pulled one back. De Gea again saved well and parried the ball away from danger. However a stripy shirt was not closed down and the cross found Campbell who was completley unmarked at the back stick.

Ryan Giggs was brought on for Cleverley immediately in what was a strange change. That left the elderly Giggs and Paul Scholes deployed in the engine room and Sunderland must have licked their lips. However, although they huffed, and they puffed, they couldn't breach the United defense a second time and it ended 3-1. Good job too, I doubt I could handle a close finish....

Most important, we got the three points. Our football, in particularly the first 30, was superb. Movement. Accurate passing. The only thing lacking was the finishing. It could have been over at half time. I cannot wait untill this team puts together a whole game of this kind of football. I sense a hammering coming along sooner rather than later.

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