Manchester United got top of the Barclays Premier League after three goals and a clean sheet against Sunderland, at the Theatre of dreams.
Manchester United started the game with high tempo, creating several chances. However, Sunderland remained resilient in defence, holding United off for as long as possible.
The Black Cats rarely troubled de Gea in the Manchester United Goal with their best chance coming from a Lens shot on the 23rd minute that was saved by the United keeper.
Both Mata and Memphis had shots blocked by Cattermole and Pantilimon respectively. Martial also came close with a run in from the left which saw him dispossessed at the last minute but winning United a corner.
Despite the dominance from United and the chances they created, it looked like both sides were going to head in at half time with the score still 0-0.
But, in the 4th and final minute of injury time, Daley Blind played a perfect ball over the top finding Mata in space on the right side of the box. Mata then crossed the ball – some may argue it was a shot – across the face of the goal where Memphis slid in to push the ball into the back of the net.
Coming out in the second half, Manchester United hoped to pick up where they left off in the first half. And that, they did.
Just a minute into the second half Martial made easy work of passing the Sunderland defence on the right side of the box. Looking up, he plays the ball across the face of goal finding Rooney, who more or less ran into the ball, knocking it over the line for his first Premier League goal and United’s second in the match.
Sunderland then began to press a litte, having a 10 minute spell of possession. During this spell they came close when a perfectly weighted through ball found Patrick van Aanholt one-on-one with de Gea. The United keeper stood his ground and blocked van Aanholt’s shot.
This small threat from Sunderland was enough for United to regroup and take control of the game once more. Again United came forward playing some good football and finding shooting opportunities.
On 66 minutes, Martial and Memphis found themselves two against one with Martial in possession. The 19 year old Frenchman selflessly tucked the ball past the last defender into the path of Memphis. Memphis, one-on-one with Pantilimon, was unfortunately unable to seize his chance to score his second as he was only able to shoot straight at the Sunderland keeper.
Although it was never in doubt, the three points were wrapped up in the 90th minute when substitute Ashley Young picked out Mata in acres of space at the back post. Young fired a cross to Mata who’s first touch stopped the ball dead. With all the time in the world he rifled the ball into the top right corner.
With that win Manchester United are now back in familiar territory at the top of the league. But with a tough October facing them, will they stay there?
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Manchester United Team Sheet
Blind (Jones 74′)
Carrick (Schweinsteiger 68′)
Memphis (Young 77′)
Sunderland Team Sheet
Johnson (Fletcher 45′)
Toivonen (Larsson 70′)