Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland: Wayne Rooney Ends Drought As United Go Top
Wayne Rooney was on the scoresheet as Manchester United leapfrogged rivals City to go top of the Premier League after a 3-0 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Memphis Depay put Louis van Gaal’s men in front on the stroke of half-time, before Rooney finally ended his longest Premier League goal drought and Juan Mata scored in stoppage time to seal the points.
Sunderland offered very little as an attacking force, and the victory was comfortable in the end for United.
United traded places with City after they slipped to a 4-1 defeat at Tottenham in Saturday’s early kick-off and, despite a laboured first-half display, fans can start dreaming of title success once more.
The game was slow to get going as neither side created many openings, but United were comfortable in possession.
David de Gea was the first goalkeeper called into action, keeping out a fierce Fabio Borini drive with his legs as the visitors pressed.
However, in first-half stoppage time United found that killer pass, and got themselves in front.
Daley Blind showed great vision to pick out Juan Mata over the top of the Sunderland defence, who then delightfully played the ball across into the path of Memphis, who beat Billy Jones to the ball to tap in.
Then, less than a minute into the second-half, Old Trafford breathed a huge sigh of relief as their captain finally found his scoring boots.
This was all about Anthony Martial. The French forward used his pace and power to get to the byline, fired the ball across goal, and Rooney managed to bundle the ball home, via his knee. Not pretty, but he won’t care one bit.
Sunderland had a great chance to get back in it, but De Gea stood tall and blocked Patrick van Aanholt’s strike to keep United in a comfortable position.
Mata brought the best out of Costel Pantilimon from the edge of the box but he was more clinical in stoppage time to make sure of the three points for United.
Ashley Young got himself one-on-one with Jones, beat him to the byline, whipped the ball into Mata, who killed the ball brilliantly with one touch, before firing into the roof of the net.
Again, not overly convincing, but to sit top of the league without really finding form yet will please the masses at Old Trafford, and send their rivals a message that the title race is very much alive.
Manchester United: De Gea (7); Valencia (6), Smalling (7), Blind (8), Darmian (7); Schneiderlin (6), Carrick (6); Mata (8), Rooney (7), Memphis (6); Martial (8).
Subs used: Jones (6), Schweinsteiger (6),Young (7).
Sunderland: Pantilimon (7), Jones (5), van Aanholt (6), O’Shea (7), Kaboul (6), Cattermole (7), M’Vila (6), Johnson (5), Toivonen (5), Lens (6), Borini (6).
Subs used: Fletcher (6)
Man of the Match: Anthony Martial