Premier League

March 30, 2013

Full-time

Sunderland

0 - 1

Manchester United

Premier League

12:45 +00:00, March 30, 2013

Stadium of Light, England

  •  

    Sunderland were disappointing, offering little by way of a revival. United machine rolls on... Head over here for the rest of Saturday's action.

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    Man Utd get their 25th win in 30 games.. never been done before in the Premier League. They are 18 games unbeaten and have gone 18 points clear.

  • 96'

    FT. SUNDERLAND 0-1 MAN UTD. United go 18 points clear after grinding out a result. Van Persie's shot deflected off Bramble for the only goal, and Sunderland offered little to get back into the game.

  • 96'

    Young breaks... he beat Bramble for pace then squared for RVP who's shot was saved by Mignolet.

  • 96'

    More great defending from the aerial bombardment and United will see this one out you would think

  • 95'

    Welbeck and Cleverley just trying to keep the ball and avoid a last gasp flurry from the home side. They are doing so well.

  • 94'

    Valencia full of running - the first thing he's done for most of the game.

  • 93'

    Van Persie buys the foul to slow things down and Bramble walked right into that one.

  • 92'

    Graham and Wickham combine, but just as they could break with a cross field ball, the pass is skewed and United intercept.

  • 90'

    Patient stuff from United to run down the clock. Cutback from Cleverley skips across the box but finds no-one.

  • 90'

    Six minutes of extra-time to go

  • 89'

    Long ball football is being dealt with well by United, Wickham takes one down and has a go, but it drags low and De Gea is able to scoop down and save easily.

  • 88'

    Sunderland struggling to put passes together on the edge of the box. The United wall is standing firm.

  • 87'

    The long ball is headed out and Sessegnon hammers it back. Drops to Wickham, but he tries to do too much in the box and is crowded out.

  • 86'

    The crossing just has not been good enough from Sunderland today. They have the target men now, but the quality is lacking.

  • 85'

    Rose comes off, Colback arrives to try and make a difference

  • 84'

    Anderson off, Cleverley on.

  • 84'

    Evans with a wonderful tackle on the edge of the box. Rose was threatening to break into the box, but the Irishman stopped him well.

  • 83'

    McClean tries to overcomplicate things and fails to get past his man for the third time. Hard to see where an equaliser is coming from now...

  • 82'

    Wickham cushions a long ball down with his head, but it just runs the other side of Graham who misses out. That could have been a great chance.

  • 81'

    Corner comes in and Vidic charges onto it. Heads wide though - he should have done better there.

  • 80'

    Buttner, who has impressed today, cuts inside and has a shot with his right foot. Mignolet tips it rounds the post, but it might have been going wide.

  • 80'

    Welbeck looking to provide some spark on the break. He cuts inside, but loses the ball.

  • 79'

    Bardsley off, Larsson comes on.

  • 79'

    Kagawa off, Welbeck comes on.

  • 78'

    Wickham will give Sunderland another dimension up front and they'll need it. They have been in control this half, but still don't look like scoring.

  • 77'

    O'Shea skips away and puts a cross in, but it's not good enough. Bardsley has a go, but it's well wide.

  • 76'

    Johnson off, Wickham on. Johnson looks unhappy, but it's deserved.

  • 75'

    The very definition of 'studs-up' tackle there and that looks painful.

  • 75'

    Awful tackle from Bradsley on Buttner. Could easily have been a red.

  • 74'

    Buttner taken down, but no foul and McClean is away. His cross comes in, but overhit.

  • 73'

    Johnson with a shot from 30 yards.. it flies wide. His performance has not been up to standard.

  • 73'

    Just as I say that Buttner gets away and crosses, with a lucky deflection to avert danger from Bramble.

  • 71'

    Sessegnon is getting more into it and that's the best hope for Sunderland at the moment. United's attack has gone very quite.

  • 70'

    Smalling with a wonderful header from under his own bar. Gardner was closing and if he had missed it then it was a goal.

  • 69'

    Sessegnon gets away down the left, he passes Smalling who then gets back and he runs it out of play.

  • 67'

    More hunger from Sunderland for sure, but Sessegnon misses his pass and United break.

  • 66'

    N'Diaye gets away, but his final ball is poor. That's been the story of the half for Sunderland; more quality needed

  • 64'

    RVP with an excellent defensive header, then Sessegnon tries a shot on the volley. It's all the home side at the moment.

  • 64'

    Bardsley tries to force his way into the box and Evans comes across to clear well.

  • 63'

    We're back underway and there have been no subs. Sunderland pressing hard to get themselves back into it.

  • 62'

    Both may need some dental work, but they look like they will continue.

  • 62'

    De Gea is still down. He really did collide with Vidic there and while the defender is up, the goalkeeper got the full force of the head in his face.

  • 61'

    Rare bit of spark from Sunderland there. A couple of changes in a couple of minutes

  • 60'

    Sessegnon now chips the ball in and De Gea arrives with a great punch. De Gea heads Vidic though, and both are down.

  • 60'

    Graham getting away and puts the ball across. Sessegnon is there, but Evans comes across and heads away well.

  • 59'

    Johnson charges into the box again, but his final ball is terrible again and the chance escapes.

  • 58'

    Not sure he got the ball there, so probably deserved. Sunderland pressing a bit more now and looking to put their mark on the game

  • 57'

    High foot from Van Persie there. Catches Gardner with that one and goes into the book

  • 56'

    Excellent tackle from Anderson breaks up the play and United are back in control again.

  • 54'

    Buttner charges down the left and gets the cross in, but it's well defended. He's been a bright spark for United so far.

  • 53'

    Vidic there to deal with Sessegnon, who has got past Graham for the first time

  • 52'

    Quick free-kick at the other end sends Johnson away, but despite a good run from Graham, he can't find him with the pass.

  • 51'

    RVP with a superb touch to send Kagawa away, but the Sunderland player get back and crowd him out.

  • 51'

    Rose blocks the shot with his face. Not normal that, but it worked...

  • 50'

    RVP is up and ready to take the free-kick which is just outside the area wide on the right.

  • 49'

    O'Shea comes off worse with his tussle with RVP again. Loses out in the air, then hacks him down

  • 48'

    Gardner impresses and wins the ball back. N'Diaye wastes the chance though as he tries to cross and ends up hitting it behind.

  • 46'

    RVP runs into O'Shea and bounces off him. He's had support though, which is why they've done well.

  • 46'

    KICK-OFF. United start us off again. Sunderland have not won a home game where they have conceded a goal, so they have a lot to do.

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    Well, something has to change. Sunderland have to start getting forward and taking risks. All too easy for Man Utd in the first half.

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    At the risk of tempting fate, I'm not sure this Sunderland team would score against Man Utd if they had another 21 games with which to do so.

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    Sunderland fell behind via a deflected Van Persie shot off Bramble

  • 45'

    HT. SUNDERLAND 0-1 MAN UTD. United are in charge and have had little trouble with their opposition today. Bramble's OG is the difference so far.

  • 45'

    Carrick chips the ball in and RVP catches is on the volley, buy fires it well over.

  • 45'

    One minute of added time remaining

  • 44'

    McClean tries to change that, but Carrick is back to put in the tackle well.

  • 44'

    United have been on control, you feel. Around 65% possession so far and De Gea is having a doze

  • 43'

    Graham gets a touch of the ball at last, but is out wide and crosses towards nobody.

  • 43'

    Johnson tries his usual stepover routine again when in a good position with players forward, but loses the ball. What a frustrating player.

  • 42'

    RVP hits the shot and it's saved by Mignolet with relative ease.

  • 41'

    Young flies away, but Rose was there to tidy up as Buttner chipped the ball over. RVP picks it up, but is pushed in the back and has a chance from the free-kick.

  • 39'

    McClean puts his foot in on Carrick, and the crowd get excited. A bit of passion is what the home side need.

  • 38'

    Young chips it inside and finds RVP who hammers a low shot to the near post. Mignolet is there though.

  • 37'

    Sunderland are just running into a brick wall. They charge forward, then get stuck and have to pass back again.

  • 36'

    Rose is a bundle of energy down the left, but he has been unable to get past his man.

  • 35'

    Young tackling back on Sessegnon, but fouls him and escapes the card. Fans screaming for a yellow.

  • 34'

    United cut through the Sunderland defence. Great work from Young and Kagawa to make space, and the ball is cut back to the onrushing Anderson who charges into the box but is just halted before his shot.

  • 32'

    Young takes the free-kick and Mignolet leaps to save for the cameras.

  • 32'

    Smalling will go to right-back and Evans slots in alongside Vidic.

  • 32'

    Evans on, Rafael off.

  • 31'

    N'Diaye catches Buttner who made a meal of it. Sunderland man already on a yellow, but escapes another.

  • 31'

    Jonny Evans is warming up, Rafael looks to have an issue.

  • 31'

    United just knocking the ball around now. They've done the hard work.

  • 30'

    Bardsley looking to make amends as he plunders the ball and charges forward. Has an effort on goal from about 35 yards out and it sails well wide.

  • 29'

    Martin O'Neill is urging his players onwards, but De Gea in the United goal has had nothing to do all game.

  • 28'

    Hardly deserved really, but United are ahead. Sunderland face a tough task to get anything from this game now.

  • 27'

    It's an own goal from Bramble and it came off his knee. Van Persie had worked room well against Bardsley, then smashed the ball through the defender into the box and off Bramble. Mignolet had no chance.

  • 27'

    GOAL Van Persie hammers a shot which is deflected home.

  • 26'

    N'Diaye arrives a little late on Valencia and is the first into the book

  • 25'

    Turning very bitty now.. neither team able to get a foothold or string a proper move together.

  • 24'

    Graham is running a lone furrow today. It's going to be a long game for him.

  • 23'

    Van Persie in the box latches onto a pass. He cuts back inside, but then the ball is pinched off his toes by Bramble.

  • 22'

    Valencia ad O'Shea clash, with the Irishman coming off worse. No sympathy from the United players for their former team-mate.

  • 21'

    Rose tries to spur his side on down the Sunderland left, but nobody is there in the centre for the cross. They look like they will struggle to score.

  • 19'

    Buttner is doing well down the left, but not getting much support from Young who has been poor. It looks the best outlet for United at the moment.

  • 18'

    Young finds some space and cuts inside to cross. Turns into more of a shot as Mignolet palms over his bar. The sun might have been an issue there.

  • 17'

    Bramble heads behind when the floated ball almost finds RVP. Sunderland on the defensive now...

  • 16'

    Johnson with some stepovers, but little else and his pass it cut out. Gardner on the edge of the box is clattered by Rafael but each had a go at each other so no foul.

  • 15'

    Great reverse pass from Anderson, Buttner again races onto it but Mignolet comes out and grabs it off his toes.

  • 14'

    United continue to have the most of the ball, but good clsoing down from Sunderland is keeping them away from the danger areas.

  • 13'

    First real chance of the game there, Buttner almost got lucky with that one!

  • 12'

    Buttner tries to get through and does! He was looking to pass but the ball rebounded off Bardsley and allowed him to race onto goal. Mignolet does well to spread himself and come out to block

  • 11'

    Sessegnon again at the heart of everything, but couldn't find the run from Graham who had done well to create some space.

  • 10'

    Ball over the top fails to find Sessegnon, but for a split second it looked like he might run onto it.

  • 9'

    Great header from O'Shea to get the ball out of danger after a fine cross came in from the left. Used all his experience there.

  • 9'

    Hard to read this game so far, both sides have had little chances but the goalkeepers have been pretty untested thus far.

  • 7'

    Young curls it and it's well wide and over the bar. Poor effort there.

  • 6'

    Gardner picks the ball up on the edge and hammers a shot which is blocked. United breaks and there's a foul on the other edge of the box as Bardsley handballs.

  • 6'

    Sessegnon does really well on the edge of the box and almost breaks through, but Vidic is there to muscle him out.

  • 5'

    De Gea has an issue with a clearance and Sessegnon picks it up but Graham was well offside when it breaks to him, so the whistle goes.

  • 4'

    Kagawa in the box, turns his man and his cross fails to find anyone.

  • 3'

    Van Persie gets across his man and gets a head onto a cross, but it's weak and Mignolet has no problems there.

  • 3'

    Young and Buttner with space down the left, but Young tries an ambitious pass that runs out of play.

  • 2'

    He's still on the pitch, so may want to run it off. Jonny Evans is on the bench if needed.

  • 2'

    Vidic looks in pain already. He just hoofed the ball out of play and seems have tweaked his back.

  • 1'

    United with the early possession, just making sure that everyone gets a touch.

  • 1'

    KICK-OFF: Sunderland get us underway

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    Players are out on the pitch in bright sunshine, almost ready for kick-off.

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    Players to watch. For United: Kagawa will have a big impact and Anderson has something to prove. Sunderland: Johnson needs to impress, and O'Shea will be motivated against his old side.

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    Manchester United are unbeaten against Sunderland in 21 games... this could be one-way traffic.

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    Just 5 or so minutes until kick-off. You can follow me here on Twitter.

  •  

    More required reading for Sunderland fans is Miguel Delaney's assessment of the relegation battle

  •  

    Sunderland are very much not out of the danger zone yet. Colin Randall doesn't think it will get better after today's game - Read

  •  

    Good Opta stat: Manchester United have not picked up a single card in any of their last four Premier League games.

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    It's top vs bottom in the form table. United have won their last six games; Sunderland have drawn two and lost four.

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    For Sunderland, Fletcher's injury has caused issues and Graham comes in. They have not scored enough goals, and may struggle again.

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    Quite a strong line-up really for United, given the circumstances. Over the years they've succeeded by having a strong squad, and this proves it. Chelsea on Monday, but Vidic, Carrick, Kagawa and RVP are all playing today.

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    So Fergie is resting players for the Monday clash with Chelsea in the FA Cup - no Ferdinand, Evra, Giggs, Scholes, Nani or Rooney. Surprisingly, RVP starts up front.

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    Sunderland team: Mignolet, Bardsley, Rose, O'Shea, Bramble, N'Diaye, Gardner, McClean, Johnson, Sessegnon, Graham.

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    Man Utd team: De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie.

  •  

    Mark Payne thinks that the old guard will be key to United's hopes this season

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    Sir Alex Ferguson insists he does not care how Manchester United win the Premier League title, he is simply desperate to do so. Read

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    Martin O'Neill was once linked with the United job...

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    Join us to see if Man Utd can extend their lead at the top to 18 points with a win at Sunderland.