Manchester United beat Sunderland 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday as Wayne Rooney’s double pushed the Red Devils into third.
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United struggled to get going early on with Ashley Young having the best of their chances but then Rooney dispatched a second half penalty kick, amid much confusion after Wes Brown was incorrectly sent off as John O’Shea committed the foul, to set them on their way and he added another late on to make it 2-0.
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The Red Devils move up to third and sit on 50 points, while a lackluster Sunderland side remain just three points above the relegation zone.
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United started sluggishly and Sunderland were denied by a great save from David De Gea as Connor Wickham was set free. Moments later Jermain Defoe curled an effort just over after Wayne Rooney was dispossessed.
Ashley Young then went close for the home side but the English winger sent his effort just over the bar. Moments later Young went even closer as he was found at the back post but his effort was deflected onto the crossbar and out by former United player O’Shea.
Throughout the first half United continued to press but Sunderland looked dangerous on the break as the Old Trafford crowd grew restless.
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In the second half United went ahead after Radamel Falcao’s wonderful piece of skill to control the ball and flick it past O’Shea who then hauled down the United forward. Referee Roger East awarded a penalty kick, which Rooney duly dispatched, but he sent off the wrong player as Wes Brown was shown a red card on his return to Old Trafford instead of O’Shea who committed the foul.
After going down to 10-men Sunderland struggled to gain possession and United pushed hard to seal the win. They did just that in the 85th minute as Rooney tapped home following Adnan Januzaj’s shot being parried into his path. 2-0 to United, as the Red Devils cement their place in the top four.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Evans, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Young, Di Maria (Januzaj, 45′), Rooney (Mata, 86′), Falcao (Fellaini, 68′)
Goals: Rooney (66′, 84′)
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Reveillere, van Aanholt, Brown, O’Shea, Cattermole, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson (Fletcher, 81′), Wickham (Vergini, 67′), Defoe (Graham (67′)
Red card: Brown (66′)