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United 1 Sunderland 0

An out of sorts United scrapped their way to a narrow 1-0 win over Sunderland this afternoon.

Team News - With Sir Alex Ferguson celebrating twenty-five years in charge tomorrow, three things stuck out with regards to the starting eleven he`d selected for this fixture. Rooney`s role in midfield continued, Ferdinand and Vidic were restored to the centre of the defence and Lindegaard was given the nod between the sticks instead of De Gea.

United - Lindegaard, Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic, Jones, Park, Nani, Fletcher, Rooney, Hernandez, Welbeck

Subs - De Gea, Evans, Fabio, Carrick, Valencia, Berbatov, Diouf

First Half - With Old Trafford paying homage to Sir Alex Ferguson, the proceedings took on a sour note very early on when the Sunderland striker, Wickham, twisted his leg awkwardly and was carried away on a stretcher.

The first chance of the game fell to Hernandez but his shot, from a Nani ball in, wasn`t good enough to trouble Westwood in the Sunderland goal.

For some strange reason, United were not their normal vibrant selves and Sunderland were frustrating them by defending well. Whilst United had the majority of possession our visitors created three half chances. The first saw Bendtner fail to get enough purchase on an effort before Larsson fired into the side-netting. Bendtner, with his second chance, then forced a fine save out of Lindegaard.

The pattern of play continued, United dominating possession but Sunderland coping remarkably well. As we entered the last quarter of an hour of the half, Westwood comfortably saved a long range effort from Rooney.

Hernandez tumbled over in the area but a penalty shout was always going to be a little hopeful but just as you thought it`d be 0-0 at half time, United went ahead.

Nani slung over a corner and Welbeck`s headed flick hit Wes Brown and beat Westwood, thanks Wes!

United 1 Sunderland 0 (Brown og - 45 mins)

Half Time - United 1 Sunderland 0

Second Half - If the goal was intended to be the signal for an improved second half performance from United then somebody didn`t tell the players.

The opening exchanges mirrored those of the poor first half. Hernandez tried to inject something into the game but his header was cleared off the line before confusion reigned as the referee, Lee Mason, awarded Sunderland a penalty.

Thankfully, the referee`s assistant over-ruled Lee Mason having seen the hand of Ji Dong Won touch the ball rather than that of Vidic. The incident seemed to revitalise United and the lead should have been doubled.

Westwood produced a double stop, first to stop a close range shot form Rooney and then to produce a fine save from Evra.

But, leading 1-0 was always going to be dangerous and Sunderland could have equalised but Bendtner just failed to get a touch on Larsson`s decent cross.

A win, three points but not the standard of performance we`re accustomed to.



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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday November 5 2011

Time: 5:37PM

Your Comments

It's not exciting football and despite have most possession we couldn't do much with it but as long as we get the win that's all that matters. This game could've had more goals in it but credit to Westwood he was solid. Slightly shocked that Valencia wasn't brought on at any point, especially we was lacking any threat from the left hand side I would've thought Fergie would've opted to move Nani over to the left and play Valencia wide right. Jones looks amazing not matter where he plays, I don't ever want to see Evans selected ahead of him again :P
TheFamousNo7
Bit of a damp squib to serve up for celebrating taggart's 25 years in charge wasn't it? Thank heavens for your mate Oggy stepping up to rescue you once again, and you must be delighted the ref didn't have the cojones to back up his assistant with the penalty decision. I can almost here the radio conversation now. Assistant "handball, penalty!" Ref: "Not on Slur's 25th anniversary it's not, I'll never hear the end of it".
fifthcolumnblue
The ref was right though fcb, it was a United freekick, the Sunderland players arm hit the ball not our defenders, if you think otherwise perhaps you should have another look at the replay.
TheFamousNo7
 

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