Writer: Red Boy
Date:Saturday December 15 2012
United kept the gap at six points at the top of the Premier League with a decent win over Sunderland.
With Manchester City having already won the early kick-off, defeating Newcastle 3-1 up at St James Park, Sir Alex made two changes to the starting eleven that faced City last weekend with Chris Smalling coming in for the injured Jonny Evans and Phil Jones replacing the rested Rafael.
United`s first chance came after a Van Persie corner, one of an early flurry, wasn`t cleared well enough and Ashley Young saw his shot, from 20 yards, tipped over the bar by Mignolet. Another chance, following a Rooney corner, saw Steven Flecher slice his kick resulting in Patrice Evra firing over the bar.
After the early pressure United went head after a poor clearance from John O`Shea saw Van Persie smash the ball home from eight yards out, his 15th of the season, after good work from Young.
United 1 Sunderland 0 (Van Persie 15 mins)
Mignolet then kept Sunderland in the game after a cross from Jones was met by Van Persie with Mignolet somehow getting a hand to it to tip it onto the post but the second goal wasn`t long incoming when Carrick and Cleverley played a one-two and Cleverley curled the resulting pass into the bottom corner.
United 2 Sunderland 0 (Cleverley 19 mins)
Rooney then missed a great chance to extend the lead further when set up by Van Persie but his shot was sliced a yard wide. Rooney the missed another chance when his header, from eight yards out, went over. Sunderland had a rare chance when Ferdinand dwelled in possession but McClean chose to shoot, from a narrow angle, instead of passing to an on-rushing team mate.
McClean and Sessegnon had half chances as half time approached but United held firm.
Half Time - United 2 Sunderland 0
Sunderland lost Steve Fletcher at half time through injury whilst Paul Scholes came on for Carrick. An early chance saw Rooney hit the bar as United carried on from where they left off with Young firing over from the edge of the box. Wickham, on for Fletcher, saw De Gea save his goal bound effort and also managed to divert the follow up, from Sessegnon, wide.
A ball over the top saw Van Persie free but in trying to lob it over Mignolet his attempt went wide. United made it 3-0 when some enterprising work from Van Persie set up Rooney to finish Sunderland off.
United 3 Sunderland 0 (Rooney 59 mins)
Sir Alex introduced Vidic, in place of Ferdinand, as United looked as if they were strolling this one. The arrears were reduced when the former United player, Fraizer Campbell headed home from close range from a Sessegnon cross.
United 3 Sunderland 1 (Campbell 72 mins)
Just the result United were after although Sir Alex would have liked to kept a clean sheet.
Date:Saturday December 15 2012
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