Sunderland 2 United 1
Wabhi Khazri 3′ Anthony Martial 39′
De Gea (o.g.) 82′
The game started with an early goal for Sunderland off a free-kick. It was Wabhi Khazri the new boy for Sunderland that took and scored off the free-kick. The ball squeezed through the wall and it bounced off the inside of the post. It was a shock lead for Sunderland that immediately livened up the game.
The pace of the game was quicker, and the Black Cats were more aggressive. Jack Rodwell replaced Jan Kirchoff, who had a hamstring injury fifteen minutes into the game. Khazri had a shot at goal that was blazed high and wide. Juan Mata also had a one-time shot that went straight to the Vito Mannone. Donald Love then came on for Matteo Darmian in the 37th minute.
Then two minutes later it was Anthony Martial that got the equalizer. Martial got on the end of a parry by Mannone after a shot from Mata outside the box. The Frenchman rushed into the six-yard box and then chipped the ball over the keeper. It was an exquisite piece of skill from a tight angle. Yann M’vila threatened the United goal with a long distance shot outside the box that went over the bar. Then shortly after that the referee blew the half-time whistle.
The second period began with the Black Cats attacking the visitors. There was a header from John O’ Shea that was blocked after a cross from Khazri. Lee Cattermole ran down the left-side and crossed the ball for Jermaine Defoe, but the contact that he made with the ball was blocked by Daley Blind. Dame N’Doye had a one one one with De Gea, but De Gea pushed his right foot out to save it. Memphis Depay came on for Jesse Lingard in the 62nd minute.
Khazri also had a direct free-kick that that lacked swerve and power, and it was easily saved by De Gea. Sunderland brought on Fabio Borini for Jermaine Defoe. Lamine Kone for Sunderland tested De Gea with a powerful shot from the left-side outside of the box. Then on the other end Juan Mata had a shot at goal that was saved by Mannone. The game became more open with both sides creating chances.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson squared a ball for Memphis Depay whose shot was easily held by the keeper. Then minutes later Lamine Kone scored after winning a header in the box after a corner. De Gea got a hand to it but the ball bounced off him and went into the goal. Patrick Van Holt had a shot on goal that just went wide. Then the referee blew the full-time whistle.
The game was an entertaining one, but the problem was that we didn’t manage the game properly especially in the second-half. We should have defended much better against Kone, who had a free header in the box that lead to De Gea’s own goal. We lost another game where we had good chance to win it. Our championship aspirations are virtually over as far as I am concerned.
Do you think United deserved to lose the game?
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is likely to be without three players who were on Under-21 duty on Monday when naming his squad to face Sunderland this weekend.
Phil Jones, Guillermo Varela and Adnan Januzaj all picked up knocks during the second string’s 7-0 win over Norwich City at Old Trafford. Although Bastian Schweinsteiger is still sidelined, there is more encouraging news on Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia following their operations.
“It’s not looking good because I also let my players play in the second team and various players were injured again,” the manager told MUTV at the Aon Training Complex on Friday afternoon. “They’re not very nasty injuries but I still have to give them time to recover.
“It is a big pity because Jones is a very good central defender and we are missing him and also Marcos Rojo for a long time already.
“I cannot say Bastian is returning within two weeks because I have given him, more or less, a little holiday as he also has to change his mindset. It’s good for players. I have done that also with Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw, for example, when you are injured for longer than normal.
“The light at the end of the tunnel is more for Rojo and for Valencia. They are coming back and I hope it’s as soon as possible.”
The Reds are unbeaten in 13 league visits to the Stadium of Light and will close the gap on the Barclays Premier League top four with victory ahead of Sunday’s schedule, when Arsenal face Leicester City and Manchester City take on Tottenham Hotspur.
How to follow the match: Saturday’s 12:45 GMT kick-off will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport 1. Fans can also follow the action via ManUtd.com’s match blog and the club’s Twitter account @ManUtd. MUTV’s Match Day Live programme starts at 12:00 GMT and the club’s official channel will show the full game at 18:00 GMT on Sunday.
Scene-setter: Louis van Gaal’s men will be looking to respond after a late goal denied the Reds victory at Chelsea last weekend. Currently six points off the top four, the United boss will be hoping to close that gap with a win against the struggling Black Cats, who sit 19th in the table. Sam Allardyce’s side will have been buoyed by a credible draw at Liverpool last weekend, but have plenty of work to do if they are to secure their top-flight status for another year.
Form guide: United have lost just one of the last nine games and are unbeaten in 13 previous league trips to the Stadium of Light. The sides drew 1-1 in last season’s corresponding fixture, but the Reds had claimed victories on the three trips to Wearside before that. On an individual level, Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals in eight appearances since the turn of the year and netted three times against Allardyce’s side last season. The skipper’s seven-goal tally against the Black Cats is the most by any United player in the Premier League era. Meanwhile, Jesse Lingard will be hoping to score the Reds’ opening goal for the third game in a row, after netting against Stoke City and Chelsea.
Latest team news: Adnan Januzaj and Guillermo Varela could both be unavailable after limping out of the Under-21s’ 7-0 thrashing of Norwich City on Monday. The game is also likely to come too soon for Ashley Young and Bastian Schweinsteiger, but van Gaal is expected to provide an update in Friday’s pre-match press-conference. Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia remain sidelined, along with long-term absentee Luke Shaw. The visitors could be without Jermain Defoe, who is suffering from a muscular injury, but Fabio Borini and Jeremain Lens are in contention to return.
View from the dressing room: Michael Carrick says his side need to battle on after last week’s Stamford Bridge disappointment. “There is plenty to play for this month and of course plenty of points to play for in the league. We’re not giving anything up just yet,” he said on Tuesday. “We have to battle on through, keep going and play something like we have been doing over the last few weeks and then see where it takes us.”
View from the opposition: Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone thinks his side’s precarious league position makes Saturday’s clash very important. “In the last three weeks, no matter who we’re playing we want to get three points; we want the three points (on Saturday),” he told the club’s official website.
Danger men: After six months in the MLS, Jermain Defoe has managed to recapture the form that once made him one of England’s hottest strikers. The 33-year-old has averaged a goal a game this year and will be crucial to any success the hosts may have if he is deemed fit to feature on Saturday. January arrival Wahib Khazri has impressed in his two Sunderland appearances thus far, providing a slick assist for the former in last weekend’s Anfield draw.
Betting: Club partners Marathonbet price United as odds-on favourites to take the three points at 39/50, while Sunderland are deemed long-shots at 43/10 and the draw is available at 139/50. You can get odds of 79/20 on Rooney adding to his previous successes against the hosts with the opening goal, and 44/5 on Lingard netting the opener for the third consecutive game. Visit Marathonbet’s website for more offers.
Referee: Andre Marriner will take charge of his first United match since last season’s visit to Everton. The West Midlands official has sent off seven Sunderland players in his last 17 games involving the Black Cats and presided over their 6-2 defeat at Goodison Park earlier in the season.
Rivals watch: The top four all face off against each other on Sunday, with Leicester City visiting Arsenal and Manchester City hosting Tottenham Hotspur. Liverpool travel to Aston Villa on the same day.
Guillermo Varela has the belief to push on become a Manchester United regular after forcing his way into Louis van Gaal’s first-team plans.
The Uruguayan defender is hoping to get more minutes in the side with games in the Barclays Premier League, Europa League and Emirates FA Cup on the horizon this month, even if he did limp off with an ankle injury during the Under-21s’ 7-0 thrashing of Norwich City at Old Trafford on Monday.
As he now feels adapted to life in England’s top division, the full-back is confident he can continue to make his mark in his third year at the club and is targeting a lengthy stay in Manchester.
“The first year was really a period where I was settling in,” he told ManUtd.com. “In the second year, I went out on loan [to Castilla] and now I’m back at the club again and the manager has been giving me the chance to show what I can do, so I’m very pleased to be getting this opportunity.
“Right now, I can say that I have adapted 100 per cent to the English game. I’m used to the pace and physicality just now. I think I’ve learned about everything! But I’ve really developed and learned about the physical aspect of my game.
“The football here is very physical in comparison to Uruguay or other parts of the world, where the emphasis is more on technique and tactics. But here you have to battle harder and have more strength when you’re playing and that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned.”
Varela feels his breakthrough last December, making his debut against West Ham United and starting in the Champions League defeat to Wolfsburg, gave him the confidence to step up to the plate.
“It gave me a kind of inner calm to say that I could compete at the level of the Champions League,” the 22-year-old said. “Then, I knew I can be here and I can play. After being in the squad a few times and then featuring in a number of games, you start to feel that you are capable of turning out in the starting XI and performing at the level the team requires. But, of course, I need to keep working hard, I can’t start believing that I’ve arrived because that’s clearly not the case.
“It’s all about continuing to work hard and trying to win the confidence of the coach. Firstly, I love being at Manchester United and I’d love to enjoy a long career here and win everything that comes in our path. Then, looking ahead, [playing for] the [Uruguayan] national team of course!”
Two openers in two games, including a contender for Manchester United’s Goal of the Season, means it hasn’t been a bad week for Jesse Lingard.
The winger headed home the Reds’ first goal in last Tuesday’s impressive 3-0 win over Stoke City at Old Trafford and fired a beauty into the top corner as he gave Louis van Gaal’s men the lead over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Lingard was delighted with his “instinctive” finish, but admitted afterwards that the gloss has been taken off the strike a little thanks to Diego Costa’s late leveller.
Nevertheless, the 23-year-old is determined to build on a memorable few days from a personal perspective and says he is keen to maintain the strong form he has shown since he returned from injury.
“The boss has said that I’m getting back to my form now from what I had before my injury and I need to keep kicking on,” he told ManUtd.com.
“I was very happy with the finish and it was just instinctive to turn and hit it. It was a great feeling but, at the end of the day, we didn’t get the three points.
“We were so close and we’d worked hard all game. We were chasing the three points and then, right at the end, it just slipped from us.”
Van Gaal has put his faith in Lingard in some important fixtures this term and the forward has certainly caught the eye on a number of occasions, none more so than with his fine strike on Sunday. The man himself says the big-game challenges are something he relishes and he adds that everyone is keen to play their part during a busy February for the Reds.
“I felt comfortable [against Chelsea],” he continued. “From the first minute I got on the ball and tried to make things happen and, luckily, I got the goal. But it was the three points we wanted.
“We’ve got a big squad with lots of games coming up in different competitions. The manager can rotate things when he needs to and give people a rest – everyone wants to play and hopefully we can go on a good run.”
CARRICK: WE STILL HAVE PLENTY OF TARGETS
Michael Carrick insists Manchester United can take heart from Sunday’s draw against Chelsea, despite letting what would have been a significant victory slip from the team’s grasp late on.
Louis van Gaal’s men were within a few minutes of deservedly coming away with a 1-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge, but Diego Costa’s injury-time strike resulted in a share of the spoils, much to the Reds’ frustration.
United had the better of the possession across the 90 minutes – 51 per cent compared to Chelsea’s 49 per cent – and found the target with seven of the 17 shots on goal. Carrick was proud of how the Reds performed and says the players will use the impressive aspects of the display for the remaining challenges in the league, Europa League and Emirates FA Cup in a busy February.
The midfielder told ManUtd.com: “I think it was a big day for us in terms of the league situation. If we’d have gone there and got a win we’d have been in good shape, but it wasn’t to be and it makes things harder for us.
“It’s hard to take, losing two points so late on. I know we were under pressure for the last 10 or 15 minutes but to lose a goal like that is disappointing and that’s the overall feeling.
“I thought we played well and produced some really good football. We looked dangerous going forward and defended well for most of the game. We just didn’t do the right things at the right time near the end and see the game out.
“We have to battle on though, keep going and play something like we have been doing over the last few weeks and then see where that takes us.
“There is plenty to play for this month and of course plenty of points to play for in the league. We’re not giving anything up just yet.”
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney continues to be hugely impressed by his team-mate David De Gea, insisting the Spaniard is still the best goalkeeper in the world.
De Gea was deservedly showered with more plaudits after a host of superb saves kept Chelsea at bay for much of Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Unfortunately for the Reds, Diego Costa eventually found a way past the 26-year-old, but it was still another outstanding display from United’s Player of the Season for the last two campaigns.
“I think David again made some incredible saves,” Rooney told ManUtd.com after the game. “I’ve said before he’s probably been the best goalkeeper in the world in the last few seasons and, again, he made some important saves to keep it at 1-0 for a long time.
“Unfortunately, the goal at the end has got Chelsea a point. It’s a disappointing result, particularly after conceding late on, and it feels a bit like a defeat.
“We sat back a bit too much [late on] and the game was broken up a bit too much because, in my opinion, we were giving too many free-kicks away. We couldn’t get up the pitch and it was difficult at times because Chelsea pushed players up front.
“Overall, it was a good performance and we played some nice stuff, as we have done in the last few games. But, at this stage of the season, it’s results that matter and it was very disappointing to drop two points. The players are down at the minute after conceding late on, but we need to lift ourselves for next weekend now.
“We know there are positives to take from the performance. We’ll try to take them into the game on Saturday [at Sunderland].”
BLIND: WE WERE BETTER THAN CHELSEA
“We played a better game, we were the better team and we deserved the three points.”
That was the view of a visibly frustrated yet quietly encouraged Daley Blind following Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday.
The Dutchman was speaking exclusively to MUTV in the moments following Diego Costa’s dramatic 91st-minute equaliser at Stamford Bridge, where Louis van Gaal’s men had dominated for large periods of the game and deservedly led through Jesse Lingard’s brilliant opener before conceding late on.
“Of course we’re disappointed,” Blind told us. “If you play a game like this you have to reward yourself. It was difficult in the end, we knew that. I think overall we played a better game, we were the better team and we deserved the three points. But we can’t deny that they got some chances as well in the end. In the last 15 minutes they were the better team but overall we were better.
“They put extra strikers on and their defenders came up,” Daley continued. “A lot of players were getting tired, there were tired legs meaning there was a lot of free-kicks given away. So it was difficult. But we stood our ground, David [De Gea] was in great form and made some great saves so that gives confidence to your defence. It’s a pity what happened in the last minute.
“I think we can be positive about the play but for now the disappointment overrules that. We played well, we’ll see what we need to do next week but of course it’s on our mind that we’ve played well. But like I said for now the disappointment is overruling that.”
Blind also admitted he was pleased to see his good friend Lingard bag his fourth goal of the season with a superb turn and finish past the in-form Thibaut Courtois, although the former Ajax utility man was clearly struggling to forget about the disappointment of dropping two points.
“It was a fantastic goal and I’m happy for him,” Daley said. “But I think we have to be more patient with how we play out the game and [make sure we] go away with the win.”
Chelsea 1 United 1
Diego Costa 90′ Jesse Lingard 61′
The game started with a good pace, and United won six corners within the first twelve minutes. The men in red attacked the home side early and often. Anthony Martial took a powerful shot that Thibaut Courtois did well to save.
Chelsea looked disjointed and lacked passing rhythm. Shape-wise they didn’t look comfortable defensively. Diego Costa had a chance for Chelsea, but his shot went wide of the post. Oscar also fluffled his shot that went over the bar from close range. Chelsea was starting to find their stride as the game went on. Their movement and passing began to be a concern for United.
But United dealt with the pressure well. Marouane Fellani’s header went wide of the goal after a corner by Daley Blind. Then it wasn’t long after that the referee blew the half-time whistle.
In the second-period, the Red Devils returned to their quick uptempo style from the first-half. Wayne Rooney went close when he shot from outside the box that forced Courtois into a save. Jesse Lingard forced the keeper into an excellent save later on. Eden Hazard came on for Oscar in the 54′ minute. Gary Cahill came on for Kurt Zouma shortly afterwards.
Then, United broke the deadlock just past the hour mark. Lingard received a pass in the box from Rooney then he turned and rifled the ball home into the top right-hand corner. It was Jesse Lingard’s fourth goal of the season. Then six minutes later Pedro came on for Nemanja Matic as Chelsea pressed for a goal. Fellani came off for Morgan Schneiderlin in the 79th minute.
Branislav Ivanovic’s cracking drive in the box was saved by David De Gea. Cesc Fabregas took a powerful drive at goal that De Gea was equal to again. United defended stoutly as they continued to press. United then brought on Memphis Depay for Jesse Lingard in the 87th minute.
Then Diego Costa got the equalizer in the 90th minute when Costa’s first effort was blocked. But Costa got a second chance and rounded De Gea to score. Then Juan Mata came on for Ander Herrera in stoppage time.
Chelsea almost won the game when Costa ran down on the left-side into the box and took low shot, but De Gea came up with a big save. So the game ended 1-1 in what was an entertaining game.
What did you think of the game? Do you think that Chelsea deserved the draw?