Man United 4 Sunderland 1
Manchester United 4 Sunderland 1, Old Trafford, English Premier League, February 2, 2002. Table toppers Manchester United followed up a comprehensive 4-0 triumph over nearby rivals Bolton Wanderers at Reebok Stadium four days earlier by beating Sunderland 4-1 at Old Trafford where all the goals were scored during the first half of the one-sided game.
Reigning Premier League Champions Manchester United had comfortably defeated Sunderland 3–1 at The Stadium of Light in the reverse meeting of the 2001-02 campaign courtesy of a goal each by Ryan Giggs and Andy Cole plus an own goal from Slovakian international defender Stanislav Varga, and The Red Devils had no problems in gaining another three points against The Black Cats. The home team stormed into the lead after just six minutes of play as Phil Neville raced onto a magnificent through ball from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before he sent a low effort past Sunderland and Austria U21 shot stopper Jurgen Macho and into the goal. The Wearsiders equalised thanks to a twenty-five-yard strike from Kevin Phillips in the twelfth minute of the clash, but Manchester United regained their advantage thirteen minutes later when David Beckham found the target with an unstoppable free-kick. The Old Trafford men carried on attacking and were rewarded for their offensive efforts as Ruud van Nistelrooy scored with a left-foot volley on twenty-eight minutes before the trigger happy marksman added a fourth goal for The Reds from the penalty spot one minute ahead of the interval, and with no further goals in the second half the game finished with a 4-1 win for the hosts. Manchester United Team: Fabien Barthez, Gary Neville, Laurent Blanc, Mikael Silvestre, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Substitutes: Diego Forlan, John O’Shea , Nicky Butt, Denis Irwin. Roy Carroll. Sunderland Team: Jurgen Macho, Bernt Haas, Joachim Bjorklund, Jody Craddock, Stanislav Varga, Kevin Kilbane, Darren Williams, Michael Gray, Jason McAteer, Claudio Reyna, Kevin Phillips. Substitutes: Julio Arca, George McCartney, Niall Quinn, David Bellion, Micahel Ingham.
Ruud van Nistelrooy Quickfacts
Ruud van Nistelrooy appeared for Dutch clubs Den Bosch, Heerenveen, and PSV Eindhoven before he joined Manchester United for a transfer fee in the region of £19 million at the start of the 2001-02 season. Following 95 Premier League goals in 150 matches for United, he was sold to Real Madrid for an estimated fee of €14 million in the summer of 2006 and scored 46 goals in 68 La Liga games for The Meringues before he signed with Bundesliga club Hamburger SV midway through the 2009-10 campaign. Van Nistelrooy later played for Malaga where he finished his goal scoring career at the end of the 2011-12 season.