Man United 5 Sunderland 0
Manchester United 5 Sunderland 0, Old Trafford, English Premier League, December 21, 1996. After snatching a deserved 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough three days earlier, Manchester United outclassed Sunderland 5-0 at Old Trafford courtesy of a brace each by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Eric Cantona plus one goal from Nicky Butt.
In the previous meeting between Manchester United and Sunderland on the 16th of January 1996, The Reds had beaten the Wearsiders 2-1 in an FA Cup Third Round Replay at Roker Park and they were odds on favourites to win this game too. United, who dominated the match from the outset, got themselves ahead thanks to an opportunistic header from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer five minutes past the hour-mark and then doubled their advantage just eight minutes later as Eric Cantona converted a penalty won by Nicky Butt. With the second period proceeding in exactly the same manner as the first, Manchester United had their third goal three minutes following the break when a long throw from Peter Schmeichel was picked up by Solskjaer who placed a low effort past away goalkeeper Lionel Perez and into the bottom left-hand corner of the net. And United stretched their lead even further after fifty-nine minutes as Butt headed home well taken a corner by Ryan Giggs before Cantona finished off the scoring in the eightieth minute of the one-sided tie with a magnificent lob that left Perez watching as the ball went into the top left-hand corner of the goal. The comprehensive win over The Rokerites was not only a morale boost for Manchester United, but it also lifted them into the top four in the Premier League and to within six points of leaders Liverpool. Manchester United Team: Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, David May, Gary Pallister, Denis Irwin, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ryan Giggs. Substitutes: Brian McClair, Karel Poborsky, Ben Thornley. Sunderland Team: Lionel Perez, Gareth Hall, Dariusz Kubicki, Andy Melville, Richard Ord, Michael Gray, Paul Bracewell, Craig Russell, David Kelly, Kevin Ball, Alex Rae. Substitutes: Michael Bridges, Steve Agnew, Paul Stewart.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Manchester United beat Sunderland 4-1 in a Football League fixture at Old Trafford on the 18th of January 1969 through a hat-trick by Denis Law and one goal from striking partner George Best.