Man United 2 Sunderland 0

Dimitar Berbatov

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Sun­der­land 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 26, 2010. Man­chester Uni­ted re­mained at the top of the ta­ble af­ter beat­ing Sun­der­land 2-0 in a one-sided Box­ing Day mat­ch. Bul­gari­an in­ter­na­tion­al Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov opened the scor­ing wi­th a power­fully head­ed goal in the fifth min­ute of the clash and the pro­lif­ic stri­ker then ad­ded a sec­ond twelve min­utes af­ter the restart.

Man­chester Uni­ted locked horns wi­th Sun­der­land at Old Traf­ford on Box­ing Day 2010 in what prom­ised to be a meet­ing be­tween dif­fer­ent styles of play. The Reds had emer­ged 1-0 win­ners ag­ainst fel­low Pre­mier Lea­gue con­tenders Ar­senal at The Theatre of Dreams in their pre­vi­ous Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­ture thanks to a late fir­st ha­lf win­ner from So­uth Korea in­ter­na­tion­al Ji-Sung Park, whi­le Ste­ve Bruce´s boys had de­feated Bol­ton Wan­derers by the identic­al sco­reline at The Sta­dium of Light thro­ugh a goal by Old Traf­ford loanee Dan­ny Wel­beck two min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk. Man­chester Uni­ted had to man­age with­out the ser­vices of Owen Har­greaves, Paul Scho­les, John O’Shea, and An­tonio Va­lencia, but Oli­veira and Ne­manja Vid­ic were bo­th back in ac­tion. The Black Cats, for their part, had be­en struck by sev­er­al in­jur­ies in de­fence, wi­th Tit­us Bramble, John Mensah, and Mi­chael Turn­er all on the side­lines. De­fens­ive mid­field en­for­cer Lee Cat­ter­mole was also in­eligible to play in this ga­me af­ter be­ing sus­pen­ded for re­ceiv­ing his fifth yel­low card ag­ainst The Trotters.

Man­chester Uni­ted had an al­most per­fect ho­me re­cord thus far in the sea­son as they had dropped a mere two points at Old Traf­ford and they were red hot fa­vour­ites to be­at the Wearsiders. Uni­ted dom­in­ated pro­ceed­ings from the very be­gin­ning and it took Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov on­ly five min­utes to pro­vide the men in red shirts wi­th the open­ing goal of the en­counter. Ry­an Gig­gs fou­nd Way­ne Roo­ney who­se mag­ni­fi­cent cross was met by the in­form Ber­batov who sent an un­stoppable head­er pa­st Sun­der­land and Scot­land shot stop­per Craig Gor­don and in­to the back of the net. Al­though The Black Cats star­ted to take pos­ses­sion of the ball fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of play, the vis­it­ing te­am were un­able to cre­ate prop­er goal scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies for them­selves. Then, three min­utes be­fore the hour ma­rk, Man­chester Uni­ted pro­duced their sec­ond goal of the af­ter­noon as Ber­batov ma­naged to find the net once ag­ain. An­der­son de­livered an ex­cel­lent ball to the un­marked dan­ger­man who ham­mered a thun­der­ous ef­fort goal­wards which went in­to the net via un­lucky Sun­der­land de­fender Ant­on Fer­dinand, and even tho­ugh Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s troops could have sco­red more goals dur­ing the Box­ing Day clash ag­ainst Sun­der­land, the ho­me vic­tory was smoothly ex­ecuted and well deserved.

Af­ter de­feat­ing Sun­der­land by a 2-0 mar­gin at Old Traf­ford, Man­chester Uni­ted were now two points ahead of sec­ond pla­ced Man­chester City, five in front of third po­si­tioned Ar­senal, and six above Chel­sea in fourth spot. At the oth­er end of the ta­ble, mean­while, Ful­ham fou­nd them­selves in the drop zone along wi­th West Ham Uni­ted and Wolver­hampton Wan­derers. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson: “Man­chester Uni­ted are com­ing in­to good form, play­ing some good stuff and get­ting some con­sist­ency. There are plenty of good signs.” Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Ra­fael da Silva, Rio Fer­dinand, Ji-Sung Park, Mi­chael Car­rick, Oli­veira An­der­son, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Way­ne Roo­ney, Ry­an Gig­gs. Sub­stitutes: Ga­ry Ne­ville, Chris Small­ing, Dar­ron Gib­son, Ti­ago Di­as Cor­reia, Javi­er Her­nandez, Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda, To­masz Kusz­czak. Sun­der­land Te­am: Craig Gor­don, Ahmed Al Muham­madi, Nedum Onuoha, Ant­on Fer­dinand, Phil Bard­s­ley, Boudewijn Zenden, Cris­ti­an River­os, Jor­dan Hen­derson, Steed Mal­branque, Dar­ren Bent, Asam­oah Gy­an. Sub­stitutes: Mar­cos Angel­eri, Ad­am Re­ed, Paulo da Silva, Blair Adams, Jor­dan Cook, Da­vid Mey­ler, Si­mon Mignolet.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted came from be­hind to edge out fel­low pro­mo­tion hunters Sun­der­land 3-2 in front of a crowd of 60,000 people at Old Traf­ford on the 30th of Nov­ember 1974. Uni­ted were were trail­ing by one goal at the break, but the hosts hit back thro­ugh goals from Wil­lie Mor­gan and Sam­my McIlroy.


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