Sunderland 0 Man United 0

Edwin Van Der Sar

Sun­der­land 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0, The Sta­dium of Light, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Oct­ober 2, 2010. Man­chester United’s poor away form con­tin­ued as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Sun­der­land at The Sta­dium of Light. The hosts cre­ated sev­er­al chances be­fore the break, but Ed­win van der Sar re­mained cool and or­gan­ised his de­fence well as the ga­me went on.

Rio Fer­dinand and Ne­manja Vid­ic bo­th re­turned to ac­tion for Man­chester Uni­ted, but the club had a long list of ab­sent play­ers wi­th Ry­an Gig­gs, Owen Har­greaves, Way­ne Roo­ney, and An­tonio Va­lencia all out for the fix­ture. And al­though Roo­ney claimed him­self fit as a fiddle, Sir Al­ex Fer­guson wanted to give the for­ward more rest, which once ag­ain proved that if you want to teach John Lat­in, then you not on­ly have to know Lat­in, you also have to know John. The meet­ing be­tween Sun­der­land and Man­chester Uni­ted, which was delayed by some twenty min­utes due to a burst wa­ter pipe in­side the vis­it­ing team´s dress­ing room that caused part of the ceil­ing to col­lapse, non­ethe­less turned out to be an ex­cit­ing and en­thralling af­fair, even des­pite the lack of goals. Ap­par­ently, Man­chester Uni­ted were not as flu­ent as they had be­en dur­ing the one-nil vic­tory ag­ainst Span­ish Primera Di­vi­sion out­fit Va­lencia at Mestalla Sta­dium in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Group Sta­ge just three days earli­er, and The Mack­ems went on to dom­in­ate much of the fir­st ha­lf of the battle. Fer­guson’s cava­liers en­joyed a bet­ter sec­ond ha­lf, tho­ugh, but they could not force the ball over the chalk line. Af­ter re­pla­cing vet­er­an play­er Mi­chael Owen dur­ing the break, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov had the ball in the back of the net with­in on­ly three min­utes, but the bat­ter­ing ram stri­ker was clearly in an off­side po­s­i­tion. Por­tuguese new boy Ti­ago Manuel Di­as Cor­reia, also known as Bebe, was giv­en the last ten min­utes of the clash at The Sta­dium of Light to im­press, but it was not enough time for the pro­mising young­ster to make a re­al im­pact on the match.

Wi­th eight min­utes re­maining on mat­ch of­fi­cial Chris Foy´s wa­ter­proof watch, Ber­batov ma­naged to waste a per­fectly de­cent scor­ing op­por­tun­ity which a cent­ral at­tack­er of his cal­ibre should have done more wi­th when he blas­ted the ball wide of the tar­get from less than twenty yards out. Man­chester Uni­ted pressed hard for a win­ning goal dur­ing the clos­ing skir­mishes of the fix­ture, but fou­nd them­selves un­able to break down a sol­id Sun­der­land de­fence which left the Old Traf­ford men ex­ceed­ingly frus­trated, and even tho­ugh they kept their un­defeated re­cord ag­ainst Sun­der­land, they were still with­out an away win thus far in the 2010-11 Pre­mier Lea­gue sea­son. Ro­man Abramovich´s Chel­sea were now top­ping the Pre­miership ta­ble wi­th eight­een points won from sev­en ga­mes played, fol­lowed by Man­chester City on four­teen, and Man­chester Uni­ted on thir­teen. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson: “The con­sist­ency of not los­ing is some­thing that we can take. I am not pleased, but I am sat­is­fied.” Sun­der­land Te­am: Si­mon Migno­let, Phil Bard­s­ley, Nedum Onuoha, Tit­us Bramble, Mi­chael Turn­er, Ahmed El­mo­ha­mady, Lee Cat­ter­mole, Jor­dan Hen­derson, Steed Mal­branque, Bo­lo Zenden, Dar­ren Bent. Sub­stitutes: Paulo da Silva, John Mensah, Ant­on Fer­dinand, Cris­ti­an River­os, Andy Re­id, Asam­oah Gy­an, Craig Gor­don. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ra­fael, Rio Fer­dinand, Ne­manja Vid­ic, John O’Shea, Paul Scho­les, An­der­son, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Nani, Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda, Mi­chael Owen. Sub­stitutes: Chris Small­ing, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Dar­ron Gib­son, Bebe, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Javi­er Her­nandez, To­masz Kuszczak.


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