Man United 1 Sunderland 0

Sir Alex Ferguson

Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Sun­der­land 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Nov­ember 5, 2011. Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s men over­came Sun­der­land by 1-0 on Guy Fawkes Day 2011 cour­tesy of an own goal by Wes Bro­wn who ma­naged to de­flect a head­er from Dan­ny Wel­beck in­to the back of his own net in fir­st ha­lf stop­page time to give The Reds their fourth suc­cess­ive win.

In front of a 75,000 crowd, Man­chester Uni­ted Chief Ex­ec­ut­ive Da­vid Gill an­nounced be­fore the Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­ture ag­ainst Sun­der­land that the club had re­named their North stand af­ter man­ager Sir Al­ex Fer­guson in hon­our of his twenty-five years of ded­ic­ated ser­vice to the Old Traf­ford club. In the cor­res­pond­ing meet­ing of the 2010-11 sea­son, Man­chester Uni­ted had com­fort­ably de­feated Sun­der­land 2-0 at The Theatre of Drams thanks to an early open­er by Bul­gari­an marks­man Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov and a sec­ond ha­lf own goal from Rio Ferdinand´s bro­ther Ant­on, and the hosts were firm fa­vour­ites to win this time ar­ound as well. The Black Cats suf­fered an early blow when Eng­land U21 in­ter­na­tion­al Con­nor Wick­ham was in­jured with­in the fir­st two min­utes and the free flow­ing flanker had to be re­placed by So­uth Korea mid­fielder Ji Dong-won, but Ste­ve Bruce´s lads nev­er­the­less began the ga­me on a pos­it­ive note wi­th a couple of de­cent goal scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies. As time wore on, tho­ugh, the Sun­der­land si­de were gradu­ally push­ed back by the well-or­gan­ised ho­me out­fit who star­ted to knock the ball ar­ound con­fid­ently. Then, to­wards the end of the fir­st ha­lf, Javi­er Her­nandez screamed for a pen­alty af­ter tum­bling un­der Seb Larsson´s chal­lenge, but his ap­peals for a spot-kick were duly waved away by mat­ch of­fi­cial Lee Ma­son. Af­ter in­creas­ing the pres­sure, how­ever, Man­chester Uni­ted ev­entually went in­to a de­served 1-0 lead just a few sec­onds be­fore the sound of the ha­lf-time sig­nal when Wes Bro­wn de­flec­ted a Dan­ny Wel­beck head­er pa­st Sun­der­land cus­todi­an Kier­en West­wood and in­to his own net.

Fol­low­ing the in­ter­val, Her­nandez al­most ad­ded a sec­ond goal for Man­chester Uni­ted four min­utes pa­st the hour-ma­rk, but the striker´s head­er was cleared off the line by ver­sat­ile mid­fielder Kier­an Richard­son. There was even more dra­ma at The Theatre of Dreams in the 67th min­ute of pro­ceed­ings when Ma­son blew for a de­lib­er­ate hand­ball from Man­chester Uni­ted de­fender Phil Jones in­side the eight­een-yard box, on­ly to change his mind af­ter a lengthy con­sulta­tion wi­th lines­man Jake Colling. As the mat­ch pro­gressed, Man­chester Uni­ted look­ed com­fort­able wi­th their lead and the red shirts were con­tent to play out the re­mainder of the sec­ond ha­lf. The nar­row, but im­port­ant, tri­umf ag­ainst Sun­der­land at Old Traf­ford meant that Man­chester Uni­ted re­mained sec­ond in the Pre­mier Lea­gue stand­ings wi­th twenty-six points gain­ed from el­ev­en ga­mes played, five points be­hind neigh­bouring Man­chester City who were top­ping the ta­ble. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: An­ders Linde­gaard, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Rio Fer­dinand, Phil Jones, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Ji-sung Park, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Lu­is Nani, Javi­er Her­nandez, Way­ne Roo­ney, Dan­ny Wel­beck. Sub­stitutes: Fa­bio da Silva, Jon­athan Evans, An­tonio Va­lencia, Mi­chael Car­rick, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Mame Biram Di­ouf, Da­vid de Gea. Sun­der­land Te­am: Kier­en West­wood, Phil Bard­s­ley, Wes­ley Bro­wn, Mi­chael Turn­er, Jack Col­back, Se­basti­an Larsson, Kier­an Richard­son, Stephane Ses­segnon, Lee Cat­ter­mole, Nick­las Bendt­ner, Con­nor Wick­ham. Sub­stitutes: Ji Dong-won, Ahmed El­mo­ha­mady, John Egan, Craig Gard­ner, Da­vid Mey­ler, Ja­mes Mc­Cle­an, Tre­vor Carson.


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