Live Commentary: Manchester United 0-1 Sunderland - as it happened

Live Commentary: Man United 0-1 Sunderland - as it happened
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Find out how Sunderland overcame Manchester United at Old Trafford with Sports Mole's text updates.

Sunderland made the trip to Manchester United this afternoon looking to all but secure their status as a Premier League club.

Despite the fact that they had not won at Old Trafford since 1968, a first-half goal from Sebastian Larsson saw them collect all three points.

Below, you can relive the encounter with Sports Mole's text updates.


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2.02pmAfternoon all. At this stage of the season, there is barely game that goes by that doesn't have something riding on it. Here, Manchester United in seventh play host to a struggling Sunderland side at Old Trafford.

2.03pmBefore we start to discuss this clash in more detail, the team news has just been released. Let's start with who United's interim manager Ryan Giggs has selected. Has he picked himself?!

2.04pmMAN UNITED: De Gea; Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Young; Mata; Hernandez

2.05pmMAN UNITED SUBS: Amos, Smalling, Valencia, Fellaini, Januzaj, Welbeck, Van Persie

2.08pmHe hasn't picked himself, but Giggs has made a host of changes. The injured Wayne Rooney drops out, as do Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck. In their place comes Javier Hernandez, Juan Mata, Nani, Ashley Young and Darren Fletcher. Also, Robin van Persie has returned to the squad following a six-week layoff through injury.

2.10pmAnd now for how visiting Sunderland will start this fixture...

2.12pmSUNDERLAND XI: Mannone; Alonso, Brown, O'Shea, Vergini; Cattermole, Larsson, Colback, Johnson; Borini, Wickham

2.13pmSUNDERLAND SUBS: Bardsley, Altidore, Ba, Giaccherini, Bridcutt, Scocco, Ustari

2.16pmWith his side on a decent run of form, Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has seen no reason to make any alterations to the side that defeated Cardiff City 4-0 last time out. In fact, Poyet has named the same side now for the fourth consecutive match. It means that Premier League Player of the Month Connor Wickham starts up front, with Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson offering the support from wide positions. Elsewhere, former United defenders Wes Brown and John O'Shea both start.

2.20pmLet's start with Wickham shall we? What a run the England Under-21 international is on at present. Having scored just once in 37 outings for the Black Cats, the centre-forward has now fired in five goals in his last three matches. Only Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro scored more goals in Europe's top five league in April than Wickham. What's more, three of Wickham's goals were scored against Manchester City and Chelsea, so playing at Old Trafford is not likely to trouble him.

2.23pmHe will be up against an ageing United rearguard, which includes skipper Vidic, who is playing in his penultimate game at Old Trafford as a United player. The Serbian has agreed to join Inter Milan in the summer, while the futures of Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra are also uncertain. In the form that he is in, no doubt Wickham will fancy his chances of causing a few problems.

2.26pmHaving said that about Ferdinand and Evra, if interim boss Giggs had his way, both would still be United players next season. Speaking to reporters yesterday, the Welshman said: "I do believe they still have a part to play. Both their contracts are up but they have both given massive service to the club. They are both fit and they both looked good last week. I don't see why not.

"It is a group discussion but I still think they have a lot to offer. They have been great players and they remain assets to a club like Manchester United."


2.30pmSo, what does recent history tell us about this clash? Sunderland fans, you may want to look away for a moment! The Wearsiders have not beaten United in the Premier League since 1997, but you have to go all the way back to 1968 for the last time that they won at Old Trafford. Having said that, they did knock United out at the semi-final stage of this season's League Cup on penalties.

2.30pmSo, what does recent history tell us about this clash? Sunderland fans, you may want to look away for a moment! The Wearsiders have not beaten United in the Premier League since 1997, but you have to go all the way back to 1968 for the last time that they won at Old Trafford. Having said that, they did knock United out at the semi-final stage of this season's League Cup on penalties.

2.34pmIf Sunderland were to end their 46-year wait for an Old Trafford win, what would it mean? As it stands, goal difference is keeping them out of the bottom three, but with Norwich travelling to Chelsea this weekend and Fulham at Stoke City, they will believe that a victory will all but secure their status as a Premier League club, particularly with home matches against West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City to come.

2.38pmWe will, of course, keep you updated with events between Stoke and Fulham, but if you want to follow live text coverage from the Britannia Stadium, you can do here.

2.42pmWhile their record at Old Trafford may not be positive, here's a reason for Sunderland to be optimistic:



2.46pmWhat of United, then? It's May and they have nothing to play for - when was that last the case? Of course, Giggs will be demanding a win to give the owners something to think about, despite the fact that Louis van Gaal appears to be on the verge of taking over. Following last weekend's thrashing of Norwich City, there is certainly more positivity around the club following David Moyes's short but gloomy tenure.

2.50pmHaving said that, United could still qualify for next season's Europa League. If they win their final three fixtures, they will pip Tottenham Hotspur into sixth following their loss away at West Ham United earlier today. It won't be said in public by the likes of Giggs, but United could probably do without playing in the Europa League, instead concentrating on getting back in the top four and challenging for the title.

2.55pmAnd here come the players out of the Old Trafford. It's got to be said, the away supporters are in fine voice right now. Not long now until we get underway.

1 minKICKOFF! Hosting United, attacking from left to right during the first half, get this fixture off and running.

4 minIt's been lively start by the home side, with the likes of Mata and Nani looking to get on the ball whenever possible. Credit to Sunderland because so far they've defended well.

7 minCHANCE! First opening of the match goes to United, but Young fluffs his lines. Nani's cross is deflected into his path, but facing away from goal, his volley from 12 yards out is easily held by Vito Mannone in the away goal.

11 minAll of a sudden, it's Sunderland that are dominating the contest. They are passing the ball around with real confidence. Moments ago it appeared that Wickham was through on goal, but Ferdinand retreated just in time to hook clear the danger.

15 minAgain Sunderland push forward, through Vergini of all people. He does well to pick out Johnson, who moves in towards the centre of the pitch. He goes for goal from 25 yards out, but David de Gea is able to watch flash wide of his post. Nevertheless, it's a warning sign for the home side, who have slacked off during recent minutes.

18 minO'Shea scored some important goals during his time for United and he almost found the net for them again, this time in Sunderland colours. Carrick's low cross from the right is dangerous and panics the Sunderland skipper, who slides in. His contact isn't clean and the ball appears to be heading into the away side's net, only for it to skid wide at the final moment.

20 minCHANCE! Decent counter-attack from United as Mata's cross is cleared to Carrick, who goes for goal. His scuffed volley falls kindly for Nani, who lashes goalwards instantly. Mannone looks beaten, but the shot flies over the bar. Then, from a corner, Evra's close-range header is easily held by the away goalkeeper. United are starting to dominate proceedings.

24 minBOOKING! The first booking of the contest goes to United captain Vidic for a cynical foul on Borini. It was needless really because Borini was deep inside the Sunderland half and going nowhere.

27 minBOOKING! Another foul on Borini, another caution for United. This time it is Carrick who sees yellow for a lunge on the Italian.

30 minGOAL! MAN UNITED 0-1 SUNDERLAND (LARSSON)

30 minWhat a huge goal this could turn out to be for Sunderland. It's the first real shot of note, but what a good goal it was. Wickham gets down the right flank and crosses towards the edge of the area. In comes Larsson, who sends a half-volley across the face of goal and into the bottom corner of De Gea's net. The Sunderland fans erupt as Alonso then goes into the book for a foul on Young.

34 minIt's not happening for United right now. They are getting into the final third of the pitch quite often, but are then finding it difficult to find that killer pass required to break through a stubborn Sunderland defence. With that in mind, it's all the more confusing that Kagawa isn't involved at all today.

39 minAnother opportunity for Sunderland as Fletcher gives away possession in midfield. The ball is worked wide to Johnson, who has two to aim at in the area. His cross is poor, though, and is clearly to safety by Ferdinand.

42 minAgain Johnson is gifted the ball, this time from De Gea's poor clearance. The winger works his way into the United area, but then he seems to hesitate and is crowded out. Someone of his talent and ability should be doing much better in that position.

45 minSAVE! Mata's first real involvement of the half sees him drill a shot from 20 yards out, but it's straight at Mannone, who holds with ease. Meanwhile, there will be one minute of stoppage time.

45+1 minHALF TIME: MAN UNITED 0-1 SUNDERLAND

3.50pmThere goes the whistle and what a great 45 minutes that was for Sunderland. As it stands, they are all but safe, while Cardiff City and Fulham, who are losing, are relegated.

3.52pmUnited may have dominated the possession during the half, but they created very little with it. As mentioned earlier, they are getting to a certain point - around 20 yards from goal - then look to be running out of ideas. To be honest, it's only highlighting their need for midfield players that are capable of picking out a pass in key areas of the pitch.

3.56pmAs for Sunderland, they've done very well. They've looked comfortable in possession, defended very well and then made the most of the one great chance that they have carved out. It also could have been even better but for two moments of uncertainty from the usually reliable Johnson in and around the United penalty area.

4pmSo, what can Giggs change during the break? Maybe it won't be long until Van Persie is called upon because Hernandez has not really been involved. Youngster Adnan Januzaj, who has not featured too often recently, could also add some much needed flair and trickery. The likes of Young and Nani have been poor, sending in poor cross after poor cross.

4pmSo, what can Giggs change during the break? Maybe it won't be long until Van Persie is called upon because Hernandez has not really been involved. Youngster Adnan Januzaj, who has not featured too often recently, could also add some much needed flair and trickery. The likes of Young and Nani have been poor, sending in poor cross after poor cross.

46 minRESTART! Sunderland, who lead 1-0, get the second half at Old Trafford underway.

49 minGreat defending from Brown, who has kept Sunderland's lead intact in the process. He slides in to deny Hernandez from close range, then from the resultant corner Vidic somehow heads wide from six yards out.

52 minSUBSTITUTION: It's time for Januzaj and it is a change that is welcomed by the home fans with loud cheers. He has replaced the disappointing Nani.

52 minSUBSTITUTION: It's time for Januzaj and it is a change that is welcomed by the home fans with loud cheers. He has replaced the disappointing Nani.

55 minSUBSTITUTION: And now the visitors make an alteration, with Johnson coming off to be replaced by Italian international midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini.

59 minUnited have played much better since the restart - there is more urgency about their attacks for a start. They are still lacking some quality in the final third, though. Van Persie is out warming up and the fans are singing his name - they want last season's leading goalscorer on the pitch.

63 minA big goalmouth scramble as Jones, Vidic and Hernandez all have opportunities to draw United level, but none of them can make a clean contact with the ball. Sunderland are starting to live a little dangerously, but they still lead.

64 minSUBSTITUTION: He may not have scored, but it's been a decent shift from Wickham, who set up Sunderland's goal. He's been given a breather, with Jozy Altidore coming on in his place.

66 minSUBSTITUTIONS: A double change for United and it's an attacking one. Giggs has gone 4-4-2, with Welbeck and Van Persie coming on to replace Mata and the extremely disappointing Young.

70 minIt's attack after attack for United right now, but credit to Sunderland because they are defending very well. In fairness, they are being helped by some very poor crossing by United's wide players. De Gea has touched the ball just once during this half.

72 minPOST! Sunderland go ever so close to scoring their second of the game. It's great play down the right which frees Altidore to drill in a low cross. It's met by Giaccherini, but his shot from six yards out cannons against the post. The rebound then drops for Colback, but he slams his shot straight into the side netting. Meanwhile, up the other end, Hernandez shoots just wide from close range.

72 minPOST! So close for Sunderland, who should be 2-0 up. Good play down the right frees Altidore to send in a low cross. It's met by Giaccherini, but his shot from six yards out cannons against the post, while Colback can only slam the rebound from a narrow angle into the side netting. Meanwhile, up the other end, Hernandez toes the ball just wide of the upright.

75 minSUBSTITUTION: Final change of the match for Sunderland as their goalscorer Larsson limps off. He's been replaced by holding midfielder Liam Bridcutt.

75 minSUBSTITUTION: Final change of the match for Sunderland as their goalscorer Larsson limps off. He's been replaced by holding midfielder Liam Bridcutt.

80 minCHANCE! United have just created their best opportunity of the match and Hernandez has wasted it. Evra does ever so well initially to pick out the Mexican with a low cross, but the striker's shot from 10 yards out flies well over the crossbar.

84 minCROSSBAR! He should have scored moments ago, but Giaccherini is desperately unlucky on this occasion. A quick move from Sunderland ends with the Italian inside the area. He takes one touch, before unleashing a curling left footed shot. De Gea is well beaten, but the United goalkeeper is rescued by his crossbar. Sunderland will kick themselves if they don't end up winning this game.

87 minRemember, if it stays this way, Fulham and Cardiff will be relegated. Got to say, right now, United don't look like rescuing them.

90 minThere will be four minutes of stoppage time here at Old Trafford.

90+4 minFULL TIME: MAN UNTIED 0-1 SUNDERLAND

4.55pmThere you have it - Sunderland win and all but secure their status in the top flight. Fulham and Cardiff have been relegated, while it's a ninth defeat of the season at Old Trafford for United - what a day it has been in the Premier League!

4.56pmThat is all we have time for from Old Trafford. Thanks for joining us this afternoon and until next time, goodbye.

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham celebrates after putting the Black Cats ahead against Cardiff City in the Premier League on April 27, 2014
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