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Result: Wayne Rooney brace helps Manchester United see off Sunderland

Wayne Rooney's brace helps Manchester United bag a 2-0 win in Saturday afternoon's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney's brace was enough to give Manchester United all three points at home against Sunderland, as the Red Devils secured a 2-0 win in this afternoon's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015© Getty Images

The hosts made a positive start as they registered a number of corners early on, Rooney going close with a near-post header from Angel di Maria's centre.

Sunderland then launched into a decent spell as Connor Wickham's low shot on the counter-attack almost sneaked in the corner, but David de Gea was alert to palm the ball away, and moments later, Jermain Defoe blasted over from the edge of the area.

United recovered soon enough, with Marcos Rojo nearly bundling home a cross from the left flank around the quarter-hour mark, before Ashley Young sent a vicious shot whistling over the bar.

Half an hour in, John O'Shea very nearly gave his former side the lead when he deflected Young's cross towards his own goal, but the woodwork took the brunt of the ball before bouncing away.

Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is closed down by Sebastian Larsson of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015© Getty Images

United kept plugging away in the latter stages of the first half, with Young flashing a shot past the far post before a Rooney free kick forced a save from Costel Pantilimon.

Rojo was next to threaten as his low shot had to be cleared off the line by Sebastian Larsson, but ultimately the Red Devils were unable to break the deadlock come half time.

Following the restart, it was more of the same from United, who saw Rojo and half-time substitute Adnan Januzaj come close.

In the 65th minute, Radamel Falcao was brought down by O'Shea in the box, prompting the referee to give the hosts a penalty - teammate Wes Brown ended up being sent off, however.

Wes Brown of Sunderland reacts after being shown a straight red card by Refere Roger East as John O'Shea of Sunderland appeals during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015© Getty Images

Despite the delay in play following protests over the decision, Rooney stepped up and duly smashed the ball into the net to give his side the lead.

With just six minutes of normal time left at the end of the game, United made sure of the points when Januzaj's low shot was parried by Pantilimon to the feet of Rooney, who duly poked home.

Ander Herrera was then denied a goal in injury time after being judged to be offside, but it mattered little for United as they secured all three points to climb to third in the Premier League table.

Meanwhile, Sunderland remain in 16th place, just three points above the drop zone.

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Wayne Rooney of Manchester United is closed down by Sebastian Larsson of Sunderland during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on February 28, 2015
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