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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Arsenal Match Report

Fitter. Harder. Faster. Stronger. United outfought and outclassed Arsenal on a European night to remember at Old Trafford. Yet the Reds take only a one-goal advantage to the Emirates Stadium next Tuesday, and the road to Rome is not as straightforward as it perhaps could have been.

Sir Alex said before the game that he would happily take a 1-0 victory in this Champions League semi-final, first leg. And United can take heart from an outstanding display of vigour and verve. But after the mauling Arsenal received, the Reds boss can surely only conclude that the winning margin should have been greater.

Right from the off United’s players, backed by an absolutely incredible support, were revved up and right in the faces of the beleaguered Gunners. Carlos Tevez was rewarded for his match-changing second-half display against Tottenham at the weekend with a place in the starting line-up – and he played like he had a statement to make.

Sir Alex’s team selection suggested speed and energy were of the essence. And, spurred on by a fired-up Old Trafford crowd, the Reds made a blistering start, with Wayne Rooney forcing an excellent save from Manuel Almunia after just two minutes. Then Cristiano Ronaldo flashed a cross-shot across the face of goal. It was upbeat and high-tempo stuff, as expected. But Arsenal were nowhere to be seen early on against the hungry-looking Reds.

Tevez was snap-at-your ankles enthusiastic, Ronaldo and Rooney both looked lively and Darren Fletcher maintained his excellent recent form in the heart of midfield. For Arsenal, away from home and with Emmanuel Adebayor up front on his own, theirs was always bound to be a more patient approach. But even when their first spell of possession eventually arrived, they were booed and barracked into submission. United pressed on and after 16 minutes Almunia again came to Arsenal’s rescue. A brilliant interchange from Tevez and Ronaldo saw the ball worked out wide to John O’Shea, and the Irishman’s cross found Tevez’s run, but his shot was stopped at point-blank range by Almunia.

United were soon rewarded, however, in the form of the most unlikely hero: O'Shea. Carrick was lurking at the back post from the resulting corner, and his deflected pull-back found the Reds right-back six yards out and he thumped the ball home. As if the noise levels weren’t loud enough, the deafening celebrations carried far into the Manchester night. And there was barely an opportunity to catch your breath as the Reds went in search of a second.

Arsenal’s first attempt came just before the half-hour mark when Cesc Fabregas’ low shot was well held by van der Sar, but other than a five-minute spell of possession towards the end of the half, that was largely it.

Seconds after Fabregas’ effort, Almunia was called upon again; Tevez scampered down the right wing, skinned Kieran Gibbs and crossed for Ronaldo, whose powerful header was palmed away by Arsenal’s Spanish stopper. Moments later he denied Ronaldo again, this time a curled shot from the edge of the area. Were it not for Almunia, this tie could have been out of sight inside the first half.

United's frenetic tempo naturally dropped in the second half, Arsenal certainly had more of the ball than they had in the opening 45 minutes. The danger for United was that a quick Arsenal counter attack could yield that prized possession: an away goal. Adebayor went close just after the hour with a arcing volley from 30 yards out, but fortunately it went over. It was, if nothing else, a warning.

Sir Alex subsequently decided on a change with 20 minutes to go, replacing Tevez with Dimitar Berbatov, and Anderson with Ryan Giggs, remarkably making his 800th appearance. Tevez shook his head in disappointment at the decision – a gesture that may or may not be over analysed in the press, but in reality it was natural of any player withdrawn from such a high-profile and enthralling game.

Shortly after the swap, Ronaldo sent a rasping 30-yard shot crashing off the bar, then minutes later an effort from Carrick fizzed wide; Sir Alex must have been scratching his head with bemusement as to how his side were not more than a goal to the good.

The baying Old Trafford crowd sensed Arsenal's vulnerability and mercilessly shouted: 'attack, attack, attack'. United did just that, and Giggs had the ball in the back of the net on 78 minutes, but he was flagged offside. It was a tight call that won little home approval - largely because the officials gave very little United's way all night - but on this occasion they probably got it right.

Arsenal may see containing a rampant United as their main plus point – and they have much to thank Almunia for – but if the Reds play anything like this in North London next week, a trip to Rome surely awaits. This was a job well done, but only half done.

Manchester UnitedVs. Arsenal Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [1 - 0] Arsenal
17' [1 - 0] J. O´Shea

1-0 J.O'Shea 17'


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [5 - 2] Tottenham Hotspurs
29' [0 - 1] D. Bent
32' [0 - 2] L. Modric
57' [1 - 2] C. Ronaldo (pen.)
67' [2 - 2] W. Rooney
68' [3 - 2] C. Ronaldo
71' [4 - 2] W. Rooney
79' [5 - 2] D. Berbatov

0-1 D.Bent 29'

0-2  L.Modric 32'

1-2 C.Ronaldo (Pen) 57'

2-2 W.Rooney 67'

3-2 C.Ronaldo 68'

4-2 W.Rooney 71'

5-2 D.Berbatov 79'

Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Match Report

United returned to the top of the table and moved three points clear of Liverpool after a stunning comeback against Tottenham Hotspur which produced five second half goals.

The Reds were 2-0 down at half-time following strikes from Darren Bent and Luca Modric. But Sir Alex’s men stormed back after the break thanks to a brace apiece from the outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney and another from Dimitar Berbatov.

Sir Alex Ferguson made five changes to the side that had overcome Harry Redknapp’s former side, Portsmouth, three days earlier. In came Rafael da Silva following the spate of injuries at right-back, while Nani, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand all returned to the starting line-up. There was also a place for ex-Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov, who partnered Wayne Rooney in attack. Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs watched on from the stands knowing he would have to wait for another day to make his 800th appearance in a red shirt.

United started the match in second following Liverpool’s 3-1 victory at Hull and immediately set about gaining top spot. Berbatov almost had the first sight of goal after just 30 seconds, but Darren Fletcher’s pass was just too long for the Bulgarian allowing Heurelho Gomes to collect.

Having already secured their top flight status, Spurs came to Old Trafford with little to play for other than pride. And they weren’t about to let that pride be easily dented and with a player of Aaron Lennon’s quality in your side there’s always a chance of opening up the opposition. And that’s exactly what the pacey winger almost did on eight minutes. Fortunately Darren Bent’s header from Lennon’s floated right-wing cross was pushed around the post by Edwin van der Sar.

At the other end, Gomes had to be alert to Cristiano Ronaldo’s speculative 40-yard free-kick which bounced awkwardly in front of the Spurs stopper who claimed it at the second time of asking. Four minutes later the Portuguese winger flashed a header wide after jumping to meet Nani’s left-wing cross.

United appeared to edging ever closer to an opener, but it was Spurs, somewhat against the run of play, who took the lead on 29 minutes. Vedran Corluka’s whipped cross was missed by both Vidic and Ferdinand allowing the ball to fall to Darren Bent who duly smashed home from six yards.

Three minutes later things got doubly worse for United who looked more than a little shaky once more at the back. Lennon’s cross from the right dropped to the unmarked Luca Modric who lashed the ball inside the near post to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.

A shell-shocked Old Trafford couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing. United were in need of a minor miracle, or two, and Ronaldo almost provided it seven minutes from the break. Having seen his free-kick strike the wall, the winger reacted quickest before flicking a dipping volley towards goal. Only a superb finger-tip save from Gomes prevented the Reds from clawing a goal back.

United’s comeback mission was given a further boost when Carlos Tevez replaced Nani at the break. And the Argentine was involved in the Reds’ first two chances of the second period. First he laid on a cross for Rooney who saw his curling effort deflected wide, before Tevez himself had a close-range repelled by Gomes after a lovely little pass from Ronaldo.

The Portuguese winger was handed the chance to give United a lifeline on 57 minutes when Gomes upended Carrick in the area after a defence-splitting pass from Rooney had put the England international through on goal.

From the spot, Ronaldo calmly steered the ball down the middle of the goal as Gomes dived to his left. Old Trafford erupted – the fightback had begun.

Ten minutes later the Reds were back on level terms. A great one-two between Berbatov and Tevez allowed the latter to slide a pass into Rooney whose low shot through the legs of Corluka crept in at the near post after Gomes failed to get a strong enough contact on it.

Victory was now in sight and, quite unbelievably, a mere 60 seconds later United were ahead. Evra laid the ball to Rooney who cut inside from the left and sent an inswinger towards the onrushing Ronaldo who met it with a diving header that bounced into the roof of the net. The relief and joy around Old Trafford was palpable.

Surely things couldn’t get any better? They could, two goals better in fact. Sublime control from Berbatov was followed a neat lay-off to Ronaldo who clipped a lovely cross to the back post where Rooney was waiting. The striker brought the ball down and took aim. Gomes got the slightest of touches on the ball which rolled towards the line, before eventually dropping over it despite Woodgate’s and King’s best efforts.

Darren Bent saw a curling shot whistle just past van der Sar’s left-hand post, before United headed upfield once more to bag a fifth. And it was another excellent move, started and finished by Berbatov, from the rampant Reds. The Bulgarian sent the ball out to Rooney who again cut inside and crossed for Berbatov. His header was parried by Gomes, but the Spurs stopper and midfielder Jermaine Jenas were unable to clear the danger allowing Berbatov to poke home from two yards.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Portsmouth Match Report

Another nervous evening's work at Old Trafford, but goals at either end of the 90 minutes from Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick gave United three points against Portsmouth, putting clear daylight between champions and challengers in the Premier League title race.

A procession of chances came and went in-between the two strikes, meaning much of the evening made uncomfortable viewing even though United - and in particular the front pairing of Rooney and Ryan Giggs - had Portsmouth chasing shadows.

After Sunday's FA Cup semi-final marathon against Everton, Sir Alex Ferguson made wholesale changes for the second successive game, with a string of big-name players returning. Two of them - Giggs and Rooney - combined sumptuously to put United ahead inside nine minutes.

Darren Fletcher, back from injury and on the lung-busting form of recent weeks, won the ball and it was quickly ferried forward to Anderson, whose excellent pass allowed Giggs to spring the visitors' offside trap. Waiting in the centre was Rooney, who finished with aplomb after a perfect rolled cross from his veteran colleague.

Amid the joy and release of any early tension, attentions switched to skipper Gary Neville, who sat stricken in his own half after sustaining a foot injury. After consultation with the club's medical staff, the club captain was promptly replaced by John O'Shea.

With the prospect of a three-point lead looming, United were clearly intent on also boosting a goal difference which had been overtaken by Liverpool in recent weeks, and the chances came thick and fast.

It was O'Shea who came closest to doubling the Reds' advantage, as he headed Giggs' left-wing corner past James, only for Nadir Belhadj to smuggle the ball off the line and away to safety.

Next, a mis-timed header from Sol Campbell allowed Ronaldo to break down the right and cross low across the area for Giggs. His delicate chip beat James, but also drifted just past the far post. The 35-year-old held his head in his hands, aware that a glorious chance had just gone begging.

It looked like Giggs had made amends a minute later by feeding Rooney to round James and score, but a linesman's flag belatedly - but correctly - chalked it off. Quite how half-time came and went with United only one goal ahead was a mystery.

The fact that so many chances had come and gone seemed to increasingly play on United's minds as the second half unfolded. The Reds' cause wasn't helped when O'Shea suffered an injury after a clash with Belhadj, who appeared to stand heavily on the Irishman's foot. With the injury count rising but the goals tally stuck on one, a nervous atmosphere brewed within Old Trafford.

The tension was never higher than around the 70th minute, when Pompey mustered two particularly threatening forays forward. Peter Crouch, who ploughed a lone furrow without much joy but with plenty of effort, first volleyed wide, then saw his header well saved by Edwin van der Sar.

Rooney saw another shot well saved by James after latching onto van der Sar's long punt, but a priceless second goal did finally arrive with eight minutes left. Carrick, thrown on at the expense of Anderson, came up with the goods and Scholes, fittingly on his 600th United appearance, was the architecht.

Just as he has done umpteen times in his 15-year senior career, the midfield magician exploited a gap before the Pompey defence were able to plug it by slipping an inch-perfect pass into the run of Carrick, who finished clinically into James' bottom-right hand corner.

With the three points assured, United began to press forward with more abandon, striving to make up further goal difference. Ronaldo had a goal chalked off and also fired over while Rafael was denied by James, leaving the Reds still three behind Rafael Benitez's men on that count.

More importantly, however, the telling gap between champions and chasing pack is now three points, with a game in hand still to make up.

Manchester United Vs. Portsmouth Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [2 - 0] Portsmouth
9' [1 - 0] W. Rooney
82' [2 - 0] M. Carrick


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Everton Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [0 - 0] Everton
penalty shoot-out : [2 - 4]


Manchester United Vs. Everton Match Report

United are out of the FA Cup after a brave semi-final showing from a very young Reds team, losing 4-2 on penalty kicks at Wembley.

Ironically, it was Phil Jagielka, the man whose foul should have given United a second-half penalty, who scored the winning spot-kick after the two teams could not be separated in 120 minutes of entertaining football. It's Sir Alex's first FA Cup semi-final defeat and ends the chance of an unprecedented quintuple. However, Sir Alex's team selection suggests he has his sights set on the league and Europe.

It had been something of a gamble and there were raised eyebrows when United’s team-sheet was submitted an hour before kick-off, with eight changes from the side that beat FC Porto four days previously. The absentees all stayed in Manchester, though reports that a broken metatarsal would rule Wayne Rooney out for the rest of the season proved woefully wide of the mark.

The average age of the starting team was just 22, the line-up including four teenagers, and seven players aged 25 or under. Sir Alex insisted he couldn’t ask many of his players involved in a taxing battle in Portugal to go again on a heavy Wembley pitch – only Anderson, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic from the team that started at Estadio do Dragao survived. Few, however, could have predicted the boss’ team.

United’s fixture schedule is so hectic that Sir Alex had little choice than to shuffle the pack. Rafael and Fabio started for the first time together (in fact, the first time they’ve been on the pitch together in a competitive Reds match). There was also a first start for Federico Macheda – of recent Premier League match-winning fame. He started up front with Carlos Tevez. Danny Welbeck was deployed at left midfield, Ji-sung Park on the right, with impressive duo, Darron Gibson and Anderson, in the centre.

It would be difficult to argue that, individually, each of the starting eleven had not earned their Wembley opportunity through their performances this season; and it’s in keeping with the youth-first policy in the domestic cups this term. What the selection does suggest is that maximum importance is being placed on clinching the title.

The youthful Reds started very well in a very open game, with Macheda looking exceptionally lively up front. There were few signs of nerves in front of a record FA Cup semi-final crowd of 88,141, and United went closest to scoring first on 22 minutes, when Welbeck’s glancing touch from Rafael’s cross was deflected wide by Joleon Lescott. It coincided with a sustained period of pressure on Everton in the middle of the half.

Welbeck was again wide of the target five minutes before the break in one of United’s best moves of the half. After neat football down the left flank, Macheda slid a wonderful pass between Tony Hibbert and Phil Jagielka, but Welbeck’s shot was wayward. Although the critics will have been queuing up for a chance to criticise the manager’s team selection, the players did him proud in an encouraging 45 minutes, which, although lacking in goalmouth action, saw United control possession.

Everton started the second half with much greater intensity, Tim Cahill forcing a brilliant low save from a previously inactive Ben Foster shortly after the break. Everton were resurgent, and their fans urged them on. It was proving a test of character as much of talent for United’s youngsters. They responded well. With the game becoming stretched, the Reds countered and Park fired just wide of the post.

The Reds had regained control in what was becoming an engrossing game. Gibson was next to strike, fizzing a shot towards the top corner from 25 yards which Tim Howard tipped over. But the breakthrough should have arrived on 68 minutes when Welbeck was blatantly brought down by Jagielka in the box. Somehow Mike Riley adjudged the challenge to be fair. Sir Alex and the United players were understandably furious because that could, and should, have been the Reds’ chance to win it.

Anderson went close with a long-range effort as the game edged into the final fifteen minutes, while the increasingly involved Welbeck curled a shot just over the bar. Both teams patently wanted to end this tie inside 90 minutes. United made the best of the opportunities, but neither side could find the breakthrough as the match headed into extra time, with Dimitar Berbatov replacing Macheda.

Extra time offered few major incidents as both teams seemed settled on deciding this tie on penalties. Neither side could find the breakthrough, largely down to both team’s immovable defences. Jagielka and Lescott impressed, while Ferdinand was solid and Vidic was absolutely immense all afternoon.

It’s the fourth time United have been forced to spot-kicks in the last year (the Champions League final, Community Shield and Carling Cup final being the others), but this would be the first time the Reds tasted defeat. Cahill fluffed the first kick, blazing well over, but Berbatov also missed. Baines made it 1-0, an advantage upheld when Howard saved Ferdinand’s kick. Phil Neville converted, as did Vidic to make it 2-1. But Everton edged closer to the final when Foster could only get a finger tip to Vaughan’s kick. Anderson scored to level, but Jagielka grabbed the decisive goal to win the shoot-out 4-2.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Porto Vs. Manchester United Match Report

Cristiano Ronaldo's astounding early goal left Sir Alex Ferguson to go head-to-head with old rival Arsene Wenger for a place in the Champions League Final as they beat Porto 1-0 in the Dragao Stadium to win 3-2 on aggregate.
The emergence of Chelsea and Liverpool may have taken the edge off battles between Manchester United and Arsenal over the past few years.

But the renewal of hostilities promises to be almost as spectacular as the Ronaldo strike that created it.

The sixth-minute effort was his 20th goal of the season and only his second in the Champions League since completing that astonishing haul of 42 in last year's final in Moscow.

There was certainly no doubting it was worthy of winning any game, and earning United the accolade of becoming the first English team to beat Porto on their own ground.

As almost a side issue, it also keeps the Red Devils on track to win the quintuple in a season they have brought back to life at just the right time.

In calling for the spirit of Turin `99, Ferguson also knew if that momentous evening was to be repeated, he would have to go through the agony of being two goals down before a famous victory could be achieved.

Ronaldo however, has his own history book to fill.

A repeat of last season's 42-goal tally was never likely to be repeated in a campaign delayed because of ankle surgery.

But the 24-year-old has still make a significant contribution to United's attempt to land an unprecedented quintuple, even if, like so many of his team-mates, he has looked a little off the pace in recent weeks.

There could have been no better stage to signal his renewed intent.

Apart from his beloved Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo is roundly jeered when he returns to one of the major clubs in his homeland, Porto being no exception.

They recognise his talent, though, even if no-one expected what followed when Ronaldo collected Anderson's short pass closer to the halfway line than the opposition goal.

Sensing a little trepidation in home ranks, Ronaldo let rip with a shot as brutally powerful as it was audacious in its intent.

Porto keeper Helton did not have a chance of keeping the ball out as it flashed past him to give United the start Ferguson could not have dreamed.

Had Nemanja Vidic been able to keep his close-range effort under the crossbar after John O'Shea had got the faintest of touches to a Ryan Giggs corner just before the interval, the Red Devils would surely have completed their task in half the time allotted.

Unfortunately, the Serbian missed, allowing Porto to nurse plenty of hope during a half-time team-talk delivered by Jose Gomes as banned coach Jesualdo Ferreira apparently watched on TV at a secret location outside the stadium.

After his major blunder last week, Bruno Alves was determined to make amends and threatened Edwin van der Sar's goal on three separate occasions during that opening period.

But this was United at their belligerent best. Their intent showed in the reaction of a normally phlegmatic Dimitar Berbatov to losing possession and, after a public rebuke from his manager last weekend for not doing enough for the team, an apologetic wave of regret from Ronaldo after a misplaced pass.

Just as Vidic spurred the chance of a second immediately before the break, so Berbatov did the same just afterwards when he wriggled his way into the Porto penalty area.

Porto took it as their cue to mount another offensive.

But with Rio Ferdinand back alongside Vidic after his recent groin strain there was an authority about United's defending that had not been in evidence since before they were dismantled by Liverpool five games ago.

There was experience too, with Ryan Giggs and Van der Sar taking just long enough over their set pieces not to incur the wrath of Swiss referee Massimo Busacca while eating up vital seconds.

The introduction of Nani for Berbatov midway through the second period hinted at a strategy of counter-attacking at pace.

It was certainly Porto carrying any threat that did exist and Rolando was too close for comfort with a far post header.

Yet this United were different to what has been almost the shadow side that has existed before now.

And while they did not exactly coast home, the visiting supporters were celebrating victory long before the final whistle confirmed it.


FC Porto Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

FC Porto [0 - 1] Manchester United
6' [0 - 1] C. Ronaldo


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunderland Vs.Manchester United Match Report

A week ago, few outside of Old Trafford had heard of Kiko Macheda. After two vital winners in the space of six days, however, the 17-year-old Italian has been catapulted into a starring role in United's ongoing Premier League title defence.

While last Sunday's winner against Aston Villa was a piece of last-gasp artistry, this input at the Stadium of Light had more than a touch of fortune about it, but it was still enough to procure three priceless points after Kenwyne Jones had cancelled out Paul Scholes' opener.

Three points was all the Reds deserved, it has to be said, for a performance which was occasionally slapdash, but largely dominant against a Sunderland side severely lacking in confidence after a poor recent run of form.

Sir Alex Ferguson made a host of changes to the side which contested Tuesday's pulsating draw with Porto, with the return of Jonny Evans and Dimitar Berbatov from injury providing a welcome boost. Scholes was included alongside Michael Carrick in midfield, and the veteran schemer ensured United were ahead by the interval.

Only a heroic block from Callum Davenport stopped the midfielder's 20-yard blockbuster testing Craig Gordon after nine minutes. Shortly afterwards, Scholes again found space in the area but opted to find Rooney, whose cross sailed over.

Djibril Cisse saw his shot deflected over as the hosts briefly rallied, but United looked by far the more likely to make the breakthrough. A minute later, Nemanja Vidic powered Rooney's corner goalwards, only for Danny Collins to scuff the ball off the line. From the ensuing scramble, the Serb sent an acrobatic overhead kick a yard wide of Gordon's goal.

The Reds weren't to be denied for long, however, and Scholes opened the scoring after 19 minutes. Berbatov held the ball up superbly before feeding Rooney, and his left-wing cross was clinically helped into the top corner by the experienced head of the diminutive midfield magician.

That took Scholes' career haul to 98 Premier League goals, but of far greater importance was laying the foundations for United to chalk up another three points. Having surrendered leads against Liverpool, Aston Villa and Porto with varying degrees of consequence in recent weeks, the need for a second goal was immediately apparent.

Plenty of possession ensued for United, but with few chances to show for their dominance. Inevitably, one or two jittery moments would follow as Sunderland grew in confidence; Djibril Cisse saw a shot palmed over by Foster and Jones headed straight at the England international, but the greatest scare came from a man in a Red shirt.

Carlos Edwards shifted space away from Nemanja Vidic before drilling in a cross from the right wing, and Evans could only watch and hope as the ball deflected off his shin, against Foster's far post and out to safety. Ji-sung Park then flashed an effort fractionally over Gordon's top corner, but United's interval lead remained a precarious one.

Within moments of the restart, Rooney thundered a magnificent 25-yard effort just past the top corner. The Reds would shortly be ruingthat missed opportunity, and the concession of another sloppy goal. Tainio did well to fashion space down the left wing, and Foster failed to reach his teasing cross - giving Jones the chance to cushion and convert from close range.

The inevitable disappointment was scarcely tangible in United's approach, however. Scholes was within inches of restoring the champions' lead as his 20-yard snapshot arced agonisingly wide, while Tevez was thwarted by a combination of Gordon and his desperate defenders.

As time wore on, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to shuffle his pack with the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo and, shortly afterwards, Macheda at the expense of Park and Berbatov. Within a minute, the Italian had made another stunning impact.

Carrick's errant shot was heading wide as it entered a muddled cluster of home and away players, but spun away from Gordon and into the corner of the goal via Macheda's left instep. Deliberate or not - and he, a striker by trade, will tell you that it was - United had re-assumed a vital lead.

The goal took the wind out of Sunderland's sails. United, in desperate need of the three points to again overhaul Liverpool at the top of the table, clung on for grim life, seeing out the final 15 minutes in relative comfort - albeit with breath held, peeping between fingers for those packed into the away end.

Another nerve-wracking 90 minutes down, another three points. Watching United just wouldn't be the same without going through the wringer.

Sunderland Vs.Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Sunderland [1 - 2] Manchester United
19' [0 - 1] P. Scholes
55' [1 - 1] K. Jones
76' [1 - 2] F. Macheda

0-1 P.Scholes 19'

1-1 K.Jones 55'

1-2 F.Macheda 76'