Manchester United easily beat Sunderland with neat goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford. It appears that United has returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a convincing victory over 10-man Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Ibrahimovic fired United ahead with a stunning 20-yard strike on 30 minutes before his Swedish compatriot, Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson, saw red for a high challenge on Ander Herrera shortly before the half-time break.
Mkhitaryan doubled the lead within a minute of the restart, drilling home a brilliant shot for his eighth goal for the club. Second-half substitute Rashford then rounded off a comfortable win late on, as the Reds moved up to fifth in the table after extending the unbeaten run in the league to 21 games.
HALF-TIME MATCH STATS
Possession: Sunderland 29% United 71%
Shots: Sunderland 4 United 10
Shots on target: Sunderland 3 United 5
Corners: Sunderland 2 United 4
United were celebrating the second goal within 46 seconds of the restart, as Mkhitaryan drifted into the box and arrowed home an exquisite shot which went through the legs of Lamine Kone into the bottom corner. It was another fine goal against the Black Cats for the Armenian, who scored a memorable ‘scorpion kick’ at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
FULL-TIME MATCH STATS
Possession: Sunderland 30% United 70%
Shots: Sunderland 9 United 18
Shots on target: Sunderland 4 United 9
Corners: Sunderland 4 United 5
Sunderland: Pickford; Jones, Denayer, Kone, Oviedo (Manquillo 39); Larsson, Rodwell, Cattermole (c) (Borini 66), Ndong; Anichebe, Defoe.
Subs not used: Mannone, Djilobodji, Pienaar, Gibson, Khazri.
Manchester United: Romero; Darmian, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw (Blind 61); Fellaini (c), Herrera; Lingard (Rashford 64), Pogba, Mkhitaryan (Martial 78); Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: J. Pereira, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Carrick.
Booked: Shaw, Fellaini, Lingard, Martial, Darmian
United boss Jose Mourinho was satisfied with United’s dominant display at the Stadium of Light, where well-taken goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford secured a comfortable 3-0 win away against 10-man Sunderland.
Here’s what the manager said in his post-match interviews with MUTV, Sky Sports and BBC Sport . . .
A GOOD WIN AGAINST A SAD TEAM
“The result was good. We resisted the results of yesterday when Manchester City and Liverpool won, they left us in a position of ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It was ‘yes’. We got three points and it was a solid display . . . “
THE IMPORTANCE OF ZLATAN’S GOAL
“It was open at 0-0. We were in control without danger. We were playing quite compact and solid. You need these players to break it. Every team has a couple of them. Zlatan did that. It’s very important and one more goal for him is a beautiful number that he’s getting [28 goals this season]. We felt the game was in our pocket. In this beautiful weather, the game was played at a more slow intensity . . . ”
If you ask me . . .?
Up Man U!