Premier League
26 December 2016
Game week
1 - 0
3 - 1
Old Trafford (Manchester)


D. Blind (G) 39' (assist by: Z. Ibrahimović)
1 - 0
Z. Ibrahimović (G) 82' (assist by: P. Pogba)
2 - 0
H. Mkhitaryan (G) 86' (assist by: Z. Ibrahimović)
3 - 0
3 - 1
90' +1 F. Borini (G)


Minute   Description
What was a tough game in the first half became a relatively easy one for United after the break, as they continually caused problems for a Sunderland side that offered little going forward in response. Borini fired in a late consolation goal with an excellent volleyed effort late on, but it was one of the visitors' only attempts on goal throughout what was another difficult clash for the Black Cats, leaving them firmly inside the relegation zone for another week.
90'+3 Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan link up well again before the latter is pulled to the ground by Kone, resulting in a free-kick for United right on the edge of the Sunderland box. Ibrahimovic steps up and unleashes a low strike with what will surely be the final chance of the game, but his thumping effort on goal is well saved by Pickford.
90'+1 GOAL! Borini joins in on the fun! A curling cross from Denayer is only cleared as far as Borini, who chests the ball down before beating De Gea with an outrageous volleyed strike from 30 yards out. That was beautifully hit!
88' Pogba almost makes it 4-0! United keep pushing forward and win themselves a corner over on the right wing. It's fired into the penalty area and finds Pogba, but the Frenchman is unable to keep his headed effort down and fails to hit the target from close range.
86' Sunderland have made another late change, with Ndong making way for Donald Love.
Ibrahimovic did wonderfully well to pick out Mkhitaryan with a lovely cross into the heart of the Sunderland box, but it looked as if the Armenian may have been a yard or two offside.
GOAL! What a strike by Mkhitaryan! Ibrahimovic drifts out to the right wing before curling a great cross into the middle of the box, where it finds Mkhitaryan. The ball is slightly behind the Armenian but he's somehow able to flick the ball over Pickford and into the back of the net with an outrageous back-heeled flick. That was sublime!
84' Marouane Fellaini receives a mixed reception from the United fans as he comes on to replace Herrera.
83' Sunderland have made a late change, with Larsson making way for Wahbi Khazri.
82' Pogba did well to pounce on Ndong's mistake before picking out Ibrahimovic perfectly. The Frenchman has been excellent this afternoon and has caused Sunderland all sorts of problems for start to finish.
GOAL! It's 2-0 to United! Ndong gives away the ball cheaply in the middle of the pitch and allows United to break forward through Pogba. The Frenchman darts towards the penalty area before teeing up Ibrahimovic, who then finally gets the better of Pickford with a great side-footed strike.
81' Defoe is dragged to the ground by Blind and wins Sunderland a free-kick in a good position midway inside the United half of the pitch. Larsson steps up and once again swings a good cross into the heart of the box, but the home side have enough bodies back to deal with the danger.
79' Valencia finds himself in some space over on the right flank and darts down the wing before firing a cross towards the near post. It's sent slightly behind the Swedish striker but he's somehow able to send a poked back-heeled shot towards goal, but it lacks the power needed to trouble Pickford.
77' Larsson is fouled over on the left wing by Valencia and wins Sunderland a free-kick in a dangerous position. It's fired into the penalty area and towards Anichebe at the back post, but Pogba is there to thump the ball away from the Nigerian.
75' Martial almost makes an immediate impact after latching on to a lovely poked pass forward from Pogba, but the substitute's first touch is poor and he's eventually flagged offside before he can get a shot away.
74' Mata has made way for Anthony Martial in United's second alteration of the afternoon.
72' Anichebe continues to cause problems for the United back line before doing well to win his side a corner. The set-piece is whipped into the box by Larsson but fails to find a white shirt and instead rolls harmlessly over to Valencia.
71' Jones gets himself into a good position deep down the right wing before firing a dangerous cross into the penalty area. Anichebe rises high above his marker before nodding the ball down towards Defoe, but the ball fizzes just past the striker before the linesman's flag is eventually raised for offside.
69' Defoe has seen little of the ball this afternoon, but he's finally given a chance to fly forward. He does well to muscle his way past Jones and into the United penalty area, but just as he's about to shoot, he has the ball poked away from him and into the hands of De Gea.
68' Mkhitaryan, who has looked bright since coming on to the pitch, picks up the ball over on the left-hand side of the Sunderland box before swinging a cross towards Pogba at the far post, but Djilobodji rises high to beat the Frenchman to the ball with a well-timed header.
66' Another great save by Pickford! Once again, Ibrahimovic charges into the right-hand side of the Sunderland penalty area before trying to beat Pickford, but the goalkeeper sticks out a foot to parry the ball away from danger. The Swedish striker just can't seem to score, no matter what he tries to do!
64' Chance for Mata! Pogba breaks into the right-hand side of the Sunderland box before chipping a cross-cum-shot towards the near post, and it's just about pushed away by Pickford. He can only clear the ball as far as Mata, however, but the Spaniard's close-range shot is quickly closed down by Jason Denayer.
63' Mkhitaryan goes close! The Armenian makes an immediate impact after coming off the substitutes' bench as he tests Pickford from 25 yards out, but his curling shot ends up flying just past the fingertips of the goalkeeper and wide of the far post.
62' United have decided to make their first substitution of the game, with Lingard making way for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who receives a rousing round of applause from the home fans as he comes on to the pitch.
61' Tackles have been flying in all over the place as things start to heat up slightly, and Borini becomes the latest player to receive a yellow card for a mistimed challenge of his own.
59' Great tackle by Djilobodji! Lingard flies through the middle of the pitch on a wonderful run before teeing up Ibrahimovic, but just as the striker is about to penetrate the penalty area, he's dispossessed by a fantastic sliding tackle by Djilobodji that was timed to perfection.
58' Ouch! Kone darts over to the right wing in an attempt to deal with a loose ball, but he ends up crashing into an unsuspecting ballboy after sliding off the pitch. The youngster seems to be okay, however, and receives a pat on the head from the Sunderland defender.
56' Sunderland are finally able to push forward on a rare foray into the United half of the pitch, but Anichebe is unable to get a shot away from the edge of the penalty area after being set up by Van Aanholt and loses out to a clever tackle from Carrick.
54' Jones bursts into the Sunderland half of the pitch before teeing up Ibrahimovic, but the Swedish striker is unable to penetrate the penalty area and ends up giving away a goal-kick with a poor final touch near to the byline.
52' Chance for Ibrahimovic! Mata charges forward before picking out Ibrahimovic with a clever through-ball into the Sunderland penalty area, but the striker's first-time shot is fired just a yard or so over the top of the crossbar after flying past the outstretched limbs of Pickford.
50' Herrera is left all alone in far too much space over on the right wing, allowing him to lift a cross into the middle of the Sunderland box. Pogba does well to rise high above his marker before sending a headed effort towards goal, but it's slightly too powerful and fails to hit the target.
49' Lingard spins well on the edge of the Sunderland penalty area before teeing up Herrera, but the Spaniard's first touch is slightly heavy and allows Djilobodji to poke the ball out for a corner over on the left flank that the visitors do well to deal with.
48' Almost another chance for United! Ibrahimovic out-muscles Djilobodji far too easily over on the right flank before bursting towards the penalty area. He spots a great run forward from Pogba and picks out the Frenchman, but the pass is a poor one and fails to result in a chance on goal for the midfielder.
47' United immediately hit Sunderland on a great attacking move thanks to good play by Pogba and Valencia, but the latter's low cross is slightly behind Ibrahimovic and, despite his best efforts, the striker is unable to flick a shot towards goal.
46' And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out on to the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
It's been a tough first half in which they've had to work hard, but United deservedly head into the break with a goal under their belts thanks to a great strike from Blind. Sunderland have performed well at the other end of the pitch, with Anichebe looking particularly dangerous with the ball at his feet, but the Nigerian switched off in the build-up to the home side's opener and was arguably at fault. Since then, United have been on the front foot, with Pogba and Mata both going close to increasing their lead.
45'+3 And now Mata goes close! The Spaniard weaves his way through the Sunderland midfield and towards the visitors' penalty area before going down under a challenge from Ndong, resulting in a free-kick for United in a very dangerous position. The midfielder steps up and curls a great shot towards the bottom left-hand corner of the net, but, once again, Pickford is there to keep the hosts' lead at just one goal.
45'+2 Almost a great goal by Pogba! Ibrahimovic, who is now starting to get into the game far more than he was earlier in the afternoon, tees up Pogba with a poked pass from the edge of the box. The Frenchman chips up the ball, spins and fires a lovely volleyed strike towards goal, but Pickford does well to dive to his right to stop the effort from finding the back of the net.
45'+1 A lofted pass forward finds Ibrahimovic, who does well to nod it down into the path of Valencia. The full-back then quickly sends the ball back to the Swedish striker before a cross is fired towards Lingard, but Kone is just about able to get a head on the ball.
45' The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
43' Blind darts down the left flank once again before swinging a low cross into the middle of the Sunderland penalty area, but it's sent slightly too near to Pickford and is easily cut out by the goalkeeper at the near post.
41' And now Lingard goes close! Once again, Ibrahimovic is picked out in a good position inside the Sunderland box before he pokes the ball back to Lingard, but the latter's rushed effort is slightly mishit and flies over the top of the crossbar.
39' Ibrahimovic did well to hold up the ball whilst waiting for Blind to dart forward. It's been a tough opening half for the Swedish striker, but he used his strength well when required to do so.
GOAL! United have taken the lead! Anichebe momentarily falls asleep and allows Blind to fly into the Sunderland penalty area and link up with Ibrahimovic, who held up the ball well before teeing up the Dutchman. The full-back then left Pickford with no chance with a thumping low strike that easily finds the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
38' What a chance for Pogba! A floating cross from Blind is only half dealt with by Djilobodji, who sends his headed clearance straight to Pogba. The Frenchman quickly controls the ball with his chest before unleashing a volleyed strike, but his effort ends up looping a yard or so over the top of the crossbar.
36' After dealing with the danger, United push forward on a quick counter-attack down the left wing. Pogba initially does well to get forward before being unable to tee up Ibrahimovic, and he's forced into unleashing an audacious strike from 30 yards out that is well saved by Pickford.
35' A lovely cross-field pass from Larsson finds Jones, who then quickly nods the ball down to Anichebe. The Nigerian has his back to goal and does well to spin and shoot, but Blind is there to stick out a foot to stop the shot from troubling De Gea.
34' Sunderland, who are enjoying a good spell of possession at the moment, come back again as they keep putting United under pressure. Borini finds himself in a pocket of space in the middle of the pitch and breaks forward quickly before shooting from the edge of the box, but his effort is well saved by De Gea in the centre of the goalmouth.
33' Van Aanholt and Borini link up well deep down the left wing before the latter tries to swing a cross on to the head of Anichebe inside the penalty area, but he puts slightly too much power behind his attempted pass and ends up sending it flying out of play for a goal-kick.
32' Lingard muscles his way through the Sunderland midfield before trying to slot a through-ball into the path of Ibrahimovic, but the striker is kept at bay by good play from Kone and the pass ends up rolling into the hands of Pickford.
31' Sunderland quickly win back possession and earn themselves a free-kick over on the left wing thanks to a clumsy challenge by Valencia. Larsson decides to shoot from the set-piece after spotting De Gea off his line, but the Swedish midfielder's effort is poorly hit and sails comfortably wide of the goal.
29' Sunderland go close to opening the scoring! A lovely chipped pass from Defoe isn't dealt with by Blind and falls to Anichebe, but the Nigerian completely scuffs his close-range shot before Borini's follow-up is parried away by the feet of De Gea.
27' Pogba hits the post! The Frenchman plays a one-two with Lingard on the edge of the penalty area before curling a shot towards goal, but it ends up taking a slight deflection off Larsson that sends it away from Pickford and off the outside of the far post.
25' Valencia takes on Van Aanholt over on the right-hand side of the Sunderland box before winning the hosts a corner. It's flung into the heart of the penalty area in search of one of several red shirts placed in front of goal, but Didier Ndong is there to clear the danger.
23' United patiently pass the ball around as they try to find a way through a very compact sea of white shirts. Ander Herrera is eventually able to swing in a cross from the right wing that looks set to find Lingard, but Kone rises high to beat the winger to the ball.
21' Mata goes down inside the penalty area, but nothing is given! United try to hit Sunderland on a counter-attack of their own with a thumping pass up towards Mata, but as soon as the Spaniard is about to reach the ball inside the box, he's barged to the ground by Kone. The home players and fans aren't at all happy with the defender's dealing with the midfielder, but the referee isn't at all interested and waves play on.
20' Fantastic stop by De Gea! Blind clumsily drags Anichebe to the ground just outside of the United box, resulting in a yellow card for the defender and a free-kick for Sunderland in a dangerous position. Van Aanholt steps up and fires a great shot towards goal, but David De Gea stops it from finding the back of the net with a wonderful diving save.
19' Djilobodji's clearance results in a corner for United, but the hosts are unable to carve out a chance on goal. Instead, Pickford easily deals with the danger before kick-starting a wonderful counter-attack that sees Jermain Defoe take on Jones on the edge of the penalty area before firing a curling strike several yards wide of the near post.
18' Pogba picks out Valencia with a lovely cross-field pass that finds the right-back in acres of space. He has time to settle himself before whipping a dangerous cross towards Lingard, but the winger ends up losing out to Djilobodji on the edge of the six-yard box.
17' United lose out in the middle of the pitch and allow Sunderland to hit them on a quick counter-attack. Van Aanholt flies down the left flank on a marauding run before trying to take on Antonio Valencia, but the Ecuadorian comes out on top with a great tackle.
16' Lingard and Ibrahimovic link up well over on the left flank after the former managed to skip past Jones far too easily. The striker holds up the ball and out-muscles Djilobodji before trying to tee up Blind, but Lamine Kone dives in front of the full-back to stop him from reaching the ball.
14' Jones mistimes an attempted header and gifts possession to Anichebe. He holds up the ball well and plays a quick one-two with Patrick van Aanholt deep down the left wing, but Rojo is there to poke the ball away from the Dutchman with a sliding tackle on the edge of the United box.
13' Jones sends a clever pass down the right flank and into the path of Fabio Borini, who takes on Daley Blind before settling for Sunderland's first corner of the afternoon. Larsson steps up and curls a cross towards Djilobodji, but the centre-back's swinging shot is deflected away from danger by the back of Phil Jones.
11' Anichebe gingerly gets back to his feet and the game gets underway once again. United patiently pass the ball around before Pogba tries to take on Billy Jones, but the full-back charges into the midfielder and dispossesses him with a well-timed tackle on the halfway line.
10' There's a brief break in play as Victor Anichebe receives medical treatment. He fell awkwardly after battling in the air for the ball, leaving him in a heap on the floor and in serious discomfort as he holds on to his shoulder.
8' Mata picks up the ball in the middle of the pitch and spins quickly before teeing up Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker cuts inside from the right wing and picks out Lingard in a pocket of space, but the latter is unable to control the ball and gives away possession before he can shoot.
6' Marcos Rojo embarks on a rare foray into the visitors' half of the pitch as he weaves his way through a sea of white shirts. He heads towards the penalty area and that tries to test Pickford from 25 yards out, but his audacious effort isn't hit well enough to trouble the young goalkeeper.
5' Chance for Pogba! The Frenchman out-muscles Sebastian Larsson on the right-hand side of the Sunderland penalty area before unleashing a rocket of a shot towards the near post. Jordan Pickford gets down quickly and does well to stop it from finding the back of the net, and Djilobodji is then able to thump the ball away from danger before Mata can poke in a follow-up shot.
3' After an even start to the game from both sides, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba link up well deep inside the Sunderland half of the pitch before the latter tries to tee up Jesse Lingard. The winger is in a good position inside the box, but Papy Djilobodji does well to stick out a foot to stop the ball from finding the 24-year-old.
1' And we're off! Sunderland get us underway, attacking from right to left.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, Sunderland boss David Moyes has also made two alterations to the team that featured in their last outing, with Donald Love and Adnan Januzaj making way for Billy Jones and Sebastian Larsson, respectively.
Jose Mourinho has decided to make two changes to the United side that started the victory against West Brom on the final weekend before Christmas, with Daley Blind and Juan Mata coming into the starting line-up to replace Matteo Darmian and Wayne Rooney, the latter of whom misses out after picking up a slight injury in training yesterday.
Sunderland substitutes: Mannone, Love, O’Shea, Embleton, Honeyman, Asoro, Khazri.
Sunderland XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Jones, Kone, Djilobodji, Van Aanholt; Larsson, Denayer, Ndong; Borini, Defoe, Anichebe.
Manchester United substitutes: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Martial.
Manchester United XI (4-3-3): De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Herrera, Carrick, Pogba; Mata, Ibrahimovic, Lingard.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
Despite neither scoring since the win against Leicester at the start of the month, the strike partnership involving Jermain Defoe and Victor Anichebe has played a significant role in Sunderland’s recent turnaround, with the pair scoring 11 league goals between them. Today’s clash could be tricky for the duo, however, as they must take on a United back line that have conceded more than one goal on just one occasion in their last 21 home games.
As for Sunderland, important recent wins against Bournemouth, Hull City, Leicester City and Watford have helped drag them away from the foot of the table and towards safety. They still remain inside the relegation zone, however, but a second win in a row against United (a feat that hasn’t been achieved since 1951) would move them above Crystal Palace and into 17th place.
Tottenham, Crystal Palace and, most recently, West Bromwich Albion have all tasted defeat against United in recent weeks, resulting in Jose Mourinho’s side picking up three consecutive league victories for only the second time under the Portuguese. They haven’t won four in a row since March 2015 but also start the day with just one Premier League win in five home clashes, four of which ended in draws.
After suffering a frustrating draw away to Everton at the start of the month, United have won all of their previous three Premier League games and now have the opportunity to move equal on points with Tottenham Hotspur if they are victorious again here today. The omens certainly look good for the Red Devils, who have lost only one of their last 24 home games against Sunderland.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford.


David de Gea
B. Jones
P. van Aanholt
P. Jones
J. Denayer
P. Djilobodji
M. Rojo
P. Pogba
S. Larsson
F. Borini
Z. Ibrahimović
J. Pickford
J. Lingard
M. Carrick
D. Blind
D. Ndong
J. Defoe
Ander Herrera
L. Koné
A. Valencia
V. Anichebe

Additional info

M. Atkinson
S. Burt
A. Nunn
Fourth official
L. Mason


Match Stats

Manchester United Sunderland
46 Attacks (Dangerous) 19
5 Corners 5
6 Fouls 9
11 Free Kicks 10
4 Goal Kicks 13
4 Offsides 2
3 Shots (blocked) 1
10 Shots (off target) 2
6 Shots (on target) 3
0 Shots (woodwork) 0
12 Throw Ins 12

Regular Season

# Team MP D P

Old Trafford

Old Trafford