Monday, 25 August 2014

Manchester United draw 1 - 1 at Sunderland

Manchester United collected their first point of the season but they again flattered to deceive in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Getty Image

Watched by a crowd of 43,217, United moved ahead with their only meaningful attack of the first half when Juan Mata tapped the ball into the gaping net on 17 minutes after some fine wing play by Antonio Valencia wound up with the ball being deflected into the Spain player's path.

Gus Poyet's Sunderland had been the more vibrant side against a United side lack any notable pace, and deservedly equalised on 30 minutes when Jack Rodwell rose to power a header into the net from a Sebastian Larsson corner.

Both teams improved the longer the match progressed, but the most notable moment of the second period was perhaps the customary booking for United winger Ashley Young when he dived with former United defender Wes Brown clearly nowhere near the ball.

Louis van Gaal said after the 2-1 defeat by Swansea last week that United would need a miracle to win the Premier League. He is unlikely to alter his thoughts any time soon.

With or without the arrival of £64 million-rated Argentina winger Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid.


Should United break the bank to land Di Maria? On this showing, United need to overpay for the required talent. And Di Maria fits into that category at around £64 million. United are lacking a directness and speed. They have neat and tidy players, but a bunch who can't really trouble defenders like the Sunderland pair of John O'Shea or Wes Brown. That says enough.

Man Utd's total of one point after two PL matches is their worst total since the first season of the Premier League era, when they lost both of their opening matches.

Man Utd are now winless in three consecutive Premier League matches (D2-L1), and have won only one of their last five. They are also winless in their last six PL matches on a Sunday.

A draw also means that Sunderland fail to win either of their opening PL matches of the season for the fifth year in a row, while Man Utd fail to win either match for the first time since 2007/08 (two draws).

A draw would be the 13th PL home match for Sunderland without a win against Man Utd, but would end their current three-match losing streak at home to the Manchester club.

A winning goal for Sunderland would be mean back-to-back top flight wins over Man Utd for the first time since 1951.

Sunderland won 18 points at home in the PL last season, their worst total since 2005/06, when they were relegated.


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