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Barclays Premier League

Old Trafford (ATT 75,582) 15th December 2012 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: C Foy

Man Utd Manchester United vs Sunderland Sunderland

Man Utd 3

R van Persie (16)
T Cleverley (19)
W Rooney (59)


Sunderland 1

F Campbell (72)

Premier League leaders Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-1 at Old Trafford

Last Updated: 16/12/12 7:24am

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Goals from Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney saw Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-1 and restore their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

Van Persie notched on 16 minutes, Cleverley scored three minutes later and Rooney added a second-half effort before substitute Fraizer Campbell headed a consolation against his old club for the Black Cats.

Best of the match

  • Man of the match: Robin van Persie: The Dutch goal machine scored and provided Rooney's goal assist as United cruised to victory.
  • Goal of the match: Tom Cleverley's. The United midfielder played a delightful one-two with Michael Carrick before slotting into the far bottom corner.
  • Shot of the match: Ashley Young's powerful early effort from the edge of the box was touched over by Simon Mignolet.
  • Save of the match: David De Gea. United's keeper produced a great double save to deny Craig Gardener and Stephane Sessegnon.
  • Moment of the match: Nemanja Vidic came on to great applause as a second-half substitute for his first United appearance since September
  • Talking point: Manchester United showed their title credentials with a comfortable victory to restore their six point lead at the top. Sunderland hover just a point above the drop zone at the other end.

The 3-1 win came after Manchester City had beaten Newcastle by the same scoreline in the early kick-off and handed the advantage back to United in the title race.

Buoyed by their last-gasp 3-2 derby win over City on Sunday, Sir Alex Ferguson's side started strongly at Old Trafford, with Phil Jones forcing Simon Mignolet into an early save.

The Sunderland keeper then had to tip over a powerful dive from the edge of the box from Ashley Young, while Patrice Evra shot over soon afterwards.

United's pressure paid off when Van Persie slotted home from eight yards out after John O'Shea deflected Young's cross into his path.

Mignolet then produced a great save to his left to deny a Van Persie header, but could do nothing to stop Cleverley's shot into the bottom corner after the United midfielder had played a delightful one-two with Michael Carrick to open the Sunderland defence up.

Now well on top, Rooney shot wide after Van Persie had teed up his strike partner, and then headed just wide from Evra's cross.

But Sunderland refused to lie down and accept defeat. First James McClean forced David De Gea into a near post save and Evra had to head out Stephane Sessegnon's powerful effort.

McClean's long-range effort then took a slight deflection off Cleverley but De Gea saved as United went into the interval with their two-goal lead intact.

Soon after the restart, Titus Bramble deflected Rooney's close-range effort onto the bar, while at the other end, De Gea produced a great double save to first deny Craig Gardner and then Sessegnon.

Van Persie shot wide while trying to chip the onrushing Mignolet, before he did well to tee up Rooney for United's third on 59 minutes to seal the three points.

United club captain Nemanja Vidic came on for his first appearance since September but could not stop substitute Campbell heading home Sessegnon's cross from close range as Sunderland earned a consolation goal with 18 minutes remaining.

Manchester UnitedTeam StatisticsSunderland
21st Half Goals0
5Shots on Target7
9Shots off Target3
2Blocked Shots4
0Yellow Cards0
0Red Cards0
86.1Passing Success74.5
80Tackles Success82.6
49.3Territorial Advantage50.7
519Total Passes302
26Total Crosses29
149Lost Balls143
69.61st Half Poss.30.4
56.32nd Half Poss.43.7

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Liverpool 34 77
2 Chelsea 34 75
3 Manchester City 32 70
4 Arsenal 34 67
5 Everton 33 66
6 Tottenham Hotspur 34 60
7 Manchester United 33 57
8 Southampton 34 48
9 Newcastle United 34 46
10 Stoke City 34 43
11 West Ham United 34 37
12 Crystal Palace 33 37
13 Hull City 33 36
14 Aston Villa 33 34
15 Swansea City 34 33
16 West Bromwich Albion 33 33
17 Norwich City 34 32
18 Fulham 34 30
19 Cardiff City 34 29
20 Sunderland 32 25


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