Manchester United and Sunderland played out a lackluster draw in a game that was from being a ‘Super Sunday’.
Louis van Gaal started with a very underwhelming side which included youngster Tyler Blackett and England midfielder Tom Cleverley while Sunderland handed a home debut to Jack Rodwell with Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher up top.
Sunderland started the brighter of the two teams but it was a rather quiet start with not many chances at all. It was United however who took the lead. A wonderful bit of play in midfield saw van Persie play the ball wide out to Valencia. The Ecuadorian winger took on the Sunderland left back and drove the ball low across the box finding Juan Mata, who tapped in after losing the close marking of Seb Larsson.
Manchester United began to control the game and the possession was good, but the lack of a spark was clearly evident in the side as the side failed to create many chances.
Sunderland began to come into the game with captain Lee Cattermole starting to take the midfield by the scruff of the neck freeing up some space for new-boy Jack Rodwell. Sunderland equalised through a corner when Rodwell lost Valencia in the box to head home from Larsson’s corner and past David De Gea. Manchester United’s injury woes continued as Chris Smalling went off with a hamstring injury two minutes before half-time, despite having picked up the injury in the opening minutes.
The second half however was a drab affair. Both sides struggled to create any chances of note although Manchester United had two penalty appeals turned down, the latter seeing Ashley Young correctly booked for simulation after a non-challenge from ex-Red Wes Brown. The game came to a slow 1-1 draw and both sides will be disappointed with the result.
“I think that in the first half we played an equal match with Sunderland without creating so much. I think we scored a fantastic goal but we have already warned our players that we can’t give away a lot of set pieces and they scored from a set piece so that’s disappointing. In the second half we played much better but we didn’t create and we lacked creative passes.““I cannot say that [it was a better performance than last week] because last week we created more chances and football is a game about creating chances. You have to win your game and we couldn’t so that’s a pity.““In this game we missed the passing. Too much, too fast, too slow, too hasty. That was disappointing.“
“He was jumping too much. He was kicked by the defender which is important. He [the referee] could have given the penalty for van Persie because the tackle was coming and there are referees who’ll give that penalty but we need to create more chances than penalties.”“One point from two games is not good enough for Manchester United.“