Nobody likes a person who takes pleasure in somebody else’s misfortune – so on the final day of last season when the Sunderland supporters cheered news of a late Man City winner, and began to do the Poznan, it was quite hard to take for most reds.
Understandably for a club who play the worst football in the top flight, and live in the shadow of their North-East neighbours Newcastle – it was the highlight of their season and probably the only time in the foreseeable future that their club will be involved in anything to do with silverware.
I know a few Sunderland fans who are very nice people, but after that reaction back in May (and also the fact they play such boring football yet seem to be on Sky every single weekend), I want their club to get relegated this season.
Not forgotten by Manchester United staff, players and most of all Sir Alex Ferguson; who was obviously looking for some type of revenge – within the first 25 minutes the score should have been closer to double figures than just 2-0.
England pair Phil Jones and Chris Smalling replaced Rafael and Jonny Evans in defence, looking comfortable dealing with minimal threat posed by Sunderland on the United goal for the first 70 minutes of the match.
Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley as always were creative in possession – and Tony Valencia proved to be a dangerous outlet down the right; shaking off any poor form he has found himself in of late.
Another bright note of the day was seeing club captain Nemanja Vidic come on for the final twenty minutes of the game, gaining valuable match action ahead of a busy Christmas schedule.
The game finished 3-1 with Van Persie, Cleverley and Rooney netting – with ex red Fraizer Campbell replying late on for Sunderland; but truth be told, it should have been more.
Wayne Rooney had an off-day in front of goal missing a hat full of chances; Patrice Evra and Ashley Young too missed good opportunities but none the less, it was the three points that mattered most.
A good team display with key defenders returning to the side was very pleasing for all to see – but the cream of the crop has to once again go to new boy Robin Van Persie.
Not only did he take his goal very well, but he also had a major hand in Wayne Rooney’s goal. Van Persie latched on to the ball on the left hand side of the penalty area and beat two defenders before laying the ball into the path of his strike partner.
To think, back in August there were many fans and pundits who had serious doubts over the ability, fitness, age and price tag of Van Persie. Would a 29 year old have any sell on value? Will he reproduce his Arsenal form? Where will he fit in as United have three top class strikers already?
Here is a link to an article posted prior to the Van Persie signing – It is worth a read if only for the comments of some supporters – Lucas Moura anyone?
Robin Van Persie has made a significant difference to the way Manchester United play and his influence is noted by everybody at the club. He was not at his very best against Sunderland, but still ran the show. I do not think it will be the last time I am writing about him before the season is out.
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