Premier League - Sunderland stun United away to continue race for survival

Premier League, Old Trafford - Manchester United 0 Sunderland 1 (Larsson 30’)

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Premier League - Sunderland stun United away to continue race for survival
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Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic (C) and his players react after conceding a goal to Sunderland during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford in Manchester, May 3, 2014

Sunderland grabbed a vital three points with a 1-0 victory against Manchester United which all but guarantees their Premier League status for another season if Norwich lose to Chelsea on Sunday.

In Ryan Giggs’s second game in charge, United served up a David Moyes-vintage performance. Michael Carrick continued his wretched form, Ashley Young consistently crossed to nobody, and Juan Mata and the rest of the side played far too slowly.

Sunderland were organised in defence and able to keep possession for long spells at a time. With one of many poor first-half clearances, David de Gea allowed Connor Wickham to get to the byline and curl in a cross for an excellent first-time Sebastian Larsson volley to win the match.

In the second half, United put in crosses relentlessly, and did nothing with any of them. They dominated possession, but not control of the match, as Sunderland defended well. There was even a chance for Emanuele Giaccherini to double the lead for Sunderland, as he sent a scuffed shot onto the post, and Fabio Borini hit the crossbar with five minutes remaining.

United have all but failed to qualify for the Europa League, but the biggest story is Sunderland’s late dash for survival - 10 points from 12 available - which might just come off.

KEY MOMENTS

18’ - NANI SHOT: Carrick mishits a volley towards Nani, but he shoots a couple of yards over.

20’ - EVRA HEADER: Young curls in a corner from the left, and Patrice Evra heads straight at Vito Mannone.

30’ - LARSSON GOAL: De Gea gives away the ball with a poor clearance. Connor Wickham reaches the corner of the pitch and curls in a great cross for Larsson to fire in a low shot past the ‘keeper.

72’ - GIACCHERINI CHANCE: Jozy Altidore gets to the byline and pulls back for Giaccherini, who scuffs his shot against the bar.

77’ - WELBECK CHANCE: Danny Welbeck skips inside from the right, and fires his shot just over the bar from outside the box.

81’ - HERNANDEZ MISS: Evra - unmarked - passes to Hernandez - unmarked - and the striker leans back and fires his shot over.

84’ - BORINI HITS THE BAR: Borini comes inside onto his left foot, just inside the box, and slams his shot straight against the bar.

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KEY STATS

This is Manchester United’s first home defeat to Sunderland in the Premier League.

This is Sunderland’s first league win against Manchester United in 24 games.

Sunderland have now won three games in a row and picked up 10 points from the last 12 available.

Gus Poyet’s side have scored in all but one of their last 11 away league games.

MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY

TALKING POINT

Was this Michael Carrick’s worst ever United performance? Carrick has a string of terrible performances to point to, particularly this season, but today he failed to track runners, conceded fouls, couldn’t pass accurately and had an air shot to cap it off. There have been rumours he is in his final United season. It’s probably for the best that they come true.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Connor Wickham (Sunderland): A game when he closed down United midfielders and defenders, Wickham also provided a wonderful pass from the corner to set up Sebastian Larsson’s goal.

PLAYER RATINGS

Man Utd: De Gea 5, Jones 6, Ferdinand 6, Vidic 4, Evra 5, Nani 4, Carrick 2, Fletcher 3, Young 4, Mata 5, Hernandez 5. Subs: Januzaj 6, Welbeck 6, Van Persie 6.

Sunderland: Mannone 6, Vergini 5, Alonso 6, Brown 6, O'Shea 6, Cattermole 5, Larsson 6, Colback 6, Johnson 6, Borini 6, Wickham 6. Subs: Altidore 6, Giaccherini 6, Bridcutt 6.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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