Writer: Paul Wallis
Date:Monday December 27 2010
Steve Bruce's Sunderland were left toiling at Old Trafford on a freezing cold Boxing Day as the Lads were beaten comfortably 2-0.
The excuse that we can give is that the side was at it's most weakened so far this season. With Lee Cattermole (suspended), Welbeck (ineligible), Bramble, Turner, Mensah (injured) and Kieran Richardson (ill)all out, it was always going to be a struggle and with United on such good form we were fortunate not to have come away with a hiding.
A midfield of Zenden, Malbranque, Riveros & Henderson was very defensive and was never going to get forward enough to threaten and help Bent & Gyan.
Man Utd dominated the first half and a Rooney cross, inch perfect fell to Berbatov who headed home. Many chances fell the home sides way before half time but none were taken and Sunderland, amazingly found themselves still in the game at half time only a goal down. The second half was a little more even as we got a foothold, but no clear cut chances. Darren Bent was once again anonymous as he had to drop back in to a five man midfield.
The second goal came when a Berbatov shot was deflected in by Anton Ferdinand for his second own goal at Old Trafford in as many games.
2-0 it finished and Sunderland must now forget about this one and concentrate on a huge two winnable home games in the next five days.
The back four had Elmohamady playing right back with Onuoha partnering Ferdinand at Centre half. Bardsley continued at left back. I thought Onuoha did well again in his new role, reading the game well most of the time alongside Anton. I was disappointed by Elmohamady though, he has the pace going forward but he isn't a good enough defender to cope with a team as good as Manchester United. He left far too much space at times allowing the front two to get in behind.
Date:Monday December 27 2010
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