Lads Tame United
Stadium of Light
2nd October 2010. 3.17pm
Attendance: 41, 709
It's not often you come away from a match with Manchester United disappointed with only a point but that's what happened this afternoon after a 0-0 draw at the Stadium of Light.
The match was delayed for 17 minutes after a pipe burst above the away dressing room but once kick off arrived, Sunderland were quick to get in to their stride, instantly taking the game to the Red Devils.
The first big chance to take the lead came from a superb through ball by the excellent Lee Cattermole, siezed on to by Steed Malbranque but he could only shoot straight at Van Der Sar. Sunderland's other chance came from nowhere when Bolo Zenden, enjoying a rare start, took possession and sent in a fierce effort which struck the foot of the post.
United were restricted in the main, to shots from long range with Michael Owen anonymous and the former England man was duly hooked at half time, replaced by Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian helped United to be more of a threat to Sunderland in the 2nd half but the defence held firm, led by the excellent Titus Bramble. Simon Mignolet had to make a good save to deny a dipping shot by Nani and the Belgian 'keeper looks like keeping Craig Gordon benched for a while yet as he didn't put a foot wrong.
Sunderland pressed for a winner towards the final whistle but the United defence remained solid.
Steve Bruce said after the game that he was disappointed not to have won the game, given the home sides better football, but he should be proud of his men having managed to stay unbeaten against Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and United so far.
Bruce and Sunderland, though, will be judged not on these games against the big boys but the bread and butter of the games to follow against teams of a similar standing and with a small matter of a Tyne/Wear Derby to come at the end of the month...the pressure is on.