Zlatan-led Manchester United sink Sunderland

Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-0 at the Stadium of Light to virtually relegate the Black Cats managed by their old boss David Moyes.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford each notched a goal to sink Black Cats’ hopes of staying in the top flight.

Jose Mourinho made five changes to the team that scraped a draw against Everton with Romero, Darmian, Shaw, Pogba and Mkhitaryan replacing De Gea, Valencia, Blind, Carrick and Rashford. Former Manchester United manager David Moyes made just one change that lost to champions Leicester 2-0 with Anichebe replacing Borini.

Lingard got the first shot of the match away in the second minute from just outside the box but Pickford was able to easily collect the ball. Sunderland got their first shot of the night through Cattermole but it was easily saved by Romero. Lingard received the ball in the middle of the pitch 40 yards from goal and dances past two Sunderland players but shot straight at Pickford. At the half hour mark, Herrera fed Ibrahimovic on the edge of the box who cut in from left and bent the ball in the bottom right corner of the net. Next chance was created by Shaw who went to the byline before crossing but Fellaini, the skipper for the night could not sort out of his feet to double United’s lead. Oviedo pulled his hamstring a few minutes later and was replaced by Manquillo. In the 40th minute, Anichebe received the ball on the edge of the six yard box and he turned away from Bailly but could not penetrate Romero and failed to equalize for the home team. Larsson was sent off at the end of first half when he went in with a rash challenge on Herrera with one foot raised.  The Swedish midfielder was not happy with the decision but Pawson arguably made the right decision although it was a bit harsh.

The first half ended with Sunderland a man down and a goal down with many positives to take from the first half for United.

Shaw who was excellent in the first half picked Mkhitaryan in the first minute of the second half just outside the penalty area and the Armenian eased his shot into the bottom corner. At the hour mark, Romero made a routine save from a Defoe free kick. In the 67th minute, Ndong feeds Defoe who opened up the angle but his shot was over. Pogba shot his free kick just wide in the 84th minute. Just as it was looking that Sunderland would lose by 2 goals, Pogba made a brilliant 50-yard pass and found Rashford who played a one-two with Ibrahimovic before finding the bottom left corner of the game.

Manchester United have 57 points in 30 games and have to get at least 20 points in the remaining 8 games to stand a chance to qualify for Champions League but have trips to Manchester City, Arsenal and Spurs up ahead and also have to play champions-elect Chelsea at home.

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