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Played
December 15, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
Old Trafford — Manchester
Referee:‬ C. Foy‎
Attendance:‬ 75582‎
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland

The league leaders got off to a great start with a blistering first half which saw goals for Van Persie and Cleverley, but had to dig in after the break to seal the points

By Jack Gaughan at Old Trafford

  • David de Gea
    277
    95
    2.50

    David de Gea

    Had a relatively quiet afternoon, but there were moments of uncertainty. He fumbled a couple of shots and struggled to command his area - perhaps more proof that De Gea has a lot to improve on from set pieces.

  • Patrice Evra
    210
    15
    3.00

    Patrice Evra

    Evra was up against Adam Johnson in the opening 45, meaning he was not taxed with keeping up with the winger going to the byline, as he preferred to cut inside. Stood off his man too much in the second half.

  • Phil Jones
    243
    8
    3.50

    Phil Jones

    The more he plays at right-back, the more Jones grows into the role. He did his defensive work well for the majority - although James McClean did not offer much of a threat - and marauded forward well, linking up with Valencia.

  • Rio Ferdinand
    188
    23
    3.00

    Rio Ferdinand

    Ferdinand allowed Smalling to do the big, strong defensive work against the striker and operated as a spare man, notably tracking James McClean when he decided to drift infield.

  • Chris Smalling
    215
    15
    3.00

    Chris Smalling

    Smalling's reading of the game is imperious, not befitting his years, and he is up for the physical side of the game as well. Questions will, however, be asked of his marking for the Sunderland goal.

  • Antonio Valencia
    204
    41
    3.00

    Antonio Valencia

    Really enjoys himself against lesser opposition, but was strangely subdued this afternoon, but for some nice balls into the box.

  • Michael Carrick
    222
    16
    3.00

    Michael Carrick

    When United are well on top, there is not an awful lot Carrick can do to standout. He does, however, continue to do the simple things excellently and always made himself available in order to bring the wide players into the game.

  • Ashley Young
    275
    16
    4.00

    Ashley Young

    It must be so exciting for a winger to know from the first minute that he has the beating of his marker, and that was the luxury Young was afforded against Carlos Cuellar. Every time he got the ball United looked like they may create something.

  • Tom Cleverley
    303
    8
    3.50

    Tom Cleverley

    A busy, jinking performance that goes a long way to prove why Sir Alex Ferguson persists with Cleverley in the middle of midfield. Alongside Carrick, he was given the licence to make an impression on the game in the final third and scored a wonderful goal.

  • Wayne Rooney
    362
    12
    3.50

    Wayne Rooney

    With Robin van Persie posing such a goal threat, Rooney is able to link play and allow the wingers to join in high upfield, something he did to great effect, even managing to notch a goal himself in the second half.

  • Robin van Persie
    416
    18
    4.00

    Robin van Persie Top of the Match

    Providing the perfect foil for Rooney, Van Persie is unplayable when he fancies it, and today was one of those games. He took his goal coolly which set the tone for the afternoon, while the magical run during his assist for Rooney's finish showed why Sir Alex felt it necessary to bring him to Old Trafford in the summer.

Substitutions

  • Nemanja Vidic
    269
    13
    3.00

    Nemanja Vidic

    Old Trafford roared when Vidic was introduced in the 67th minute for his first action since suffering injury in September. He will be pleased for the minutes and had to be resolute in the final 15.

  • Ryan Giggs
    135
    60

    Ryan Giggs

    Second-half substitute.

  • Paul Scholes
    155
    41
    2.50

    Paul Scholes

    As expected, Scholes kept United ticking over in possession, but his introduction allowed Sunderland to get a foothold in midfield and that will be a continuing worry for Ferguson.

  • Simon Mignolet
    32
    18
    3.00

    Simon Mignolet

    Mignolet was let down badly by his back four particularly for the United goals. He did make some smart stops and dealt with balls into the box soundly.

  • John O'Shea
    17
    31
    2.00

    John O'Shea

    Not a happy return to Old Trafford for O'Shea. It was his awful attempted clearance that allowed Robin van Persie to score the opener.

  • Titus Bramble
    6
    47
    1.50

    Titus Bramble Flop of the Match

    Sunderland missed Danny Rose. Not because he would have changed the scoreline, but because it would have meant Titus Bramble was nowhere near centre-half. He was dreadful throughout, positionally unaware, and gave the ball away at regular intervals.

  • Carlos Javier Cuéllar
    6
    30
    2.00

    Carlos Javier Cuéllar

    Cuellar's refusal to track Tom Cleverley for the second goal was absolutely criminal and he never looked at ease with Ashley Young running at him.

  • Sebastian Larsson
    8
    25
    2.50

    Sebastian Larsson

    Larsson cut a frustrated figure in the middle of midfield. Sunderland failed to get him on the ball enough. Also had an amusing ongoing battle with the home support as he continuously failed to place the ball correctly at corners.

  • Craig Gardner
    4
    25
    2.50

    Craig Gardner

    Made an effort to stamp his authority on the game by crunching into Phil Jones early on, but Gardner was left chasing shadows for the most part, such was United's quick passing in midfield.

  • Jack Colback
    11
    21
    3.00

    Jack Colback

    Colback is, simply put, not a left-back. But needs must today and he performed admirably against Antonio Valencia. The problem came when Phil Jones decided to run beyond the winger and Colback looked hapless, although through no fault of his own.

  • Adam Johnson
    10
    34
    2.00

    Adam Johnson

    Another display in a Sunderland shirt where you are struggling to think of too many things Johnson did right. He lacks the confidence and pace to beat a man, while his crossing from deep leaves a lot to be desired. Does not look like it is going to work out for him.

  • James McClean
    17
    21
    3.00

    James McClean

    Has the physique and tenacity to play in the middle of midfield, and that is what he did to good effect in the second half after receiving no joy against Phil Jones from wide. Should have done better when clean through against David De Gea when the score was 2-0.

  • Stéphane Sessegnon
    16
    24
    2.00

    Stéphane Sessegnon

    When the going gets tough, Sessegnon goes missing. When playing in the hole behind the striker, he was easily shepherded and from wide rarely made an attempt to pull Patrice Evra out of position.

  • Steven Fletcher
    9
    27
    2.50

    Steven Fletcher

    Fletcher was completely isolated as the lone striker before being taken off at half-time. Although he scored in midweek, his early season touch seems to now be deserting him, but was not given a sniff in this one.

Substitutions

  • Fraizer Campbell
    43
    15
    3.00

    Fraizer Campbell

    Made an immediate impact by scoring minutes after coming off the bench and looked dangerous from wide.

  • Connor Wickham
    48
    8
    3.50

    Connor Wickham

    Wickham gave the Black Cats a new dimension as a half-time substitute, proving a real handful for Chris Smalling and perhaps unlucky not to have scored during a spell where he caused all manner of problems.

  • James McFadden
    6
    26

    James McFadden

    Late substitute.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
30 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
16 0
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2