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United 2 Sunderland 2

If I am really honest, I expected an easy win at Old Trafford against Sunderland. Yes they have given us tough games before and almost held us to a draw last season, but overall their defence looks vulnerable (as seen last week) and United at home are generally very strong. So, 1-0 down at half time seemed a little strange, yet no one could claim it was undeserved. The away team easily had the better of the play and United looked dreadful, misplacing passes every few minutes and failing to create anything remotely worthy of testing Gordon.

I don’t think many people thought the second half would be the same. The roar from the crowd as the teams came out for the second half suggested strong belief, and the team responded with better play and more threatening attacks. It was not long before it was 1-1, a stunning finish from Berbatov who then came alive and ran the game in an almost Eric style fashion, conducting the play and rising to the occassion. We now had 40 minutes to win the game and surely we would do… or not. Sunderland had other ideas and silenced the crowd well and truly when Jones beat Foster to a high ball and we watched with disbelief as it dropped back into the net. United responded with a fair amount of gusto, but did not have enough in the tank. The absence of Giggs was shown more by the average performances of Wellbeck and Nani on the wings, whilst Rooney had a poor game and looked knackered.

The equaliser eventually came, but only thanks to a very late own goal that did not allow time to find a winner. Two points dropped or one gained, I am not really sure. But I am sure that it would be wrong to grumble and feel agrieved about the result without taking the time to congratulate Sunderland. They were fantastic, and against all odds they gave United a really tough game. Steve Bruce is doing a great job for the last remaining North East team in the top flight and I wish him wll in continuning to do so.

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