- Venue:Stadium of Light
- Referee:Styles, R
Full-Time: SUNDERLAND 1-2 MAN UTD. The final whistle goes and United have done just enough against a spirited Sunderland side.
Carlos Edwards sends in a high ball which drops behind for a goal-kick.
Carlos Edwards's tired-looking ball is cut out by Paul Scholes.
There are four minutes of added time.
Time is running out for Sunderland to get the equaliser.
Djibril Cisse's shot is deflected behind for a corner, which is headed clear by Nemanja Vidic.
Dwight Yorke comes on for Teemu Tainio.
Sunderland are deflated by that lucky strike and United are enjoying a lot of possession.
Luis de Abreu Anderson replaces Carlos Tevez.
Daryl Murphy comes on for Andy Reid.
Sunderland had been defending well before that deflection and must build all over again.
SUNDERLAND 1-2 MAN UTD. Michael Carrick's shot is deflected into the net by MACHEDA, the substitute putting United ahead with his first touch.
Dimitar Berbatov makes way for Federico Macheda.
Kenwyne Jones chases down Jonny Evans and wins a throw-in.
Paul McShane replaces the injured Calum Davenport.
Manchester United appeal for a penalty from Grant Leadbitter's handball but the referee was unsighted and waves the appeals away.
John O'Shea and Cristiano Ronaldo trade passes and win a corner.
Djibril Cisse has an overhead kick from six yards out that goes into the side-netting.
Ji-Sung Park is replaced by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Michael Carrick tries to find his way through the Sunderland defence but they are standing firm.
Phil Bardsley is okay to continue.
Dimitar Berbatov tries to place his shot but gets too much on it and it flies over the bar into the United fans.
Carlos Tevez has another shot which is blocked by the Sunderland defence, while Phil Bardsley is down receiving treatment.
Carlos Tevez runs into the area but good defending from Carlos Edwards prevents a shot.
Carlos Tevez's free-kick is up and over the wall but goes behind for a goal-kick.
Dimitar Berbatov is challenged by Calum Davenport and the referee gives a free-kick to the disgust of the home fans.
Paul Scholes's effort flashes just wide as United come forward with more urgency.
The noise levels have increased inside the Stadium of Light as the fans look for their team to move clear of the relegation zone.
SUNDERLAND 1-1 MAN UTD. JONES bundles the ball into the net from Teemu Tainio's cross to level the scores at the Stadium of Light.
Michael Carrick lets fly just outside the area but his effort is high over the bar.
Djibril Cisse sends a low ball across the face of goal which is just too far ahead of Kenwyne Jones.
The corner is eventually cleared.
Wayne Rooney has a shot which is deflected and Manchester United have a corner.
Paul Scholes has a shot which bounces off the referee but United pick up the ball again and Wayne Rooney has a shot from 30 yards out which is just wide of the post.
Sunderland appeal for a handball against Gary Neville but the referee is not interested.
Anton Ferdinand is booked for a foul on Carlos Tevez.
The second half gets underway.
Half-Time: SUNDERLAND 0-1 MAN UTD.
Ji-Sung Park shoots from inside the area but it flies just wide.
There is one minute of added time.
Sunderland are finishing the half strongly but can't make that final breakthrough.
Wayne Rooney tries to curl his shot goalwards but it drifts wide.
Manchester United break but Gary Neville's cross is wayward.
Sunderland hit the post from Carols Edwards' cross and the rebound is put out for a corner.
Andy Reid's free-kick is up and over the wall but goes behind for a goal-kick.
Wayne Rooney is booked for a handball and Sunderland have a free-kick.
Grant Leadbitter's corner is directed goalwards by Teemu Tainio but his shot is blocked.
Sunderland are playing at a high tempo and not allowing Manchester United any time on the ball.
Kenwyne Jones heads goalwards and Ben Foster makes the save.
Gary Neville's cross is headed away and Sunderland look to break.
Kenwyne Jones has a right-foot shot from Phil Bardsley's cross and feels he should have a corner off Nemanja Vidic.
There is a large gap between Sunderland's midfield and attack and they're finding it difficult to put attacks together.
Calum Davenport is down and receiving treatment.
The ball flashes just wide from Calum Davenport from a dangerous Phil Bardsley cross.
Anton Ferdinand does well to usher the ball out against Ji-Sung Park and Sunderland have a goal-kick.
The corner is cleared by United.
Carlos Edwards almost takes advantage of hesitation in the United defence but is forced wide and Sunderland have a corner.
Michael Carrick almost finds Ji-Sung Park with a ball from the halfway line.
Sunderland have a free-kick but a couple of players go for the same ball and it goes behind for a goal-kick.
Sunderland are already dropping back and the crowd voice their frustration.
Carlos Tevez has a shot which is charged down.
SUNDERLAND 0-1 MAN UTD. Wayne Rooney finds SCHOLES in the area with a pinpoint cross and the midfielder heads United in front.
Nemanja Vidic's header from Wayne Rooney's corner is cleared off the line and Vidic then has an overhead kick from the rebound which goes wide.
Ben Foster is eventually able to claim the ball from the corner after Calum Davenport takes a tumble.
Djibril Cisse has a shot which is charged down and Sunderland have a corner.
Manchester United are settling into the game and are starting to enjoy more possession.
Gary Neville is booked for a dive just outside the Sunderland area.
Paul Scholes lets fly from outside the area and his shot is deflected away for a corner which is cleared.
The Sunderland fans are urging their players on.
Ben Foster loses the ball from Andy Reid's free-kick and there's a moment of panic in the Manchester United defence but a free-kick is awarded to the visitors.
Kenwyne Jones flicks the ball up from a throw-in into the box but Ben Foster is able to make the catch.
Wayne Rooney is flagged offside from a long ball downfield.
Kenwyne Jones comes forward but is blocked by Nemanja Vidic.
There is a great atmosphere inside the Stadium of Light with both sets of fans making a lot of noise.
United attack immediately and Wayne Rooney's effort is just wide of the post.
The game gets underway.
Edwin Van der Sar is rested while Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrice Evra are on the bench, with Dimitar Berbatov returning up front.
Sunderland captain Dean Whitehead has failed a late fitness test but Teemu Tainio and Calum Davenport are able to play.
Sunderland manager Ricky Sbragia faces one of his former teams this weekend knowing that another defeat for the Black Cats could see them slip into the bottom three.
The 52-year-old spent three years at Old Trafford where he worked as reserve team coach before moving on to a first-team coach role at Bolton Wanderers in October 2005.
When he first replaced Roy Keane in the Stadium of Light hot-seat at the end of last year, Sbragia appeared to be guiding the club to a mid-table finish, but a run of six games without a victory has seen them slide towards the relegation zone.
They have scored only two goals during that sequence and Sbragia is only too aware that a victory is needed - and soon.
He said after the 2-0 defeat at West Ham: "We can't depend on others, we need a win and we need it badly. We need to get points on the board soon.
"We need to start scoring goals and soon, we need to be better in the attacking third. We have seven big games coming up and we need big performances."
Teemu Tainio (knee) and David Connolly (groin) have already been ruled out for the season while George McCartney is a doubt as he continues to struggle with a calf strain.
Meanwhile, United's long run without letting in a goal now seems a long time ago. They have conceded ten goals in their last four matches and looked particularly fragile during Tuesday's 2-2 Champions League draw with FC Porto.
The spectacular comeback against Aston Villa on Sunday may have papered over some of the cracks but, with Rio Ferdinand continuing to struggle with a back injury, the prospect of the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League titles all being won now seems unlikely.
Super sub Federico Macheda sent Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League with a goal to break Sunderland's hearts at the Stadium of Light.
There was more than a touch of luck about the 17-year old Italian's strike which gave United a 2-1 victory over the Black Cats.
United had started brightly, but didn't look 100 per cent confident as they scrapped for an early breakthrough.
That breakthrough came on 18 minutes as the smallest man on the pitch, Paul Scholes, was allowed a free header in the Sunderland area.
The midfielder rose to connect with a Wayne Rooney cross and headed past stranded Craig Gordon in the home goal.
Many might have expected Sunderland heads to drop, but instead the Wearsiders came fighting back and will have felt unlucky not to have been on level terms at the break.
The home side were almost gifted an equaliser as United defender Nemanja Vidic steered the ball past goalkeeper Ben Foster and just wide of his own net.
The Wearsiders went closer still on 35 minutes as Djibril Cisse brought a great one-handed save out of Foster with a powerful shot.
And Ricky Sbragia's men were then denied by the width of a post. Winger Carlos Edwards crossed from the right and the ball was deflected off the foot of former Black Cats loanee Jonny Evans and on to the far upright, before the danger was cleared.
Sunderland started the second-half slowly and were on the back foot for the early stages.
However, with ten minutes played their endeavour appeared to pay off as they got back on level terms.
Teemu Tainio nutmegged Ji-Sung Park, before crossing to the back post. Kenwyne Jones' initial header came off Evans, but with Foster caught in no-man's land, the Sunderland striker got a second bite of the cherry and hooked the ball into the net.
It was no less than Sunderland deserved and gave the home crowd a massive lift.
The Wearsiders continued to probe away looking to add to their tally but it was United who went closest.
Scholes was just wide with a thunderous effort from 25 yards out and Carlos Tevez just cleared the bar with a free-kick from the edge of the area.
It looked as though the Wearsiders might just hold out and that spurred Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to ring the changes.
First he turned to world superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who replaced Park and then Macheda, who came on for the ineffective Dimitar Berbatov.
It was the youngster who made all the difference for United, grabbing them three precious points as the race for the title nears the final stages.
Michael Carrick's 75th minute effort was deflected into the path of the young Italian and he steered it past Gordon in the Sunderland goal to make it 2-1.
After that United seemed happy to play down the clock and despite Sunderland's best efforts to get back into the clash there was no way back.
Relegation still hangs over the Wearsiders, for United though there are no such worries after normal service was resumed.
This was hardly a classic display from the Red Devils, but its points that matter and that's certainly what Macheda delivered with his decisive strike
Shots off target