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Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from 12 yards. Simon Mignolet makes a save.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Titus Bramble on Robin van Persie. Direct free kick taken by Alexander Buttner.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Robin van Persie. Free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
Tom Cleverley crosses the ball, Connor Wickham makes a clearance.
Connor Wickham has a drilled shot. Comfortable save by David De Gea.
A cross is delivered by James McClean, Alexander Buttner manages to make a clearance.
Stephane Sessegnon has an effort at goal from 20 yards. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
Danny Welbeck challenges Connor Wickham unfairly and gives away a free kick. Craig Gardner takes the free kick.
Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball, Nemanja Vidic manages to make a clearance.
Danny Rose goes off and Jack Colback comes on.
Tom Cleverley replaces Oliveira Anderson.
Shot from 20 yards from Alexander Buttner. Save made by Simon Mignolet. Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line, Header from close range by Nemanja Vidic misses to the right of the goal.
Danny Welbeck joins the action as a substitute, replacing Shinji Kagawa. Sebastian Larsson replaces Phil Bardsley.
Phil Bardsley has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the goal.
The ball is sent over by John O'Shea, Alexander Buttner makes a clearance.
The offside flag is raised against Robin van Persie. Phil Bardsley receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour. Connor Wickham is brought on as a substitute for Adam Johnson. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.
Foul by Robin van Persie on John O'Shea, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
Adam Johnson has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box missing to the wide right of the target.
A cross is delivered by Alexander Buttner, Danny Rose makes a clearance.
Foul by Antonio Valencia on James McClean, free kick awarded. Simon Mignolet takes the direct free kick.
A cross is delivered by Adam Johnson, Chris Smalling makes a clearance.
James McClean sends in a cross, Nemanja Vidic makes a clearance.
Robin van Persie sends in a cross, Danny Rose manages to make a clearance.
Shot from close in by Stephane Sessegnon misses to the left of the target.
Corner taken left-footed by Adam Johnson to the near post, Robin van Persie manages to make a clearance.
Stephane Sessegnon produces a cross, save by David De Gea.
Danny Graham sends in a cross, Jonny Evans makes a clearance. Corner taken by Adam Johnson, Chris Smalling makes a clearance.
Effort from inside the area by Phil Bardsley misses to the right of the goal.
Robin van Persie challenges Craig Gardner unfairly and gives away a free kick. Booking for Robin van Persie for unsporting behaviour. Direct free kick taken by Simon Mignolet.
The ball is sent over by Alexander Buttner, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
Antonio Valencia produces a cross.
Michael Carrick concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephane Sessegnon. Direct free kick taken by Stephane Sessegnon.
John O'Shea challenges Robin van Persie unfairly and gives away a free kick. John O'Shea booked for unsporting behaviour. Robin van Persie has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, Danny Rose gets a block in.
The ball is crossed by Alfred N'Diaye.
Free kick awarded for a foul by John O'Shea on Robin van Persie. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick taken by Jonny Evans.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Adam Johnson on Alexander Buttner. Ashley Young takes the direct free kick.
Effort on goal by Robin van Persie from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
Corner taken by Robin van Persie from the right by-line to the near post, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
Phil Bardsley challenges Ashley Young unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by David De Gea.
Danny Graham crosses the ball, clearance made by Nemanja Vidic.
Free kick awarded for a foul by James McClean on Robin van Persie. Robin van Persie has a direct shot on goal from the free kick, comfortable save by Simon Mignolet. Corner from left by-line taken by Ashley Young.
Alfred N'Diaye fouled by Shinji Kagawa, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Craig Gardner from left channel, Alexander Buttner manages to make a clearance.
Robin van Persie produces a drilled left-footed shot from 18 yards. Save by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephane Sessegnon by Ashley Young. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Adam Johnson from right channel, Ashley Young makes a clearance.
Foul by Alfred N'Diaye on Alexander Buttner, free kick awarded. (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Jonny Evans coming on for Rafael Da Silva. Robin van Persie restarts play with the free kick. Ashley Young has an effort at goal from 18 yards. Save made by Simon Mignolet.
Phil Bardsley takes a shot from long range which goes wide of the right-hand post.
An own goal is conceded by Titus Bramble. Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd.The assist for the goal came from Robin van Persie.
Free kick awarded for a foul by Alfred N'Diaye on Antonio Valencia. Alfred N'Diaye receives a caution for unsporting behaviour. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.
Phil Bardsley sends in a cross, Nemanja Vidic manages to make a clearance.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alfred N'Diaye by Shinji Kagawa. Free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
The ball is swung over by Antonio Valencia, clearance by Craig Gardner.
Nemanja Vidic challenges Stephane Sessegnon unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Phil Bardsley.
Ashley Young sends in a cross, save by Simon Mignolet. Corner taken by Robin van Persie.
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Ashley Young, Nemanja Vidic takes a shot. Clearance made by James McClean.
Shot by Craig Gardner from 25 yards. Chris Smalling gets a block in. Free kick awarded for a foul by Titus Bramble on Ashley Young. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.
The offside flag is raised against Robin van Persie. Simon Mignolet takes the indirect free kick.
Corner taken by Ashley Young from the left by-line, comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Shinji Kagawa by Alfred N'Diaye. Chris Smalling restarts play with the free kick.
Centre by Ashley Young, clearance by John O'Shea.
Ashley Young sends in a cross. Handball decision goes against Phil Bardsley. Free kick crossed right-footed by Ashley Young from left channel.
Shot by Craig Gardner from 20 yards. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
The ball is crossed by James McClean, Rafael Da Silva gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Adam Johnson from the left by-line.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Stephane Sessegnon. Free kick taken by David De Gea.
A cross is delivered by Shinji Kagawa, save made by Simon Mignolet.
Michael Carrick crosses the ball, Robin van Persie takes a shot. Comfortable save by Simon Mignolet.
O'Neill tells side to look forward
Martin O'Neill has ordered Sunderland to forget about the points which have slipped from their grasp and concentrate on those they need to avoid relegation.
The Black Cats have collected only three of the last 21 Barclays Premier League points they have contested and firmly believe the quality of some of the performances during that run warranted a healthier return.
However, the manager knows there is little mileage in ifs, buts and might-have-beens and with Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton waiting in the wings after Manchester United's visit to the Stadium of Light, the time has come for the talking to stop.
O'Neill, whose side could only draw at home to Norwich a fortnight again despite playing for more than an hour against 10 men, said: "At some stage, you have to actually talk about points on the board.
"It's all very well saying for a couple of weeks now we should have picked up a point here, we should have done this and that.
"Within a couple of weeks, that's gone, people forget about it and don't want to talk about it anymore.
"Our recent performance here at the Stadium of Light really wasn't up to what we should have been capable of doing.
"Particularly against 10 men and not creating the number of chances we really should have done, it was really disappointing.
"We have got to get that out of the system and really go for it."
That would represent a bold approach with United 15 points clear at the top of the table and Sunderland still holding a four-point advantage, but one which is fast evaporating, over the bottom three.
In addition, the international break saw O'Neill lose his most potent weapon, striker and leading scorer Steven Fletcher, for the rest of the season with ankle ligament damage.
Fletcher's loss, along with that of skipper Lee Cattermole, who has also been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after undergoing knee surgery, has robbed O'Neill of a significant part of the spine of his team.
In addition, midfielder David Vaughan and playmaker Stephane Sessegnon are both struggling with ankle problems and the manager will hope for better news on that front.
Manchester United return to Sunderland with Sir Alex Ferguson feeling his players have delivered the best possible response to their last-day title trauma.
As the final whistle blew on their campaign at the Stadium of Light last season, United were technically champions.
Seconds later, to the glee of the Sunderland fans who had stayed to see the drama unfold, Sergio Aguero scored the goal that changed the course of history.
At the time, such was the nature of that shattering experience, it was wondered whether United would recover.
With Ferguson in charge, it probably should never have been questioned.
"These things are hard to take," said Ferguson.
"For about 20 seconds we thought we had won it and it was snatched away from us.
"But what we have done well this season is dusted ourselves down and made a real good challenge of the league.
"The concentration levels, the commitment of the players and the team spirit have been fantastic.
"In that respect we have answered the only way we can."
The anger Ferguson felt at the Sunderland fans' over-the-top celebrations has evidently subsided, meaning there is no talk of revenge as United look to claim three of the 13 points from nine remaining fixtures to clinch title number 20.
"I don't have any issues with the Sunderland fans," he said.
"I don't think Sunderland fans wanted Manchester City to win it any more than we did.
"It goes back to modern society. You see it from supporters every week. In a corner, wherever your supporters are, the opposing fans vent their spleen to each other.
"That is what happens in modern-day football."
Ferguson was able to report no fresh injury concerns after the international break, confirming Nani, Paul Scholes and Phil Jones had recovered from their problems.
His only issues were the extended travelling undertaken by Javier Hernandez and Antonio Valencia.
Sunderland 0-1 Man Utd: Match Report - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game as it happened.
United extend lead after win
Titus Bramble's unfortunate own goal allowed Manchester United to tighten their stranglehold on the Barclays Premier League title with a narrow 1-0 victory at Sunderland.
The luckless defender unwittingly turned Robin van Persie's 27th-minute shot past goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after it had also clipped Phil Bardsley on its way to goal.
It proved enough to hand United a seventh successive league victory on a day when they were far superior to their relegation-threatened hosts for long periods, but were unable to make their superiority tell.
The Black Cats were barely in the game before the break, but buoyed by United's failure to build upon their lead, rallied after it without ever testing keeper David de Gea as they extended their run without a league win to eight games in front of a crowd of 43,760.
United probably should have killed the game off long before the final whistle, but they did enough to extend their lead at the top of the table, for a few hours at least, to 18 points, the perfect preparation for Monday night's FA Cup quarter-final replay at Chelsea.
It was Nelson Mandela Day at the Stadium of Light with the club celebrating its recent collaboration with the former South Africa president's foundation at a time when the 94-year-old is battling a lung infection in hospital.
The omens for a Sunderland change of fortune were hardly promising - the had beaten United only once in 23 previous Premier League encounters - and they proved depressingly accurate before the break.
Sir Alex Ferguson did not even include Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney in his 18 with Monday's trip to Stamford Bridge looming large, but his side eased their way through the first half without ever having to find top gear.
There were 12 minutes gone when full-back Alex Buttner embarked upon a determined run which took him past both Craig Gardner and Bardsley and deep into the penalty area, where Mignolet managed to block his close-range effort.
The Belgian had to be equally alert three minutes later as the Dutchman threatened to get on the end of a through-ball, and he then had to claw an Ashley Young cross out of his top corner as the visitors found their rhythm.
However, even he could do nothing about the chain of events which led to the opening goal with 27 minutes gone.
Van Persie picked up possession on the left side of the penalty area, but found himself confronted by Bardsley.
The striker patiently worked himself into a position to shoot, but when he unleashed his drive it flew off Bardsley's boot on to Bramble's knee and inside the far post.
It was a devastating blow for the Black Cats, who had earlier seen appeals for a penalty for Rafael da Silva's challenge on Gardner waved away, and they visibly wilted as they sensed the game slipping away from them.
Van Persie forced a smart near-post save from Mignolet with a 38th-minute snapshot and then prompted him to tip over a fiercely-struck free-kick four minutes later with the points seemingly there for the taking.
Sunderland mustered only two attempts of note, both from Gardner and both off his weaker left foot, but first Nemanja Vidic and then Chris Smalling made blocks.
The home side returned knowing they had to go for broke if they were to get anything out of the game, but United retained possession at will with the movement of Shinji Kagawa and Van Persie, and Michael Carrick's composure simply too much for their hosts, who were seeing too little of the ball to bring wide men Adam Johnson and James McClean into play.
However, the former Manchester City winger finally got the bit between his teeth with 59 minutes gone when he burst into the penalty area.
His cross was blocked, but Bardsley latched on to the loose ball, only to fire harmlessly over the top.
The home side threatened once again seconds later when striker Danny Graham crossed from the right towards Stephane Sessegnon, who was only just beaten to the ball by substitute Jonny Evans.
The mood inside the Stadium of Light lifted instantly as Martin O'Neill's men belatedly forced United on to the back foot.
They mounted a sustained spell of pressure for the first time in the game and it took another good clearing header, this time by Smalling, to prevent Graham from opening his Sunderland account 19 minutes from time.
Johnson smashed a left-foot effort from distance just wide two minutes later, but Buttner forced a solid save from Mignolet and Vidic headed wide from a corner as United saw time out with few further scares.
Van Persie should have made sure deep into injury-time after Ashley Young had evaded Bramble's lunge and squared, but Mignolet made a remarkable stop to deny him.
"Are Chelsea right to bring back Jose Mourinho?"