Premier League
SunderlandSunderland1Man UtdManchester United1

Sunderland 1-1 Manchester United

By Mike KeeganBBC Sport
Jack Rodwell is congratulated by former Manchester United pair John O'Shea and Wes Brown
  • United now have one point from a possible six this season
  • Sunderland's Jack Rodwell levels after Juan Mata opener
  • Ashley Young booked for diving
  • Chris Smalling adds to Louis van Gaal's injury woes

Manchester United's stuttering start to life under manager Louis van Gaal continued with a Premier League draw at Sunderland.

Things looked rosy for the Reds when Juan Mata pounced on Antonio Valencia's deflected cross to give them an early lead from close range.

But poor marking allowed Jack Rodwell - making his home debut - to head in Seb Larsson's corner after half an hour.

To add to United's troubles, Ashley Young was booked for diving.

Mata Fletcher
Juan Mata and Darren Fletcher protest after Ashley Young is booked for diving for a third time in his career

The winger, criticised for going down too easily by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, fell in the area following a challenge from ex-United defender Wes Brown, and referee Martin Atkinson had no hesitation in reaching for his pocket.

Before the match, Van Gaal said United would need a "miracle" to win the Premier League, and there was further evidence on Sunday to add weight to his gloomy prediction following last weekend's 2-1 home defeat by Swansea City.

Draw was fair result - Poyet

The Dutchman, who took over in the summer, persisted with a 3-4-1-2 formation and, while his side look bright going forward, they remained fragile at the back.

Angel Di Maria, the Real Madrid winger, is expected to arrive before the transfer window closes on 1 September for a British record fee, but Van Gaal may seek further reinforcements.

Juan Mata
Mata registers his first goal of the season, but United's lead lasted only 13 minutes

Mata's 17th-minute strike failed to settle the visitors and their nervy backline was given a warning when Connor Wickham turned on a throw in yards of space and shot wide.

United were exposed moments later when Rodwell, whose opportunities were limited at Manchester City before his summer move to the Stadium of Light, beat Valencia at the near post to power a header past David De Gea.

Passing not good enough - van Gaal

United, without ineligible new signing Marcos Rojo, lost defender Chris Smalling to a hamstring injury to add to an injury list that now features eight first-team players, including midfielder Ander Herrera.

In a second half high on energy but low on quality, Wickham volleyed at youngster Tyler Blackett, who saw the ball rebound past De Gea's near post.

Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone had to be quick off his line to deny Young as both sides pressed for a winner in a tense finale.

The Black Cats have not beaten United in a Premier League match at home since 1997, but there were several positives for manager Gus Poyet after a vibrant performance.

Winger Will Buckley, signed from Brighton in the summer, was a constant menace, while Rodwell's goal was a welcome reward for 63 minutes' action following his unsuccessful spell at Etihad Stadium.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet: "It was a good game to watch. We played a very good first half, going forward taking chances and creating half opportunities after conceding at what was the wrong time really because we were in control of the game. It was a big effort.

"We made a few decisions on how to play against a different system and the boys have done exceptionally well. We showed that we were organised and difficult to play against.

"The goal from Jack Rodwell was perfect for a home debut. There are plenty of positives. It's important we started better than last year and that was key. Will Buckley played well and was incisive as well."

On Fabio Borini, the Liverpool target, who has been offered a Sunderland contract: "We're getting close to a final decision either way because it's been a bit too long.

"It's time now that it's a 'yes' coming or a 'no' as we need to move on."

Check out the best photos from Saturday's Premier League games on the BBC Sport Facebook page.external-link

Van Gaal Poyet
Louis van Gaal (left) declined to comment on reports linking United with Angel Di Maria
Steven Fletcher
Steven Fletcher fails to get a clean connection on an overhead kick
Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie's return lasted 63 minutes before he was replaced by Danny Welbeck
Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney still needs one more goal to equal Thierry Henry as the third-highest Premier League scorer



Formation 4-3-3

  • 25Mannone
  • 27Vergini
  • 16O'Shea
  • 5Brown
  • 3van Aanholt
  • 7Larsson
  • 6Cattermole
  • 8RodwellSubstituted forGomez Garcia-Pencheat 63'minutes
  • 30BuckleySubstituted forBridcuttat 79'minutes
  • 9FletcherSubstituted forAltidoreat 77'minutes
  • 10Wickham


  • 1Pantilimon
  • 2Jones
  • 4Bridcutt
  • 14Gomez Garcia-Penche
  • 17Altidore
  • 18Mavrias
  • 29Roberge

Man Utd

Formation 3-4-1-2

  • 1de Gea
  • 4Jones
  • 12SmallingSubstituted forKeaneat 44'minutes
  • 42Blackett
  • 25A Valencia
  • 24FletcherSubstituted forJanuzajat 63'minutes
  • 23CleverleyBooked at 67mins
  • 18YoungBooked at 62mins
  • 8Mata
  • 20van PersieSubstituted forWelbeckat 63'minutes
  • 10Rooney


  • 11Januzaj
  • 14Hernández
  • 19Welbeck
  • 26Kagawa
  • 38Keane
  • 40Amos
  • 41James
Martin Atkinson

Match Stats

Home TeamSunderlandAway TeamMan Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sunderland 1, Manchester United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sunderland 1, Manchester United 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  4. Post update

    Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by John O'Shea (Sunderland).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

  7. Post update

    Jordi Gómez (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Ashley Young (Manchester United) because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Michael Keane.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Ashley Young (Manchester United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jozy Altidore.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Liam Bridcutt replaces William Buckley.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Cleverley.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Sunderland. Jozy Altidore replaces Steven Fletcher.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by John O'Shea.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Sebastian Larsson (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Michael Keane (Manchester United).

  20. Post update

    Jordi Gómez (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

As It Stood

6Aston Villa21101014
7Man City11002023
8West Ham21013213
12West Brom20202202
13Man Utd201123-11
18Crystal Palace200225-30
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