Quantcast
Latest Stories

United beats Sunderland 1-0, maintains title surge



Manchester United players celebrate after Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos, center, scored an own goal past goalkeeper Diego Lopez, right, during the Champions League round of 16 soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

SUNDERLAND, England— Manchester United relied on a first-half own goal by Titus Bramble to beat Sunderland 1-0 on Saturday, securing a seventh straight Premier League win to inch the runaway leaders closer to a 20th English title.

Hours after the loss, Sunderland announced the departure of manager Martin O’Neill, with the club just a point clear of relegation trouble with seven matches left.

Robin van Persie’s shot in the 27th minute was heading wide but Bramble stuck out a leg and deflected the ball into the corner of his own net, rewarding United for its early dominance at the Stadium of Light.

The visitors, who came into the match holding a 15-point cushion at the top, sat back in the second half but held on relatively comfortably. Only the biggest meltdown in Premier League history would stop them reclaiming the title off second-place Manchester City.

United has become the first top-division team in the history of English football to win 25 of its first 30 league games, and it has a real chance of breaking Chelsea’s record from the 2004-05 season of 95 points from a single campaign. The team has 77 points with eight games remaining.

“We are getting closer,” United midfielder Michael Carrick said. “It’s one game less but we still have to go again . We will keep plugging away.”

It proved to be the final game in charge for O’Neill, who departs following a 15-month tenure and with Sunderland embroiled in a relegation fight with tough fixtures against Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton coming up. With top scorer Steven Fletcher out for the season because of injury, the team is a serious candidate for the drop.

United has bad recent memories of playing Sunderland away — two seasons ago, a broken sewage pipe left a foul stench in its dressing room while last season, Alex Ferguson’s team won 1-0 on the final weekend but had the title ripped from them by City in extraordinary, last-gasp circumstances.

United will leave the northeast more content this time around, having dominated a lethargic Sunderland side from the start despite Ferguson resting the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra with Monday’s FA Cup quarterfinal replay against Chelsea in mind. The only negative was the 32nd-minute withdrawal of Brazilian right back Rafael da Silva because of injury.

Van Persie’s streak without a United goal stretches to eight matches — he scored three times in two games for the Netherlands in the international break — but he was integral in the only goal here, firing in a shot that deflected first off Phil Bardsley and then more decisively off the outstretched right thigh of Bramble and into the corner.

That capped a bright start to the match by Van Persie, who almost doubled the advantage late in the first half when he exchanged passes with the excellent Carrick only to volley just over the bar.

With United relying on the counter-attack on the second half, Sunderland perked up and saw more of the ball but rarely threatened David de Gea’s goal. It was United that came closest to grabbing the game’s second goal, with Alex Buttner denied by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and Van Persie also denied by the Belgium international after being fed a great chance on a counterattack.

“This team is just full of winners,” said Van Persie, who is likely to win the English title for the first time in his first season with United. “Everyone knows what he has to do.”

United, meanwhile, can virtually seal the title with a home win over City in its next match on April 8.

“It was an important win,” Ferguson said, “as it means we go into the Manchester City game with at least a 15-point lead.”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.


Tags: Chelsea , Premier League , Sunderland , Van Persie



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement

News

  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Supper power
  • Condo unit sales boosted Shang Properties earnings
  • ERC mulls over WESM price cap for May, June
  • Whatever happened to the ubiquitous pagers?
  • Huge 2013 net profits seen difficult to surpass in 2014
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Marketplace