Black cats are always considered as bad luck in superstition, and Manchester United can today testify this superstition, as they were caught out cold by Sunderland (a.k.a Black Cats) at the Stadium of Light on a 2-1 scoreline, denting their hopes of making up the Top 4 by the end of the season in the process. United provided little in terms of attaking threats, with Rooney not making any impact, while both Lingard and Martial were kept at bay by Sunderland’s defenders.
Sunderland needed only 3 minutes to open the score, with United and De Gea yet to have a touch on the ball. A foul on Van Aanholt resulted in Wahbi Khazri taking the freekick, and with some luck, his delivery evaded everyone in the box, including De Gea, to drop into the bottom corner of the net. United’s first shot on target came after the half hour mark, where Mata directed a shot straight at Mannone. United in the meantime lost Darmian to a shoulder injury, and was replaced by rookie Donald Love. However, United were leveled on the 39th minute, as Mata again had a shot on goal, parried away by Mannone this time, and Martial cheekily clipped the rebound over the latter to send the two teams back to the dressing room on parity.
The second half saw Sunderland come back with more determination than the Red Devils, as Blind had to come sliding in to deny Defoe what looked like a certain goal. N’Doye then forced De Gea to save a low shot with his right boot, and the resulting corner kick saw Kone’s acrobatic attempt fly over the bar. De Gea was then called into action once again as he denied Kone’s smart but powerful attempt on his near post. United were then unlucky not to score a second of their own, as Memphis wasted a very good chance after Borthwick-Jackson had fed him a good pass, but his tamed shot did not bother Mannone. Instead, calamity struck at the other end on the 82nd minute following a corner kick. Kone rose highest to power the ball towards goal, but De Gea could not stop it cleanly, and the ball wriggled underneath him and into the net to put Sunderland infront, and taking an own-goal on his name as well. The Black Cats then made sure they were not caught out again as they kept the ball until the final whistle to give their relegation battle some hopes, while the Red Devils could only watch in silence as the 4th spot distances itself from them.
Rookie Donald Love had a good game to be fair, but unfortunately, despite Valentines’ Day being tomorrow, he could not share some love with either the United fans or his teammates 😈 . On the contrary, he even had a few words to say to Rooney when the latter misplaced a pass following the former’s call for a one-two in Sunderland’s box. Looks like the lad has some character…