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Sunderland defeat Manchester United and are one step closer to safety

by Nick D
May 03, 2014 11:53 AM EDT



Sunderland have almost pulled out the great escape as they once again managed to secure all three points with a rare victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. A first half strike by Larsson was enough to give Sunderland a 1-0 win, while Giggs suffered his first defeat in charge of the club.
Sunderland's players celebrate after a well deserved win against Manchester United
Manchester United started brightly with Ryan Giggs at the helm for his second game in charge. Rooney wasn't available due to a groin strain but Van Persie was back from injury. Giggs though would keep him on the bench and leave Hernandez up front. They controlled the midfield strongly and also had the majority of possession early on. Though Sunderland defended well and limited the chances at goal. The fist real opportunity came in the the 18th minute as Nani tried his luck from the edge of the box after the ball fell to him from a Carrick miss kick. The shot though would sail over the bar and not force a save out of Mannone. United maintained the pressure on the Sunderland defence as they searched for the opening goal. Sunderland knew they needed to be alert and look to counter as United pushed forward with numbers. Though United controlled the game they still needed to be weary of Borini and Wickham. Sunderland's two forwards have come into some nice form of late and have managed to score crucial goals, that have seen Sunderland climb up off the bottom of the table. Then against the run of play Sunderland would take the lead in the 30th minute. United failed to close down Wickham and he made them pay as he played in a dangerous cross towards the penalty spot. United's defenders failed to mark Larsson who met the ball first time and drilled it into the back of the net. 1-0 and Ryan Giggs finds his team down a goal after a positive start.
Larsson opens the scoring as Sunderland take the lead at Old Trafford
United now chasing the game as Sunderland's confidence increased as the game wore on. Sunderland started to hold more possession before the half time break and looked dangerous when pushing forward. Vidic had to be on his toes to ensure he closed the space down and didn't allow Borini or Wickham any time up front. The halftime whistle sounded and it was the United players that looked like they needed the break to compose themselves.
Gus Poyet with plenty to smile about as his team go into the halftime break leading 1-0
The second half kicked off and Sunderland were defending well. Hernandez almost got the score back on level terms as he found himself inside the 6 yard box with the ball coming to him. Unfortunately for him Colback managed to get a toe to the ball just before the striker got a chance to pull the trigger. Giggs had seen enough and after only 6 minutes of the half he decided a change was in order. Januzaj was brought on for Nani and see if the youngster could changed the game around for United. The youngster made an immediate impact as he injected a faster pace to United's attack. He won an early corner and then managed to break well down the wing soon after, but there wasn't anyone in the box to pick out with the cross. The Black Cats though weren't going to be broken down that easily and were well organised in the back limiting the chances at goal. The minutes ticked on and United still could not find a way thru the Sunderland wall.
Then with 25 minutes left to play Giggs took a final roll of the dice making a double change taking off Mata and Young for Van Persie and Welbeck. United pushed forward with numbers but they still couldn't find a way thru the Sunderland defence. The groans from the crowd grew louder with each pass that was intercepted or cross that was too high. Sunderland had a chance to kill off the game as Altidore found Giaccherini inside the box, his shot did beat the keeper but it would hit the post and clear of the goal. Colback was there to follow up but his powerful shot would find the side netting.
As United's fans' groans grew louder, the cheering from the Sunderland fans started to echo through the stadium. Hernandez had the best chance in the 80th minute as Evra picked out the Mexican near the penalty spot. Though his shot was blasted well over the crossbar and summed up their afternoon. In the end United couldn't find a way to score and all the credit needs to go to Poyet and his players as they defended well and deserved the win.
The other matches saw Swansea City lose 1-0 against Southampton, while Aston Villa got a much needed three points seeing off Hull City 3-1. Westwood opened the scoring in the first minute as found himself in space very early on and fired the ball into the bottom corner to give Villa the perfect start. Hull would equalise in the 28th minute from a well worked set piece that saw Bowery deflect Rosenior's cross into his own net. Villa though would walk away with all three points as a Weimann scored two goals before the halftime whistle to give Aston Villa the win.
The big news though was Fulham and Cardiff City both lost their games and now will be dropping down into the Championship division next season. Fulham lost 4-1 against Stoke City, while Cardiff City lost 3-0 against Newcastle United to end both their hopes in playing in the Premier League next season.
Ciao for now Readers