Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland: Red Devils' impressive form continues at the expense of former United boss
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Thanks for tuning in to VAVEL UK's live coverage of the Boxing Day football at Old Trafford! With games still coming thick and fast over the festive period we'll have plenty of coverage for you to digest, so make sure to return at the weekend for another dose of Premier League football.

Manchester United bag their fourth win in a row thanks to goals from Blind, Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan and although Borini's late consolation prevents them from keeping a clean sheet it is ultimately the three points that matter for the hosts.

FULL TIME: Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland

90+3' - Ibrahimovic blasts the free-kick through the wall and straight at Pickford, and that will be the last action of the afternoon as Atkinson blows for full time.

90+3' - Mkhitaryan breaks free and drives towards goal but is stopped by Kone, who goes into the book for his troubles. Free-kick on the edge of the box for United here.

It won't mean anything in the grand scheme of things, but that is a wonderful strike from Fabio Borini! The Italian hits a dipping volley towards goal, leaving De Gea stranded as it sails into the top corner to pull the score back to 3-1.


90' - There will be three minutes of added time at the end of the second half.

The hosts have put the game well and truly beyond doubt now, and although Mkhitaryan was indeed offside there is no doubting the quality of the finish as he backheeled Ibrahimovic's cross into the far corner!


84' - SUNDERLAND SUB: Donald Love returns to Old Trafford and comes on for Didier Ndong after his mistake led to the second goal for the home side.

84' - MAN UTD SUB: Marouane Fellaini replaces Ander Herrera for the final minutes of the match. Mixed reception for the Belgian which is disappointing to see from the home fans.

82' - SUNDERLAND SUB: Larsson makes way for Wahbi Khazri with around 10 minutes left of the match, but surely it's too late for the Tunisian to make a real impact.

That must be game over now! A costly slip from Ndong in the middle of the pitch sees Pogba play Ibrahimovic through on goal and this time the Swede makes no mistake from close range to double United's lead!


81' - The delivery is poor from Larsson, who then commits a needless foul and affords United the chance to calm the match down a little.

80' - Defoe wins a free-kick after getting himself tangled with Blind halfway into the United half. Decent opportunity for the visitors to get the ball into the box here.

77' - Djilobodji plays a hopeful ball towards Defoe but the latter is caught offside as the ball bounces back to De Gea.

74' - MAN UTD SUB: It's a change in an attacking area for the hosts, as Anthony Martial replaces Juan Mata for the final 15 minutes or so.

73' - Anichebe latches on to a lofted ball on the right hand side of the field, but his cross is sliced badly out of play and it is a potential chance wasted for the visitors.

71' - The Black Cats push forward in search of an equaliser and get the ball into the area, but Denayer is caught offside and the move comes to an abrupt end.

68' - United are certainly dominating proceedings at the moment, with Sunderland dropping incredibly deep as they throw bodies at every shot the hosts get away.

65' - It just isn't Ibrahimovic's day in front of goal is it? The Swede goes clean through yet again but puts his shot straight at the sprawling Pickford before Borini clears.

64' - Pickford makes a soild save at his near post to stop Pogba's cross hitting a red shirt in the six yard box.

62' - MAN UTD SUB: Henrikh Mkhitaryan takes the place of Jesse Lingard for the final half an hour of the match.

61' - Borini goes into the book for a niggly foul on Herrera in the centre of the pitch.

60' - Things are starting to turn a little scrappy here, several players coming together off the ball has taken centre stage with the football admittedly subpar in the second half so far.

56' - Interesting tackle on the ball boy from Lamine Kone there. No harm was done luckily for both!

52' - Mata plays Ibrahimovic through on the counter attack, and the Swede weighs up his options before blasting well over the bar. You expect better from a man of his quality.

49' - United starting the second half just as they did in the first as they look to double their advantage. Djilobodji gets a foot to the ball just before Herrera can cross and it goes out for a corner.

47' - Ibrahimovic does well to break free down the left wing, but his pass is slightly behind Pogba and the move fizzles out when it could have resulted in a clear chance on goal for the hosts.

46' - United get us underway as they look to maintain their lead, but with just a single goal seperating the sides the game is certainly far from over.

The teams are out of the tunnel as we get ready for 45 minutes of football here at Old Trafford.

Blind's goal in the 39th minute of the match is all that seperates the two sides going into the break. Mourinho will be happy that his side have the lead but it hasn't been the dominating performance he was hoping for so far.

HALF-TIME: Manchester United 1-0 Sunderland

45+3' - Mata whips the free-kick around the wall and towards the bottom corner where Pickford is ready and waiting to parry the ball away from danger.

45+3' - Mata wins a free-kick on the edge of the area under the challenge from Ndong, but upon further inspection it appears the Spaniard was not impacted by any players before going down.

45+2' - Lovely football from United results in Pogba attempting an acrobatic effort, but Pickford is equal to it and prevents the hosts from doubling the score.

45' - There will be three minutes of added time at the end of the first half.

42' - The home fans call for a penalty as Ibrahimovic goes down under the challenge from Kone just before Lingard blasts over the bar. Atkinson is unconvinced however and a goal kick is given.

The hosts have broken the deadlock via the unlikely source of Daley Blind! The Dutchman is fed by Ibrahimovic inside the area and he drills a low left footed shot into the far corner, leaving Pickford with no chance.


37' - Pogba picks up the ball on the bounce on the edge of the area and tries his luck yet again but his volley doesn't dip quickly enough and goes over the bar.

36' - Pogba forces his team forward with a good run and tries to beat Pickford from 25 yards, but his shot is straight at the Sunderland keeper.

34' - Borini picks up the ball in the centre of the pitch and drives forward before blasting towards goal, but the shot deflects easily into the grasp of De Gea.

33' - The visitors are keeping the ball relatively well, but they just can't get the last action in the final third right at the moment.

29' - What a chance for Sunderland! Defoe chips the ball into the area and both Anichebe and Borini can't get a clean connection on the ball and it is put out for a corner.

27' - So close from Pogba! The Frenchman tries his luck from 20 yards and sees his shot deflected on to the far post and out for a corner which comes to nothing.

24' - That's wasteful from Pogba, who has possession in his own half before getting his attempt at a pass badly wrong and blasting the ball out for a goal kick.

20' - van Aanholt gets the free-kick over the wall but De Gea is equal to it and makes a fine stop to prevent the visitors taking the lead.

19' - Martin Atkinson books his first player of the match, as Daley Blind receives a yellow card for fouling Anichebe on the edge of the area.

18' - A trademark long kick from Pickford reaches Defoe in the United half who takes it down superbly, before firing his shot wide of the mark on his weaker left side.

14' - Sunderland starting to grow into the match a little more now, gaining possession in the United half and offering a little bit of threat.

6' - Rojo makes his way forward and sees the headlines as he approaches the edge of the box, but it's a centre-back's strike as the ball whistles harmlessly over the bar.

5' - Some nice work from United sees the ball make its way down to Pogba on the right flank, but his cross is parried by Pickford before Djilobodji clears out for a throw-in.

3' - The hosts are unsurprisingly monopolising possession thus far, and almost make their way through on goal but the pass is just too heavy for Jesse Lingard.

1' - And we're off! The hosts will attack to the right in the first half and vice versa.

Just under 10 minutes to go until we're underway here at Old Trafford, here's hoping that we'll have an exciting game on our hands.

SUNDERLAND SUBS: Mannone, Love, Asoro, O'Shea, Khazri, Embleton, Honeyman.

MANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Romero, Darmian, Smalling, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Rashford.

SUNDERLAND XI: Pickford; Jones, Djilobodji, Kone, Van Aanholt; Denayer, Ndong; Borini, Larsson, Anichebe; Defoe.

MANCHESTER UNITED XI: De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Lingard; Ibrahimovic.

Kick-off is just under an hour away, and that means that the team sheets are in! Lets start with the hosts...

Sunderland however have struggled with injuries all season long, and remain without Jan Kirchhoff, Lee Cattermole, Jack Rodwell, Duncan Watmore, Lynden Gooch and Paddy McNair as long-term lay-offs. Steven Pienaar, Javier Manquillo and Billy Jones remain doubtful for the game while Adnan Januzaj cannot play against his parent club due to the terms of his loan deal.

In terms of team news, Mourinho is to expected to have the in-form Mkhitaryan as well as central defender Eric Bailly at his disposal come Boxing Day. His only remaining injury concern is Luke Shaw, although Mourinho admitted his injury is "coming to an end."

The form table over the last five games shows that both sides are improving as the season goes on, with the hosts second with 11 points from a possible 15 whilst Sunderland have amassed six points thanks to wins against Watford and Leicester City.

Barring those two, there are not a lot of goals in either side. Victor Anichebe, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Patrick van Aanholt are the next highest scorers for either side with each of them currently on three Premier League goals for the season.

The big Swede is the third top scorer in the Premier League as of this moment, with 11 goals to his name whilst Jermain Defoe lies in sixth place with eight goals and two assists as Sunderland's top scorer.

Jose Mourinho hasn't quite got off to the start that he hoped for in the United hotseat, but things have started to look up as of late with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan showing their worth in the last few weeks.

Sunderland fans will of course remember defeating United on penalties to reach the Capital One Cup final back in 2014, but Old Trafford has not held many happy memories for those from the North-East over the years.

The Black Cats have won at Old Trafford just once since 1968, with that win coming in 2015 thanks to a Sebastian Larsson goal in the very season that Moyes was sacked as United boss, with Ryan Giggs in charge temporarily for the game.

With the hosts sitting in sixth place and the visitors lying in 18th, it is clear to see who the favourites are and Sunderland's poor record at Old Trafford means a betting man would be a fool not to favour the Red Devils.

The Scotsman has a chance to silence the doubters when he takes his Sunderland side to Old Trafford on Boxing Day, but it will be anything but an easy task for the Wearsiders to come away with even a point.

Moyes has been thrust into the limelight within the national press recently, after he claimed that he was "definitely unfairly treated" during his time in the red half of Manchester.

We hope you're having a fantastic time over the festive season so far, and with some luck today's match will add a dash of football gold to your schedule as David Moyes returns to the Theatre of Dreams.

Good afternoon and welcome to VAVEL UK's live coverage of Manchester United - Sunderland at Old Trafford!