Sunderland AFC vs Manchester United FC: Five things we learned from the EPL encounter
Louis van Gaal is in added pressure now as his side cannot put together a string of performances.
New Delhi: Manchester United failed to make any progress towards closing the gap on top four after Louis van Gaal's side were dented 2-1 by Sunderland in a crucial Premier League encounter on Saturday.
Wahbi Khazri put relegation-threatened Sunderland ahead after three minutes with a free-kick that eluded everybody in the box.
Anthony Martial levelled the scores after after clipping the ball over Vito Mannone, who had parried off a Juan Mata shot. But the Black Cats created history when Lamine Kone's header from Khazri's corner went inside the net as it went down as an own goal by David de Gea.
Here are five things we learned from the game.
Late goals keep haunting United: For the fourth match in succession Louis Van gaal's side has allowed late goals to hurt their chances. Defensive duties have been poor from set pieces and that has allowed teams to sniff out points. Chris Smalling's horrendous man-marking left Lamine Kone free who tucked in the header in the 82nd minute to earn Sunderland precious points.
Matteo Darmian is failing to justify tag: Italian defender Matteo Darmian was poor in the 38 minuted he played before being injured. Darmian's final product while going forward has been a daft the entire season. He had some glorious run-ins from the right flank but his poor crossing cost his side creating chances. Meanwhile, his replacement Donald Love had a solid performance on is debut at right-back.
Anthony Martial, David de Gea only bright spots: French forward Martial and Spanish goalkeeper De Gea has been the bright figures for United in this disastrous campaign so far. De Gea made some excellent saves in the second half to keep United in the game. Martial showed his clever attitude and composure to score the equaliser. Both players are a notch above in quality from the rest of the side.
Black Cats showing right attitude: Sunderland is getting up in their pursuit of survival and their attitude has been notable. Despite being the second best side in the first 45 minutes, Sunderland dominated the second half at ease. The entire team is sticking together and are producing good performances that was also seen in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool.
United's inconsistency under Gaal continues: With the manner in which a laboured United played the second half, the consistency is clearly lacking. The body language alongside the intensity and purpose was poor at a time they needed to play with belief. Gaal is in added pressure now as his side cannot put together a string of performances. Was Jose Mourinho watching the game?