Adnan Januzaj’s second half brace rescued Manchester United at basement club Sunderland as David Moyes stopped the rot. Craig Gardner had given the hosts an early lead, but the Belgian starlet turned things around.

Team News

Caretaker Black Cats coach Kevin Ball made two changes from the home defeat by Liverpool last weekend. Carlos Cuellar and Sebastian Larsson dropped to the bench with Ondrej Celustka and Valentin Roberge coming in. That freed Gardner up to play in midfield.

Red Devils manager David Moyes meanwhile handed youngster Januzaj his first Premier League in one of four changes. Danny Welbeck, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling and the injured Marouane Fellaini made way.

Phil Jones, Nani and the returning Wayne Rooney also came into the XI after a midweek Champions League draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.

Match Report

Sunderland took a shock early lead as the United defence started shaky. Emanuele Giaccherini crossed from the right, Jones’s clearance fell to Nemanja Vidic, he failed to sort his feet out and Gardner nipped in to fire beyond David De Gea.

Last-ditch defending from Jones later prevented goalscorer Gardner from teeing up Jozy Altidore. Moyes’s wide players then began to threaten with Januzaj and Nani firing narrowly wide.

De Gea got his defence out of trouble when the persistence of Adam Johnson allowed him to cross for Giaccherini, but the header was turned behind. The Black Cats wingers combined again before the break, but the Italian skyed this second effort.

Home side resistance was broken ten minutes into the second half. Januzaj capped his rise to the Red Devils first time by grabbing an equaliser, guiding Patrice Evra’s low cross home. The Belgian had been booked moments earlier for diving, however.

On the hour Januzaj was at it again as he completed what had looked an unlikely United turnaround at half time. John O’Shea only cleared Nani’s cross to the youngster and his exquisite volley across Westwood found the far corner.

With Rooney hobbling, a worrying sight for England supporters and staff ahead of crunch World Cup qualifiers in the international break, Robin van Persie fired wide late on. The Dutchman went near post with a right-footed effort, but off target with a clear sight.

The fact that Moyes had to rely on a kid made this far from an assured victory. Januzaj delivered though, but three points from this trip to Wearside somewhat paper over Red Devils cracks. Sunderland are now six points from safety.

  1. Match Stats

  2. Sunderland: 20 Keiren Westwood, 12 Ondrej Celustka, 29 Valentin Roberge, 16 John O’Shea (c), 14 Jack Colback, 8 Craig Gardner (7 Sebastian Larsson 56’), 33 Lee Cattermole, 4 Ki Sung-Yueng (10 Connor Wickham 74’), 11 Adam Johnson (27 Ji Dong-Won 64’), 17 Jozy Altidore, 23 Emanuele Giaccherini 4-3-3
  3. Goals: Craig Gardner 5’

  4. Man Utd: 1 David De Gea, 2 Rafael da Silva (12 Chris Smalling 85’), 4 Phil Jones, 15 Nemanja Vidic (c), 3 Patrice Evra, 17 Nani (19 Danny Welbeck 77’), 16 Michael Carrick, 23 Tom Cleverley, 44 Adnan Januzaj (25 Antonio Valencia 77’), 10 Wayne Rooney, 20 Robin van Persie 4-4-1-1
  5. Goals: Adnan Januzaj 55’, 61’