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Dublin: 10°C Friday 23 October 2020


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Hello, and welcome to today’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Kick of is at 1.30pm.

Here are the teams for today, and there are a few surprises in the United line-up, with Fellaini named captain and De Gea absent…

Sunderland: Pickford; Jones, Kone, Denayer, Oviedo; Cattermole, Ndong, Rodwell, Larsson; Defoe, Anichebe.

Subs: Mannone, Djilobodji, Borini, Khazri, Pienaar, Manquillo, Gibson.

Man United: Romero; Darmian, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw, Fellaini, Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Ander Herrera, Lingard, Ibrahimovic.

Subs: Martial, Carrick, Blind, Rashford, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Castro Pereira.

We’re underway…

Lingard tests Pickford with a long-range effort early on.

It’s been a positive start from United.


It’s been a fairly calm opening to this game.

United haven’t been overly dominant yet and could do with injecting more urgency into their play.


Still not much in the way of goalmouth action to speak of.

United are dominating possession and territory, but Sunderland have been well organised at the back so far.


Luke Shaw has just been booked for a late challenge on Ndong.

The young full-back has looked a little nervy in these early stages.


Better from Sunderland in recent minutes, after they struggled to keep the ball early on.

Ndong has been getting on the ball and looks lively in these opening stages.


Good defensive work from Defoe, who gets back well to tackle Shaw.

The veteran striker is looking sharp today.


Sunderland work some space and Cattermole tests Romero with a powerful strike from the edge of the box.

The hosts are coming more into this game now.


Out of nothing, a powerful strike from Ibrahimovic on the edge of the box finds the back of the net.

It’s harsh on Sunderland, who were coming into the game, but perhaps that moment emphasises the difference in class between the two sides.


Golden chance for Anichebe!

The striker turns away from his marker in the box, but Romero does really well to get down quickly and smother the ball.

Flag 44Mins


Larsson is sent off for a high challenge on Herrera.


It’s dangerous play. He went over the top even if he never fully connected with Herrera.

You could argue it was harsh from the referee, as Niall Quinn on Sky seems to think, but it’s certainly foolish from the player.


Half-time and it’s hard to see Sunderland coming back from here.

United are in control and have done enough without ever really excelling in this game.

A brilliant Ibrahimovic strike put the visitors ahead, before Anichebe missed an excellent chance from close-range for the hosts, with Romero getting down well to make the save.

Larsson’s controversial red card has now changed the complexion of the game, however, and with 10 men, it could now be a case of damage limitation for the Black Cats.

It’s now over 10 hours of Premier League football for Sunderland.

Despite one or two promising moments in attack, they haven’t attacked with enough ruthlessness and conviction today and look like a team who are short of confidence.


“We are getting to the stage where it’s not worth going to ground with a challenge… This is the way the game is going.”

Jamie Redknapp feels the red card to Sebastien Larsson was too harsh, while co-analyst Phil Neville agrees.


Mkhitaryan fires the ball home on the edge of the box after a series of United passes.

It’s all too easy for the visitors, who now almost certainly have this game wrapped.


That was 15 passes and 14 seconds after the re-start that United scored, with Sunderland not getting a touch in that time.

Meanwhile, as I type, Pickford and Ibrahimovic clatter into each other as they compete for Herrera’s through ball.

Both players seem okay and look like they’ll be able to continue.


This game has hit a bit of a lull in the last few minutes.

It’s no surprise really, as United effectively have this game won.


This feels like a training game now.

Man United are casually passing the ball around with undue ease.


Shaw goes down awkwardly after Ndong accidentally treads on his ankle.

The full-back has had some bright moments today, and he is now being replaced by Daley Blind.


Marcus Rashford has replaced Lingard, whose last involvement sees him booked for a trip on Manquillo.

As I type, Jermaine Defoe finds space on the edge of the box before firing the ball just over.

The Black Cats also make an attacking change, with Cattermole replacing Borini.


Sunderland are looking very open now.

Ibrahimovic breaks, but his pass to Rashford is a little too heavy, and the move’s momentum draws to a halt.


Another substitution for United as Martial is replaced by Mkhitaryan.

The Red Devils remain comfortable with just over 10 minutes to play.

As I type, Fellaini gets booked for petulantly kicking the ball away.


Manquillo latches on to Rodwell’s hopeful lofted through ball before blasting over.

Sunderland have had a few half-chances in this second half, with their opponents perhaps becoming slightly lax given how comfortable it’s been for them.



Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League - Stadium of Light Manchester United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right) alongside teammate Paul Pogba during the Premier League match at the Stadium of Light. Source: Owen Humphreys


Rashford plays a one-two with Ibrahimovic before firing the ball into the corner of his net.

That’s just the youngster’s second goal in 16 appearances, and a much-needed confidence boost.

Right, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Our report of the game is now up and can be read here.

We’ll have more reaction to follow.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy