Adnan Januzaj of Manchester United celebrates with team-mates (AFP) - Eurosport
 
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Football > Premier League

Januzaj double earns United victory at Sunderland

Januzaj double earns United victory at Sunderland

By Eurosport
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Last update The 05/10/2013 at 20:55 -
By Eurosport - The 05/10/2013 at 20:55
Premier League, Stadium of Light - Sunderland 1 (Gardner 5) Manchester United 2 (Januzaj 55, 61)

Adnan Januzaj marked his first Premier League start with a brilliant double as Manchester United came from behind to beat Sunderland 2-1 in a breathless contest at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland got off to the perfect start when Craig Gardner seized on a loose ball in the box after Phil Jones and then Nemanja Vidic made a hash of clearing Emanuele Giaccerini’s cross.

With United rocking, David de Gea pulled off one of the saves of the season, denying Giaccerini’s bullet header with a stunning one-handed reflex save.

Giaccerini spurned another huge chance to make it 2-0 when he somehow fired over from 12 yards after Adam Johnson did well to pick him out.

Patrice Evra was a key attacking threat for United throughout and it was his drilled cross that led to the equaliser against a Black Cats side that struggled to sustain their first half momentum. The Frenchman’s pass found Januzaj, whose assured first-time finish finally saw Kieren Westwood beaten.

But Januzaj left the best until last, meeting John O’Shea’s poor defensive header with a beautifully executed volley that arrowed into the bottom corner, earning United a much needed win and relieving some of the pressure on United boss David Moyes.

KEY MOMENTS

PRE-MATCH: Manchester United, who come into this game on the back of their worst league start in 24 years, hand a first Premier League start to Januzaj. Rooney passes a late fitness test to start alongside the returning Van Persie in attack. O'Shea leads Sunderland out against his former club.

5’ - GOAL: Sunderland 1-0 Manchester United – Terrible defending by United gifts Sunderland a dream start. Giaccerini’s cross from the right is not dealt with by Jones or Vidic, who plays it straight to Gardner to lash into the bottom corner.

21’ – CHANCE: Evra picks out Nani with a deep cross, but the Portuguese’s tame volley flies wide.

34’ – WHAT A SAVE! De Gea pulls off one of the saves of the season with an outstanding one-handed stop from Giaccerini, whose bullet header seemed destined for the back of the net.

44’ – BIG MISS: Giaccerini’s spurns a huge chance to make it 2-0 when he somehow fires over from 12 yards after Johnson did well to pick him out.

55’ - GOAL: Sunderland 1-1 Manchester United – Januzaj levels the match with a calm first-time finish after Evra picked him out from the left.

61’ - GOAL: Sunderland 1-2 Manchester United – Januzaj ensures his first Premier League start is a memorable one with a sensational winner, volleying in after O’Shea’s poor clearing header.

KEY STATS

Sunderland possession: 37%, Manchester United 63%.

Sunderland have lost five consecutive Premier League games, the last time they lost five on the bounce was in March 2006 (six games in a row).

Manchester United have avoided losing three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2001.

TALKING POINT: Can Januzaj be the catalyst for United’s season? In another below par United display, Januzaj was a shining light. He added energy and verve to their performance and showed he has plenty to offer. Moyes will be hoping his rapid development continues.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND STATS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United) – The teenage star turned the game on its head: a well-taken equaliser got United back into it, and he capped a fine display with a sensational winner.

PLAYER RATINGS

Sunderland: Westwood 8, Celustka 7, Colback 7, O'Shea 5, Roberge 6, Cattermole 7, Ki 6, Gardner 7, Johnson 7, Giaccherini 7, Altidore 7. Subs: Larsson 6, Wickham 7, Ji 6.

Manchester United: De Gea 8, Rafael 6, Jones 6, Vidic 5, Evra 7, Carrick 6, Cleverley 6, Nani 7, Rooney 7, Januzaj 9, Van Persie 5. Subs: Valencia 6, Welbeck 6, Smalling N/A.

 
 

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