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Manchester United 1-0 Sunderland

Manchester United left it late to beat Sunderland this evening, with a 90th minute goal finally breaking the away side’s resolve.

It was down to the unlikely scorer of Nemanja Vidic to tap home the last-gasp winner, after Michael Carrick had hit the post.

Sunderland certainly put up a valiant fight, holding strong in a game where they were constantly under pressure from United.

The home side bombarded the Sunderland goal, with many chances going begging.

Sunderland’s resiliance was bolstered by goalkeeper Marton Fulop who deputised for the injured Craig Gordon.

However, other missed chances were down to poor finishing and determined defending from Sunderland’s outfield players.

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Dimitar Berbatov headed over when he really should have done better, while Anderson was denied a goal by a brilliant sliding tackle by Tainio.

However, Vidic finally broke the Wearsiders’ spirit, when the away side were just four injury time minutes away from an impossible draw.

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In other news from the game, Wayne Rooney received a yellow card for a needless trip. The caution, his fifth of the season, will see him suspended for the away match against Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham next Saturday.

Also, some fans will be concerned at the condition of United star Cristiano Ronaldo who went off holding his midriff, and obviously wincing in pain. It seems that the Portuguese international was suffering further repercussions from an earlier Andy Reid challenge.

However, it was the nature of his substitution which puzzled fans and broadcasters alike. Having continued playing after the aforementioned challenge, with Anderson waiting to come on by the dugout, Ronaldo kicked the ball out of play in obvious discomfort. He then signalled to the bench that he could not continue, and proceeded to walk off the pitch and down the Old Trafford tunnel flanked by a member of United’s backroom staff.

The winner of the 2008 Balon D’Or left his team a man down as the substitution had yet to be confirmed by the referee or fourth official. It was also clear that Anderson was not scheduled to replace Ronaldo. This left Sir Alex Ferguson, restricted to the stands as part of a touchline ban, phoning down to his assistants to prepare Ryan Giggs from the bench too. Giggs officially came on for Ronaldo and Anderson replaced Darren Fletcher.

This bizarre episode aside, Manchester United will be more than relieved at securing the three points in a match which they really should have wrapped up much earlier.

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