shot past Mignolet into the far corner. Rooney almost added a third, but his volley from van Persie’s headed knock-down went over.
Sunderland’s first-half forays forward were limited purely because United commanded the game so convincingly, as Carrick led possession with his more attacking team-mates swarming forward. Sunderland's best chance of the half came when James McClean dispossessed Ferdinand and attacked the goal from a title angle. However, De Gea made himself big to block the shot.
United were forced into a change at half time as Carrick made way for Paul Scholes, while Sunderland swapped Steven Fletcher for Connor Wickham. It didn’t seem to affect United’s intention to attack as Rooney struck the bar from close range shortly after the restart before Young fired over at the second attempt. But without Carrick's control, Sunderland saw more of the ball and Craig Gardner quickly forced a low save from De Gea, who then had to smother Stephane Sessegnon’s rebound.
But it was United’s profligacy in front of goal that looked more troublesome. The approach play was undoubtedly good but it was worryingly familiar when Young lobbed a pass over Sunderland’s defence to put van Persie through on goal and the Dutchman’s attempted lobbed drifted wide. That said, just as it appeared Sunderland were growing in confidence, a third goal arrived right on cue. On 59 minutes, Young and van Persie combined as the Dutchman artfully gave Carlos Cueller