Robin van Persie celebrates after his shot is deflected by Titus Bramble into his own net

Sunderland   0

Man United   1

Bramble (OG 27)

Saturday 30 March Stadium of Light | Attendance: 43,760

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Sunderland
22Mignolet
2Bardsleyyellow cardsub7
3Rosesub14
16O'Sheayellow card
19Bramblegoal
4N'Diayeyellow card
8Gardner
23McClean
21Johnsonsub10
28Sessegnon
9Graham
Subs:
20Westwood
10Wickhamsub21
7Larssonsub2
12Kilgallon
14Colbacksub3
18Mangane
30Mandron
Man United
1De Gea
2Rafaelsub6
12Smalling
15Vidic
28Buttner
7Valencia
8Andersonsub23
16Carrick
18Young
26Kagawasub19
20van Persieyellow card
Subs:
13Lindegaard
6Evanssub2
3Evra
23Cleverleysub8
17Nani
25Powell
19Welbecksub26

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30/03/2013 14:49, Report by Steve Bartram
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Sunderland 0 United 1

Though there was a nervy early moment for the visitors when De Gea’s scuffed clearance was mercifully mis-controlled by Danny Graham, the hosts were largely on the back foot during the opening exchanges.

Bardsley was penalised for handball on the very edge of his own area, only for Young to overhit his centre from the resulting free-kick, before Büttner’s solo run eventually culminated in his toe-poked effort being deflected away by Mignolet.

The Belgian was helpless, however, as United moved into the lead shortly before the half-hour mark. Van Persie picked up possession on the left flank and bought time while he sized up his options. Having decided to shoot, the Dutchman’s effort took an immediate nick off Bardsley, and was just starting to arc towards goal when it took a heavier touch off the thigh of Bramble and sped into the back of the net.

Van Persie wheeled away in delight, his seven-game search for a club goal potentially at an end, pending the next sitting of the Premier League’s Dubious Goals Panel. But to whom the glory belonged was a side issue; United were in front and a step closer to making history.

Sunderland’s supporters began to vent their frustration as United continued to tighten their grip on the game. Though Rafael made way for Jonny Evans, the Reds’ dominance was uninterrupted. Mignolet spectacularly caught a Young free-kick and clutched van Persie’s low, near-post effort, while only a heavy touch from Anderson spurned a delightful layoff from Kagawa.

Van Persie twice came close to doubling United’s tally in the closing moments of the half, first prompting Mignolet to tip over his fierce

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