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

free-kick, then volleying over the bar after a sumptuous one-two with the superb Carrick.

Sunderland were fortunate that their tame first half showing had only been punished by a one-goal deficit, and Martin O’Neill’s players emerged for the second period clearly intent on committing to the cause; pushing greater numbers forward and charging into challenges.

Former Red John O’Shea was cautioned for a foul on van Persie, whose subsequent free-kick was deflected clear from a promising position, before the Dutchman also picked up a caution for a perceived high challenge on Craig Gardner.

The home support cranked up their own contribution in keeping with events on the pitch, and it took a superb diving clearance from Evans to stop Stephane Sessegnon from giving the hosts even more to shout about. From the subsequent corner, play was halted after an accidental clash of faces between De Gea and Vidic, but the Reds were undoubtedly rattled by the hosts’ improvement.

Smalling, who had switched to right-back after the introduction of Evans, made a superb headed clearance as Graham steamed onto Adam Johnson’s cross, before the ex-Manchester City winger drilled a long-range effort wide of De Gea’s goal. For United, a rare forward raid culminated in Büttner’s cross being cleared by Bramble before Kagawa could apply a finish.

Bardsley volleyed off-target shortly after escaping with a booking for planting his studs on Büttner’s shin, before the Dutchman almost exacted revenge with a stinging right-footed effort which Mignolet tipped wide. Vidic planted a header wide from the ensuing corner as United increasingly pushed for a killer second goal.

Danny Welbeck was introduced in place of Kagawa and Anderson made way for Tom Cleverley, but

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