Old Trafford, Saturday 15 October 2005
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
(Rooney 40, van Nistelrooy 76, Rossi 87)
Sunderland: Davis, Nosworthy, Breen, Caldwell, Hoyte, Lawrence (Le Tallec 62), Whitehead, Miller, Welsh (Robinson 86), Elliott, Gray (Stead 62). Subs not used: Alnwick, Collins.
United: Van der Sar, Bardsley, Ferdinand, Silvestre, O'Shea (Pique 89), Park, Smith, Scholes, Rooney, van Nistelrooy (Rossi 78), Ronaldo (Miller 89). Subs not used: Howard, Fletcher.
United were ten points behind runaway leaders Chelsea when the Reds travelled to Sunderland in October 2005.
Jose Mourinho’s side were again taking the league by storm, with maximum points from the first nine games, while United were fourth, level on points with Bolton and Man City.
Action: Despite early pressure from Sunderland, the Reds looked comfortable in possession and were rewarded with a goal five minutes before half time. A lightning-quick break from United left the Black Cats napping as Wayne Rooney went clear through and rounded goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, to give his side the lead. Ruud van Nistelrooy looked to have sealed the win when he turned home Rooney’s through ball 14 minutes from time. But just six minutes later Sunderland hit back through Stephen Elliot and they would have equalised had Edwin van der Sar not brilliantly saved Antony Le Tallec’s free-kick. A third goal seemed necessary to secure the three points, and substitute Giuseppe Rossi rifled it home, on a memorable United debut for the 18 year-old.
Reaction: United ultimately could not do enough to halt rampant Chelsea’s charge to the title, and finished eight points behind in second place.
In the charts: Sugababes achieved their fourth career number one single with Push The Button, while also topping the album charts with Taller In More Ways.