Manchester United 1 Sunderland 0 | Barclays Premier League | 6 December 2008
Nemanja Vidic, who is set to return from injury against Sunderland on Saturday, was United’s unlikely late hero against the same opposition at Old Trafford in December 2008.
The game pitted the reigning English and European champions against a Black Cats side in 18th place and reeling from Roy Keane’s resignation as manager four days earlier.
All the signs pointed to a comfortable home win but, despite battering the unambitious visitors for the entire game, United could not find a way through a dogged defence.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez all missed chances, Sunderland keeper Martin Fulop was in inspired form and United were seconds away from being held to a frustrating and damaging point.
But in the 91st minute, Vidic reacted quickest to prod home after Michael Carrick’s deflected shot hit a post and bounced back across goal, with Fulop stranded.
The Serbian’s joyous celebration manifested the importance of a victory that kept the Reds six points behind leaders Liverpool; Sir Alex’s men went on to retain the title by four points.
More: Vidic set to return | Giggs eyes festive charge | Welbeck and Young answer fans