United celebrate the third goal.

Under-23s: United 3 Sunderland 0

Manchester United and Sunderland produced a hugely entertaining Premier League 2 Division Two clash which saw Neil Wood’s charges take all three points with a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Largie Ramazani scored a goal in each half and Ethan Galbraith chipped in with the other just before half-time.

There was a steady drizzle irrigating the scene as the game got under way with a small, but nonetheless enthusiastic, gathering of supporters in the lower tier of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and about half as many in the directors’ box.

One of whom was Reds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was obviously taking the opportunity to run the rule over the next batch of starlets coming off the production line.

And he cannot have failed to have been impressed in the opening twenty minutes or so. Looking extremely lively and hungry for the ball , we were on the front foot from the first whistle and constantly looking to get forward.

Video
Largie Ramazani somersaults to celebrate his goal.
Watch Largie Ramazani finish off a glorious through ball by Dylan Levitt.

The visitors dealt competently with United’s early energy and wasn’t themselves what could be described as pedestrian.

United’s third-choice senior keeper Lee Grant was guarding the Stretford End goal and he was kept busy by the blue-shirted Black Cats. Still, United remained the most likely to make a breakthrough and, with 16 minutes gone, we duly took the lead.

There seemed little danger for Sunderland with the ball some considerable distance downfield but that was before skipper Dylan Levitt unleashed a beautiful long-range pass which Ramazani met on the edge of the area. There were plenty of Sunderland defenders in the vicinity but, undeterred, the Belgian negotiated himself into a yard of space before hitting a fine drive past Sunderland keeper Anthony Patterson, with the aid of a slight deflection.

United continued to hold sway and the chances started to stack up with none looking more promising than Levitt’s drive that struck the crossbar.

There seemed an inevitability that United would increase the lead before the interval and with slightly more than 60 seconds to go, we did just that with an Ethan Laird cross from the right only cleared to Galbraith, who rifled home a stinger from the edge of the area.

The Wearsiders resumed with a spring in their step and, while they appeared to be in the ascendancy, they couldn’t make any inroads into United’s two-goal lead.

At the other end, Laird was a constant threat to Sunderland down the right flank and his numerous forays were a feature of the evening.

And his fellow defender, Reece Devine, who also had his name taken by referee Joe Hull, saw a close-range goal attempt blocked by Patterson, after Laird's inviting ball into the box really deserved a finishing touch.

Ethan Galbraith fires in.
Ethan Galbraith belts in United's second goal of the evening.
Sunderland’s Lee Connelly hit the angle of bar and post as the game moved towards its closing stages and, moments later, D’Mani Mellor rattled the frame of Patterson’s goal after wriggling clear inside the box and staying on his feet.

Mellor then shot over the top when left in the clear by a clever dummy by Ramazani.

In-form Ramazani did add a third when latching on to a pass by Arnau Puigmal and deciding to go it alone, taking on the visiting defence before expertly steering his finish into the corner of the net.

Video
Largie Ramazani runs through to score his second goal.
Watch Largie Ramazani's stunning solo goal that made it 3-0.

MATCH DETAILS

United:
Grant; Laird, Mengi (Taylor 71), Bernard, Devine; Puigmal, Galbraith (Helm 64), Levitt; Traore (McGhee 64), Mellor, Ramazani.

Substitutes not used: Kovar, McCann.

Scorers: Ramazani 16, 88, Galbraith 43.

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