United 3 - 1 Sunderland
Valencia Jones Rojo Blind
Mata(Martial) Pogba Lingard(Mkhitaryan)
I expected United to win and we did so comfortably. Sunderland did give us a scare or two during the first half but DDG was alert to save us when we were still 0-0. Our goalie had absolutely no chance of saving Borini's consolation goal though; that was a super strike from the Italian.
As with our recent games, our players did well. Our passing was crisp and we created some good chances up front. It's very good to see our players create chances and actually converting some of them. That was our problem a few weeks ago; we had a lot of possession but didn't give our opponents any trouble when we attacked. This problem seems to have been mitigated.
Our defenders had a good game and limited Sunderland to half chances. Defoe was put out of the game by Rojo and Jones while Valencia kept his good form going with another solid display. Blind had a bit of a shaky start against Anichebe but did well to recover and also opened the score with a fine finish. I prefer Blind to Darmian at left-back. Both players can defend but the Dutchman can actually cross a ball.
Herrera's pressing, I believe, has been of great importance in our recent good run. He is a pest on the pitch and I have no doubt that a lot of players hate playing against him. He forces the opposition into errors and that gives the likes of Carrick and Pogba to bring the ball forward. Pogba had a great game today. He's been a very improved player during the past month or so. I never had a doubt that he'd improve. Our club didn't pay that amount of money without thinking about it.
Lingard and Mata were a bit too quiet for my liking but our striker Ibrahimovic produced another impressive display up front. Apart from scoring a goal that put the game to bed, he also assisted Blind and Mkhitaryan to score our first and third goals. That goal by substitute Mkhitaryan was the best goal I've seen scored at Old Trafford in years. I know he was in an offside position but I think the linesman felt bad about cancelling such an impressive goal. Our Mkhi probably scored Ibra's dream goal....I've seen him a lot of times trying to score using his back-heel at Old Trafford but hasn't succeeded yet.
Personally this wasn't the best of Christmases but it did end on a good note. No matter what happens in my life, a good win by Manchester United always puts a smile on my face and that's why I'll always give this football team the priority it deserves in my life....our players past and present have shown me too many good times. Middlesborough next, we must keep the momentum going. Come on United!!