December 21 2012
Manchester United made it five Premier League wins on the bounce with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland, thanks to goals from Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney. Former United frontman Fraizer Campbell denied United a clean sheet with a consolation strike for Sunderland, but the Red Devils held on for a crucial three points.
Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils maintained their impressive Premier League form with a comfortable victory over Sunderland.
The game was also notable for United supporters as Nemanja Vidic made a much-anticipated return from injury from the substitute's bench, having been sidelined since the middle of September.
The deadlock was broken after 16 minutes as Van Persie bagged his 15th Manchester United goal of the season, his 12th in the top-flight. Ashley Young's cross from the left flank deflected off John O'Shea, and van Persie composed himself before lifting the ball into the back of the net.
United's lead was doubled only three minutes later. Cleverley met Michael Carrick's pass with a fine finish as Sunderland struggled to cope with United's intensity and attacking flair.
The points looked in the bag shortly before the hour mark as van Persie turned provider, squaring for Rooney who dispatched a neat finish for United's 43rd-goal of a free-scoring campaign.
However, Sunderland did threaten an unlikely comeback - a scenario which Sir Alex Ferguson said nearly became "embarrassing" as the Black Cats piled on late pressure.
Striker Campbell, who made four appearances for United, rose highest to meet Stephane Sessegnon's cross with an impressive header to reduce the arrears to two. From there, Sunderland threatened further goals - but United held on for a crucial victory.
Full Time - Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland
Attendance - 75,583