Another Draw Away From Home For United

Sunderland's Ahmed Elmohamady (R) challenges Manchester United's Federico Macheda during their English Premier League soccer match in Sunderland, northern England October 2, 2010. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) NO ONLINE/INTERNET USAGE WITHOUT A LICENCE FROM THE FOOTBALL DATA CO LTD. FOR LICENCE ENQUIRIES PLEASE TELEPHONE ++44 (0)
Earlier on this evening, Man United were held to yet another draw away from home. That is now four away matches in the league, four draws and eight points dropped, for a side looking to win the Premier League, that isn’t good enough.

Saying that, Sunderland had the better opportunities, and they looked like the team more likely to score, so overall a point was probably a point gained rather than two dropped..

Things hadn’t gone too well even before the game kicked off. The match had to be postponed for 20 minutes after a water pipe had burst in the United dressing room, resulting in the ceiling collapsing.

Sir Alex Ferguson made four changes to the team who started against Valencia midweek. Even though he was ruled out for 10 days during the week, Paul Scholes started in midfield. John O’Shea, Michael Owen and Federico Macheda were also brought into the starting XI. Wayne Rooney was left out all together, Dimitar Berbatov was named on the bench.

Sunderland should have gone 1-0 up in the first half and they would have if not for Edwin Van Der Sar. Lee Cattermole put Steed Malbranque clean through on goal but the Dutchman kept United level with a fantastic save. With the home side on top eight minutes before half time Boudewijn Zenden’s strike hit the post.

After a very poor first half it was hard to believe that United could play any worse, things could only get better. Berbatov came on immediately for Michael Owen. Berbatov had the ball in the back of the net on the 48th minute but he was correctly ruled offside.

One of Sunderland’s best opportunities of the second half came from a Malbranque strike, which took a deflection off Rio Ferdinand, luckily the ball flew over the bar.

With the game still at 0-0 both Javier Hernandez was brought on for Federico Macheda. After only being on the pitch for a few minutes had a header off target but it was bit more pressure on the Sunderland defence, which had been lacking.

The final substitution made by Sir Alex saw Bebe come on for his Premier League debut, replacing Anderson. Luis Nani looked the most likely to score for United, which is saying something because his shooting and deliveries were mostly poor.

The game finished 0-0, the first league game this season United have failed to score in. After many defensive mistakes in previous Premier League matches, it was great to see United keep a clean sheet but the team were lacking offensively today.

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