Sunderland vs. Manchester United: Your Running Commentary

LeeCattermoleSunderland1-ManchesterUnited (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With their chances of an English Premier League title growing dimmer by the week and their elimination from the FA Cup last Saturday, Manchester United enter the first leg of the League Cup semifinals knowing that it could be their best chance at bringing home silverware this season.

Standing in their way though is Jozy Altidore and Sunderland, who host the Red Devils for the second time this season on Tuesday afternoon. (2:45pm, beIN Sport USA).

Sunderland remain in the cellar of the Premier League standings but have shown more fight recently. In order to make it to the semifinals, Sunderland had to defeat Chelsea (2-1 in extra time) and Southampton (2-1), as well as a come from behind 4-2 victory against Milton Keynes Dons last August.

Heading into the Stadium of Light, David Moyes has selected a squad without the likes of either Robin Van Persie or Wayne Rooney, putting the onus on Danny Welbeck to lead the Man United front line.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the game.

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104 Responses to Sunderland vs. Manchester United: Your Running Commentary

  1. ark says:

    apparently Jozy is on the bench. Hoping he gets 30 mins tonight

  2. Ted in MN says:

    Well Jozy’s not in the starting 11. Not a big surprise.

  3. tony and cupcake says:

    Man U may not win the EPL but they will be in the top 3. Man U, Man C, and Chelsea. It is a 3 team league. Yes, Arsenal will fold, maybe hold onto 4. Spurs, Liverpool, maybe Everton will fight it out for 5th. All others – so what. Who will be relegated? who cares.

    EPL winners last 20 years:
    Man U (13)
    Chelsea (3)
    Arsenal (3)
    Blackburn (1)

  4. FRANK says:

    IS THIS ON THE TELEVISION I DONT HAVE FOX SOCER

  5. ATX_Colin says:

    when does transfer window close, any chance Sunderland upgrade their squad?

  6. Madden's Chin says:

    Jozy is pretty much a bench warmer for Sunderland at this point. Played himself out of the XI.

    • John says:

      At least with Sunderland it won’t be long until some one else plays themself out of the starting line up.

    • Lorenzo says:

      ? Has he lost a starting position for several league games in a row now? It seems I’ve been hearing that he’s “done” at Sunderland for several weeks now, but he still has been getting playing time after every time I’ve heard this…

    • TomG says:

      Madden’s Chin: h@ter or tr0ll? Not sure. Clearly since you know just went 90 this weekend, your statement is obviously false , so you must be one of the two. Which are you?

      • Madden's Chin says:

        Jozy went 90 in a cup game. Not the league.

        • CroCajun1003 says:

          Today was a Cup game. Not the league…

          What is your point?

          • Madden's Chin says:

            He was benched the last league game. His coach even decided he didn’t want him for THIS cup game.

            • bryan says:

              that was against AV on January 1st. but the league game BEFORE that, on Dec. 28th, Jozy started and went 90. against Everton on the 26th? Jozy on the bench. the game before that, on the 21st? jozy started.

              in short, it’s a clear alternating pattern between Fletcher and Jozy. now, i will agree that Jozy was the clear cut starter for much of early-mid December, in any game, so we can’t ignore that. but i would not say he has officially been relegated to a sub role.

  7. Bean says:

    I want to root for the underdogs, but can’t– I’d never root for the mancs.

  8. Bean says:

    Poor David Moyes.

  9. TomG says:

    Looked like an own goal to me. I think Bardsley completely whiffed. Great set up by Wes Brown.

  10. biff says:

    Dirty needless silly foul from Jonny Evans (surprise, surprise) knee in the back of Fletcher and on the free kick Sunderland jams the ball in the back of the net. Thanks Jonny. Cannot help but love the heart of this Sunderland team, although they do have it kind of easy playing a patsy of a team like Davie Moyse-coached Man U.

  11. Madden's Chin says:

    Leave it to johnny destroyer of knees evan to do something like that.

  12. biff says:

    If Jozy enters the game with more than 15 minutes to go, he scores today. You can count on it.

  13. FRANK says:

    IS JOZY WINNING I CANT GET THE WEBSITE TO WORK TO WATCH IT
    HE NEEDS TO PLAY BETTER TO GO TO THE NEXT WORLD CUP SQUAD

  14. William the Terror says:

    Nice to see you are so EXCITED by the game (or by the mere prospect of a game you admit you are not watching and unable to follow). We NEED that kind of enthusiasm to grow the game in the states.

    To answer your question, Jozy himself is NOT WINNING, but his team is up 1-0 at the half. On the down side, Jozy is sitting on the bench. On the up side, he has yet to miss a sitter.

  15. Boyd says:

    Moyes gone at the end of the season….maybe earlier.
    Hard to feel bad for a moron that paid 27.5 millions for Fellaini.

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      No way. He has a six year contract and was hand-picked by SAF. Besides, everyone knew going into the season that United’s squad needed revamping. The top teams typically don’t make hasty managerial changes; that goes for all sports.

      You’re dead on about Fellaini, though, what a fiasco.

  16. Bean says:

    I don’t like how they gave Vidic that free header. They did not challenge him on it.

  17. bryan says:

    2-1 Sunderland.

  18. Bean says:

    Send in Altidore now.

  19. SBI TroII says:

    Jozy is on now! Gametracker says Fletcher is hurt?

    • Clevelandfc says:

      If he is out for a few games, it might relieve some pressure for Jozy to score knowing that he can’t be yanked for Fletcher.

  20. TomG says:

    Jozy’s in. Nice hold up play and distribution to start off.

  21. Bean says:

    Only the Mancs can make Sunderland look good this season.

  22. TomG says:

    Man, Januzaj looks dangerous every time he get the ball.

  23. TomG says:

    Joay gets a yellow for being too big and strong for Man U.

    • TomG says:

      Ref is extremely unpredictable, giving fouls, yellows and penalties for seemingly ordinary challenges.

  24. TomG says:

    Jozy with 4 touches so far, all pure.

  25. TomG says:

    Jozy tries to take on 2 Manc defenders but can only draw a deep throw in.

  26. TomG says:

    Jozy being very physical with a yellow. Needs to be careful.

  27. TomG says:

    Jozy wins a ball against Smalling who handles the ball to stop him.

  28. beachbum says:

    Jozy looks like lone striker pushed high, not necessarily his best role imo, may need to drop down to find the ball as Sunderland look to hang on

    • beachbum says:

      and just to help the D…the space above the 18 is wide open in Sunderland’s d 1/3 right now

  29. TomG says:

    6 touches I think so far with no turnovers.

  30. TomG says:

    10 men behind the ball now for the Black Cats.

  31. bryan says:

    ESPNFC also saying Fletcher subbed out due to injury. curious to see hear more about that later. at first i was like, “come on Jozy,” when i saw he got a yellow almost immediately, but it sounds like it was a harsh yellow.

    Hernandez on for United.

    • TomG says:

      Yes, BEIN announcers baffled. Just two guys wrestling for position and Jozy outmuscled the Manc defender who fell down.

      • bryan says:

        gotcha. i’m mad at myself for not remembering to use beIN Sport Play at work to watch this!!!

  32. TomG says:

    Jozy tries his luck again on the sideline but this time it’s ruled a Manc throw in.

  33. TomG says:

    Jozy with excellent glancing header out of trouble off of Manc corner.

  34. beachbum says:

    looked like Jozy with the clearing header off the corner, 91st minute

  35. TomG says:

    Nice hold up and lay off by Jozy.

  36. TomG says:

    More odd decisions by ref.

  37. beachbum says:

    horrible decision to fire away there, and miss o badly, instead of possessing the ball

  38. TomG says:

    Jozy loses a 50 50 ball, going down a bit too easy?

  39. usaalltheway says:

    Is the game over? I just got in.

    How was Jozy today?

    • beachbum says:

      2-1 Sunderland wins. a nice read on Jozy’s play by TomG’s above

    • TomG says:

      Got about 25 minutes. Fletcher may be injured. Came in with a 2-1 lead and looked to get forward early but soon became a game of holding and possession which he did very well. He tried to run at Man U a couple times on the sidelines, but just led to throw ins. Made a couple nice defensive plays. Got a weird yellow from the ref. Good effort. Held up the ball very well, but never had the ball in a remotely dangerous position so not any chance at all for a goal.

  40. TomG says:

    Altidore wins aheader there but to no avail. Now chasing the ball all over the pitch.

  41. TomG says:

    Huge win by Sunderland in the first leg.

  42. Bean says:

    There’s hope for Sunderland. MUFC is even worse at Old Trafford this season.

  43. biff says:

    Okay, so Jozy didn’t score. But he was awesome, and I loved the way he comes in playing enforcer role and bit of payback to Raphael on his first play upon entering the game for the toe-stomp Raphael gave Borini for which Raphael should have received a second yellow card and Man U down to 10 men. The second bit of rough play by Jozy on Raphael he gets the yellow. All in a day’s work. I don’t care what anyone is saying Jozy is learning a new game at Sunderland under Poyet and this is going to benefit the USMNT in Brazil next summer. I mean, this is the big tough guys from Man U Jozy is going up against and each game he plays against that kind of talent he will be improving whether he scores or not. Jozy will score for the USMNT in Brazil.

    • TomG says:

      Yeah, he has to figure out how to score in BPL. That takes some time. The same moves he used at AZ need to be refined bc he has less time and more physical defenders. This is compounded by the lack of service and the fact that he’s had 3 managers in 5 months at SAFC so he needs to learn new systems. Even when he’s not scoring, he’s holding the ball well and assisting on goals so he’s a very useful player. Ultimately, I think Poyet’s system will suit him well. The fact that there are lots of rumors over Fletcher being sold but none about Jozy makes me think that Gus thinks Altidore is the better long term fit. The new midfielder Alonso looked good today and they’re getting Bridcutt from Brighton too, so with Jozy and Ki, they should be able to patch together a nice possession game. Once that gets rolling, Jozy will see more touches,. guys will hopefully become more comfortable combining with him and he will start to get the ball more regularly in dangerous areas. Once that happens, his goal scoring form should improve.

      • biff says:

        that is exactly what I thought when Poyet was quoted today saying Fletcher can go if the price is right, that Poyet is opening the door for Fletcher to move on. I really thought Jozy was excellent today, not only great hold-up play but great defense and he is big and strong enough to mix up with big boys.

      • ld says:

        Jozy is assisting on goals? what does he have, like, one?

        • bryan says:

          6 actually. most in the team.

        • TomG says:

          Id doing a nice job of proving that h@ters are just lazy. Instead of actually watching games and trying to use their brains to analyze what’s happening or actually looking up a statistic, they just default to spewing hate. The ridiculous thing is that it would have been just as quick to look it up as to type his message.

    • elgringorico says:

      He didn’t play bad, but “awesome” is a bit of a stretch. I am not a Jozy hater by any means, but he came in and did his job. Still, non-American Sunderland fans will ask more of him.

      • TomG says:

        Yeah, he was solid, but not awesome IMO. Really had zero chance to score today and did just about everything you could ask of him but didn’t do anything special.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Um, strikers who do not score are definitely not “awesome”. Yeah, maybe he played some good hold-up, but Jozy needs to put the ball in the net when he has an opportunity.

      No more missed sitters.

      He should just watch tape of Lukaku over and over again, because that is what Jozy should emulate.

      • John says:

        You really think Sunderland has the quality of Everton? Everton down a man out possessed Sunderland.

        • GW says:

          Everton have more quality than Sunderland. My definition of the term “quality” is skill , talent.

          Being “outpossessed”, as you put it, by a ten man team is not that unusual and you would be reading too much into it if you use that as your evidence that Everton have more “quality”. Italy once had a tournament where they kept having guys sent off but they kept advancing. It was suggested that they consider starting the game with ten men.

          It does mean Everton are well coached and disciplined.

          Teams that are down a man can often become much more focused than the opposition who sometimes get a little complacent because of their advantage. And if you are only interested in possession in the middle third and are efficient with your attacking efforts the one man advantage can be managed.

      • TomG says:

        THere were no opportunities today. Lukaku got in 16 games for Chelsea a couple years ago and scored zero goals. Granted, he was very young, but it goes to show you that even good goal scorers in great situations go through goal droughts. Those in the situation Jozy is in now are particularly vulnerable. It’s tough to find a rhythm with little service but I think he will find his footing. Be patient.

      • MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

        Calm down…He needs to score more. Yes. But perspective is needed. The team has changed Managers Idk how many times. He’s a young player, 1st yr of consistent EPL play. Yet He leads the team in assists. That tells you how awful the midfield is. The teams leading scorer has like 3-4 goals. Jozy has shown that he is a scorer. He is still learning how to score in the EPL. Once he gets it down; he’ll be fine.

      • GW says:

        Mr. Burn,

        You are making too much of the missed sitters. I’ve seen Clint miss two or three in one game. Everyone misses. Everyone.

        In the EPL:

        • Jozy has 18 appearances, 1 goal, 1 assist and 21 shots.

        • Fletcher has 16 appearances, 3 goals, 0 assists and 25 shots.

        Please don’t tell me that Jozy is a quantum leap worse than Fletcher.

        Sunderland is going to have to get rid of both, going by your logic.

        These two are very different players. Fletcher is a classic Brit Route One aerial bomber (think Allan Gordon). Jozy is not as good in the air but is a better target man and more versatile and mobile.

        Neither one has had a good year. Gordon looks better than Jozy in scoring terms because Sunderland have yet to come together as a team but Route One ball is something they can all figure out quite easily.

        In other words, when all else fails keep pumping long balls into the box and let Fletcher chase it.

        You could ask why Sunderland has not gone all that “Tony Pulis- Stoke” and maybe they will, but this group is not as disciplined as Stoke. And going that route would not make the best use of what talent they do have on hand.

        The other thing is Fletcher is better than Jozy at that style but, overall, he’s not all that great.

        Sunderland has some talent and if they are going to make a run, Poyet is going to have figure out how to get everyone going.

      • Gary Page says:

        If he’s going to emulate anyone, he should watch Suarez–minus the biting, of course.

  44. usaalltheway says:

    I basically missed everything.

    So, Jozy played well?

    Would some kind soul out in SBI land be willing to break it down for me?

    And on a side note, will you posters please stop using the phrase, “Calm down.”? It’s rather rude and has a sense of arrogance to it. Like, “I know better than you, so calm down.”. Not to mention, we are writing on an Internet page, not having a one-on-one conversation. Perhaps the other person is already “calm”.

    I AM CALM DAMN IT!!! ;)