Manchester United keep the ball rolling at Old Trafford

Nobody ever said it was going to look pretty. And for Manchester United it hasn’t but Louis Van Gaal and his team continue to gather points and make their mark as a top-4 team in the Premier League. United beat Sunderland on Saturday on two Wayne Rooney goals to move United back into 3rd place for the time being with 50 points.

United has now won nine of their last ten at Old Trafford, and only league leaders Chelsea have been better at home this season then United. In the ten match span, United has scored an impressive 23 goals and just conceded five. David de Gea has five shutouts in these ten games.

To the naked eye, the offense still didn’t produce as much as Van Gaal would have liked it, with one of the Rooney goals coming on a penalty kick. But, with Robin Van Persie out with an injury, the decision to was easy for Van Gaal who got to start both Ander Herrera in midfield next to Daley Blind and Rooney up front with Falcao.

The lineup changes made Van Gaal look like a genius.

United outshot Sunderland 30-5, dominated possession 74% to 26% and completed 622 passes to 233. In a way, Sunderland were lucky to only give up two goals. 45% of the gameplay was in the Sunderland third of the field. If United’s finishing wasn’t lacking, this game could have turned out very ugly. It’s been a issue for United all season, and despite a dominating game, Saturday was no different.

Quick thoughts-

  • United now have earned 34 points at home, only Chelsea has more (35). Away from OT, United ranks as the 9th best team.
  • Former United defender Wes Brown received a red card in the 64th minute, and despite playing for United for 15 seasons, the red card on Saturday was his first at Old Trafford.
  • Wayne Rooney became the first player in the Premier League to score 10+ goals in 11 consecutive seasons.
  • Next up: Wed March 4th away at Newcastle United. United has won their last two meetings against Newcastle with a score total of 7:1.