Moyes’ Manchester United ride their luck against Black Cats
Manchester United fans can be forgiven for not knowing much about 18-year-old midfielder Adnan Januzaj.
But after his breathtaking double against Sunderland, he could someday be known as the man who rescued the reign of David Moyes.
The former Everton boss headed to the Stadium of Light with the pressure already mounting despite the season being just six games old.
Without a win in three Premier League fixtures, victory was essential and things started in the worst possible way when a mistake from Nemanja Vidic allowed Craig Gardner to score the opener.
Sunderland pressed for a second but a combination of poor decision making and equally bad finishing meant that United went in at half-time just 1-0 down.
What followed at the start of the second period was the kind of two-goal salvo that became a hallmark of Sir Alex Ferguson’s time at the club.
It also served as an indication that, while the personnel in the stands may have changed, the Red Devils still possess the same fighting spirit that came to personify the team, who remain an outside bet to retain their title at 5/1.
Meanwhile, for Sunderland the result represents an opportunity missed, with the Black Cats looking increasingly primed for relegation and available at evens to be playing in the Championship next term.
The hero of the hour for David Moyes was undoubtedly Januzaj, who provided two goals in six minutes to help United to a much needed three points, with the Scot singling the player out as one for the future in his post-match interviews.
“He is going to be a special talent. He has got goals, he has got ability on the ball, but we will keep his feet on the ground here,” he told Sky Sports.
The Belgian has attracted interest from other Premier League clubs in recent weeks, with cross-town rivals Manchester City leading the queue for his services.
City were in action at lunch-time, coming from behind to beat the in-form Everton 3-1 with goals from Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero.
The two strikers are beginning to show the signs of a winning top-flight partnership and, should they stay fit, odds of 21/20 on the Citizens lifting the title come May should not be sniffed at.
However, despite their renewed attacking flair their trophy ambitions could be curtailed by defensive problems, with manager Manuel Pellegrini facing another potential selection headache after Vincent Kompany was substituted in the first half against the Merseysiders.
All in all though, it was a weekend of recovery for Manchester’s two clubs, with City doing the job and United doing just enough to stay in the chase.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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