Sunderland vs. Manchester United: Final score 2-1, Black Cats take lead into second leg

Michael Regan

Sunderland are 90 minutes away from a trip to Wembley and the Capital One Cup final.

The struggles continued for Manchester United and David Moyes in the Capital One Cup, where they are now in danger of going out of their second tournament of the season. This time it was Sunderland who put the Red Devils to the sword, winning 2-1 at the Stadium of Light to take a lead into the second leg of their semifinal tie and move within 90 minutes of Wembley.

Neither side looked particularly competent in the early going and chances were few and far between. Ryan Giggs had one decent go at goal with a screamer that hit the bar, but even that was from 25 yards. Man United and Sunderland both just couldn't create anything inside the box.

It looked like the match would go into halftime boring and scoreless, but the Black Cats gave the match a much-needed jolt in first-half stoppage time. Wes Brown flashed the ball across the face of goal, where Phil Bardsley looked set to tap the ball in before Giggs came flying in to put the ball in his own net. Own goal or not, Sunderland were 1-0 up.

The second half was a little more lively, although that didn't necessarily benefit United. Sunderland had their chances, with David De Gea being called into action, but the Red Devils also got forward and were rewarded in the 52nd minute. Nemanja Vidic skied to meet Adnan Januzaj's cross, and he headed home to bring Manchester United level and ignite a loud away section as the belief that the Red Devils would surge to victory spread.

But United couldn't build off of their goal. They didn't dominate possession or start generating chances left and right after equalizing, and instead it was Sunderland who surged forward. In the 64th minute, they got some help from the referee to boot.

Adam Johnson's run down the right put United on their heels and when Tom Cleverley came across to stop him he was judged to have tripped Johnson on the edge of the box. Replays were inconclusive, with some angles showing no contact at all, while others indicated that Cleverley could have clipped Johnson, but all that mattered was that the referee pointed to the spot and Fabio Borini converted the spot kick.

The Red Devils pushed for a late goal, but it was not to be. Even when they had the ball, they struggled to create chances and are now facing a Capital One Cup ouster if they cannot turn things around at home, Meanwhile the Black Cats have their eyes on Wembley.

Sunderland: Marrone, Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea, Alonso, Ki, Larsson, Cattermole, Cattermole, Fletcher (Altidore 72'), Giaccherini (Johnson 56'), Borini.

Goals: Giggs (OG) 45+2', Borini 64'.

Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Evra, Evans (Smalling 61'), Vidic, Giggs, Carrick, Cleverley (Fletcher 74'), Valencia, Januzaj, Welbeck.

Goals: Vidic 52'.

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