Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 28th goal of the season as Manchester United closed in on the Premier League top-four with a routine 3-0 win at relegation-threatened
Jose Mourinho’s side extended their unbeaten run to 21 league games at a sun-drenched Stadium of Light, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and substitute Marcus Rashford also on target.
United closed to within four points of fourth-place Manchester City, on whom they retain a game in hand, but will drop back to sixth if Arsenal win at Crystal Palace on Monday.
Victory set United up nicely for Thursday’s trip to
Mourinho’s men won with plenty to spare, enjoying 70 percent of possession and playing against 10 men for more than half the game.
Any hope Sunderland had of replying to Ibrahimovic’s 18th league goal of the season on the half hour were all but ended when his former
Larsson was shown a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson for leading with a raised foot in a challenge on Ander Herrera, sparking furious
With left back Luke Shaw enjoying a rare United start as
The 35-year-old took a pass from Herrera on the edge of the
Pickford had already saved well from Jesse Lingard, and only a brave block from Bryan Oviedo prevented Marouane Fellaini from stretching the visitors’ lead following Herrera’s inviting cutback.
It proved to be Jones’ last intervention before the
Mkhitaryan had scored with a stunning ‘scorpion kick’ in the victory over
He got his name on the score-sheet again in more prosaic circumstances just 46 seconds after the restart.
From the kickoff, Sunderland failed to touch the ball as the Armenian was afforded time and space to send a low angled drive past Pickford from 15 yards to notch his ninth goal of the season.
Paul Pogba should have made it three, but produced a wayward volley from an Ibrahimovic flick, before the
Rashford put a more realistic slant on the final score a minute from the end as
It ended with Rashford swapping passes with Ibrahimovic before finding the bottom-left corner with a confident finish.