Despite controlling much of the proceedings at Old Trafford, United failed to register a single shot on target, with Dusan Tadic’s well-taken effort enough to secure victory for Ronald Koeman’s high-flying Saints.
A gruelling three games in six days over Christmas/New Year, highlighting strengths and exposing weaknesses in any squad, showed up United despite Louis van Gaal’s big ambitions at the club.
The three-times European champions are in the midst of an 11-match unbeaten run and the former Barcelona manager wants his side to keep improving.
On paper what looks like a staggeringly good win against a Southampton side who had started the season on fire was actually a far from convincing victory for United.
Robin van Persie’s double secured a 2-1 victory for United – their fifth on the bounce – against Southampton on Monday evening, though they only managed three shots on goal, their lowest tally in a game since 2003.
The 29-year-old ensured Louis van Gaal’s men recorded a fourth straight league victory with a remarkable goal line clearance in the dying moments against Stoke on Tuesday as United seek to pass third-placed Southampton this evening.
City have lost on their last four visits to Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, each time going down 1-0, and haven’t won there since August 2008.
The former England star came off the bench to score City’s second as the Premier League champions won 3-0 win away at Southampton to leapfrog the south coast side into second spot.
City are yet to hit full flow this season but showed in their thrilling comeback victory over Bayern Munich the team spirit required to chase down runaway leaders Chelsea and second-placed Southampton, who they play on Sunday.
Determined to win sailing’s prestigious prize with a British-based team, the 37-year-old is now behind the bid to win the 35th edition of the America’s Cup in 2017 with his Ben Ainslie Racing Team
Manchester United host Everton later on Sunday and MM take a look at some of the greatest players to play for both clubs