Sunderland heaped further misery on Louis van Gaal on Saturday after securing a 2-1 win over Manchester United at the Stadium of Light, their first home win over the Red Devils in Premier League history.
Lamine Kone was the hero for the Black Cats, as his header with less than 10 minutes remaining secured all three points for the hosts, although it was later put down as a David de Gea own goal.
Whabi Khazri had given Sam Allardyce’s side the lead early on, as his free kick went through a sea of bodies before beating De Gea. However, United hit back just minutes before half time as Anthony Martial produced this classy finish to ensure that the two sides were level at the break.
The second half was a scrappy affair with both sides pushing forward in search of snatching back the initiative, and De Gea made key saves to deny Sunderland an opportunity to regain the lead.
However, the Spaniard was eventually beaten as Kone’s powerful header bounced awkwardly under his body before nestling into the back of the net with a hapless Martial unable to prevent it from crossing the line.
It is undoubtedly three crucial points for Sunderland in their bid to avoid the drop, as they moved to within one point of safety prior to rivals Newcastle United taking on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, it was another bitter blow for the Red Devils as they will now expect to lose further ground in the race to qualify for the Champions League. Furthermore, Van Gaal will now likely face more difficult questions in the week ahead with speculation continuing to rage about his future, as noted by Sky Sports.
Sunderland player ratings: Mannone 6; Yedlin 7, Kone 7, O’Shea 7, Aanholt 7; M’Vila 7, N’Doye 7, Cattermole 6, Kirchhoff 6, Khazri 8; Defoe 6.
Substitutes: Rodwell 6, Toivonen 6, Borini 6.
Manchester United player ratings: De Gea 6; Darmian 6, Smalling 6, Blind 6, Borthwick-Jackson 6; Schneiderlin 7, Carrick 7, Lingard 6, Mata 6, Martial 7; Rooney 6.
Substitutes: Love 6, Depay 6, Keane 6.