Tag Archives: vidic

David De Gea and Patrice Evra taken out by Andy Carroll in Manchester United match at West Ham

Carroll's hit parade: De Gea and Evra feel the full force of striker in collisions that left Fergie furious (and Vidic got a crack, too)

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

20:11 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 17 April 2013

After some lightweight performances earlier in the season, Manchester United have slowly been toughening up young goalkeeper David de Gea to cope with the rigours of the English game.

But no amount of steak and shoulder presses could prepare Spaniard for an Andy Carroll special.

The England striker clattered into De Gea shortly before half-time in this evening's match between West Ham and United at Upton Park, also taking down Patrice Evra in the process.

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Both United players were left nursing bruises on the ground following the forceful barge from behind, which left Sir Alex Ferguson furious on the sidelines as referee Lee Probert declined to show Carroll a yellow.

In a sign that his 'bulking-up' programme is working, 22-year-old De Gea had come through a cluster of bodies to commandingly punch clear a corner before Carrol knocked him down.

It was very different earlier in the
season when opponents would target the keeper as a weak link and
occasionally benefit – notably when a last minute blunder cost United
three points at Spurs back in January.

Ferguson
remonstrated with the fourth official over the incident as the two
teams left the field at half-time and no doubt would have been satisfied
when Carroll was booked early in the second period for another tangle
with De Gea.

But the England striker was not finished there, appearing to catch United defender Nemanja Vidic with his elbow, leaving the Serb furious.

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Carroll and Vidic

Phil Jones is an animal: Manchester United defender backed to play up front by Sir Alex Ferguson

Step aside, Van Persie: Fergie backs 'animal' Jones to play as STRIKER

-Why-did-Roy-Hodgson-Phil-Jones–Martin-Samuel.html” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Baresi of England. It seems Sir Alex Ferguson agrees!

'Jonny's been really brilliant this season,' Ferguson told Inside United.
'He's 25 years old now and, hopefully for the next six or seven years,
he could be a regular centre back for us.

'Obviously, Rio (Ferdinand) is
34 now and (Nemanja) Vidic is 31. (Patrice) Evra is 31 so, in that
sense, players like Smalling, Jones and Evans will come to the fore.

'Jones is going to be a fantastic
player, his talent is unbelievable. Yes (his best position is
centre back) but you could play him anywhere. I think you could play him
centre forward! He’s just that type of player.

John O'Shea

Phil Neville

Utility men: Before Jones, John O'Shea and Phil Neville both once played many important roles for Ferguson

'He’s
an animal for football. He grasps the game, he understands it. Play him
right back Brilliant. Play him centre midfield No problem. Play him
centre back Terrific.'

United players were preparing themselves for the Manchester derby on Monday, which could see Jones start in midfield.

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones... or maybe not

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones… or maybe not

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Phil Jones

Robin Van Persie

Unusual: Jones (left) is extremely versatile and Ferguson is predicting big things for him

Ferguson continued: 'He’s just one of those unusual players you get now and again who can play anywhere. We’ve not had a player like him in terms of someone who can play at that performance level since, well the closest you would get would be Brian McClair.

'Now, Brian McClair was a fantastic player. He could play anywhere, McClair. I remember kidding him on once; I said to him, just go and play in the right-back area and he laughed.

'I said to him, “What are you laughing at” and he said, “Next week I’ll be centre half.” But that was his character, so composed about life. Nothing bothered him.'

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Manchester United 2 Reading 1: match report – Javier Hernandez and Nani score

Manchester United 2 Reading 1: Clinical Nani and Hernandez see off brave Royals

PUBLISHED:

21:56 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

Manchester United were made to sweat after Jobi McAnuff scored a late Reading goal after the hosts had gone two goals up.

After relentless pressure, Sir Alex Ferguson's men finally scored on 69 minutes when Nani struck from an Antonio Valencia pass.

Javier Hernandez scored United's second just three minutes after the opener, but McAnuff coolly slotted past David de Gea to make things interesting for the final ten minutes.

Near post: Javier Hernandez nodded the ball past Adam Federici to put the Reds 2-0 up

Near post: Javier Hernandez nodded the ball past Adam Federici to put the Reds 2-0 up

Breached: Nani finally opened the scoring for Manchester United at Old Trafford

Breached: Nani finally opened the scoring for Manchester United at Old Trafford

MATCH FACTS

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones (Nani 42), Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson (Carrick 84), Young (Van Persie 64), Cleverley, Hernandez, Welbeck

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Kagawa

Goals: Nani 69, Hernandez 72

Reading: Federici, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Kelly, Karacan, Leigertwood (Guthrie 63), McAnuff, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary (Robson-Kanu 70)

Subs not used: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Daniel Carrico, Pogrebnyak

Goal: McAnuff 81

Referee: Andre Marriner

More to follow…

Wheeling away: Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones in the first half

Wheeling away: Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones in the first half

Fist pump: Sir Alex Ferguson gestures to the home crowd as he makes his way out after half-time

Fist pump: Sir Alex Ferguson gestures to the home crowd as he makes his way out after half-time

.

Chase: Danny Guthrie attempts to keep pace with Manchester United's Anderson

Chase: Danny Guthrie attempts to keep pace with Manchester United's Anderson

.

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

.

Words of wisdom: Ferguson (left) talks to fourth official Phil Dowd as the pair leave at half-time

Words of wisdom: Ferguson (left) talks to fourth official Phil Dowd as the pair leave at half-time

Rio Ferdinand tells Manchester United to give him a new contract like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes

Ferdinand calls for new United deal and says he can keep going just like Giggs and Scholes

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

11:11 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 2 February 2013

Rio Ferdinand has expressed his desire to extend his contract at Manchester United past the end of the season but is not worried that discussions are yet to take place.

Back and knee injuries have plagued the centre-back over the past few seasons, but Ferdinand has managed to reassert himself in the United first-team and wants to carry on going for several more years.

'Manchester United is a great club, the No1, and you would never want to play anywhere else if you can still play for them.'

Rio Ferdinand is sure he can continue for many more years

Longevity: Rio Ferdinand is sure he can continue for many more years

'People were writing me off when I was
out injured and saying my career was coming to an end but I know my body
and was confident I could get through,' he told the Sun.

'United will always be in my blood now.'

A consistent injury-free run
in the Premier League has given Ferdinand the chance to prove to all
his doubters that even at 34, he is worth a new contract.

He missed the 2010 World Cup due to injury, and with the arrival of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones over the past few seasons he was being pushed further down the pecking order.

Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have struggled to play together

United: Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have struggled to play together

But Ferdinand has managed to regain both
fitness and form, and has forced himself back into Alex Ferguson's
plans. With his contract finishing in the summer, the England
centre-back is sure that he deserves a new deal.

'I want to be able to contribute properly and be a player they actually need. You can tell if you're not really needed at a club any more. You just know.'

Ferdinand knew that he had more to
offer, and when Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling got long-term injuries,
he was given his chance again.

'I don't expect to be treated any different to the other older players like Giggsy or Scholesy, who normally sign on again at the end of the season.'

Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have prolonged their careers

Still there: Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have prolonged their careers

If United beat Fulham on Saturday they can stretch their lead to 10 points over rivals Manchester City, who have to get three points against an in-form Liverpool to keep up with the pace.

Ferdinand's presence will also be vital as United come across Real Madrid in the second round of the Champions League, and as they continue their challenge in the latter stages of the FA Cup.

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1 match report

Tottenham 1 Manchester United 1: Dempsey dramatic injury-time equaliser cuts Red Devils' lead over City to five points

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 20 January 2013

Clint Dempsey scored a dramatic equaliser deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Tottenham at a snowy White Hart Lane.

Robin van Persie clinically headed home in the 25th minute and that looked like the winner all the way until the 92nd minute when American Dempsey converted Aaron Lennon's cross to snatch a point for Spurs.

More to follow

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Saviour: Clint Dempsey struck deep into injury-time to rescue a point for Spurs

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton (Assou-Ekotto 64), Lennon, Parker (Huddlestone 80), Dembele, Bale, Dempsey, Defoe.

Subs Not Used: Friedel, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Townsend.

Booked: Dawson.

Goals: Dempsey 90.

Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Cleverley (Valencia 74), Kagawa (Rooney 62), Welbeck, Van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez.

Booked: Carrick, Evra, Rafael, Rooney.

Goals: Van Persie 25.

Att: 35,956

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Clinical: Robin van Persie scored his 22nd goal of the season after 25 minutes

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Leap: Gareth Bale jumps for the ball in the north London snow

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Over the edge: Bale falls into the crowd

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Challenge: Mousa Dembele and Michael Dawson tackle Van Persie

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Spurned: Jermain Defoe missed a good opportunity in the second half

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United adjusts his hat

Wrap up warm: Alex Ferguson looked uncomfortably cold at White Hart Lane

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Doubt: Snow forced match officials to call an inspection at 2.50pm

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Hard work: Groundsmen clear snow from the playing surface at White Hart Lane

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Cold Two fans shelter from the snow ahead of the match

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic says he won"t back to best for two months

I won't be back to best for two months, admits returning United defender Vidic

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UPDATED:

10:54 GMT, 30 December 2012

Nemanja Vidic has admitted it will take at least two months before he is back to his best.

The Manchester United skipper completed the second game of his comeback from knee surgery in Saturday's 2-0 win over West Brom at Old Trafford.

Heads up: Vidic competes with Gabriel Tamas during United's clash with West Brom

Heads up: Vidic competes with Gabriel Tamas during United's clash with West Brom

He certainly made his presence felt too, guiding United's defence to only their fourth clean sheet in the Premier League this season, which ensured they head into 2013 seven points clear of Manchester City.

However, Vidic is refusing to accept his comeback is complete. After virtually 16 months on the sidelines, including rupturing his cruciate during the devastating defeat to Basle last December, the 31-year-old knows there is plenty of work ahead.

Looking good: Vidic (right) has made a welcome return to Manchester United's defence

Looking good: Vidic (right) has made a welcome return to Manchester United's defence

'The doctor is managing the games I am playing at the moment,' he told MUTV.

'Over the first two or three months I have to really look at that because sometimes I might have a reaction. This is a process I have to go through.

'I am glad I have managed to play after three months. It is nice to be on the pitch and playing games.

'Hopefully I can play more often so I can build my form and play better.'

Swansea 1 Manchester United 1 – Match report

Swansea 1 Manchester United 1: Reds frustrated as Michu's goal gives Swans share of the points

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UPDATED:

16:13 GMT, 23 December 2012

Manchester United missed the chance to extend their lead in the title race to six points as Michu came out on top in the battle of the Barclays Premier League's top scorers at the Liberty Stadium.

Patrice Evra had given United the lead in the 16th minute as he headed home from a Robin van Persie corner.

But Swansea continued their good record against the top-flight big guns as Michu finished from close range to move clear of Van Persie with his 13th league goal of the season.

Flat out: Michu makes it 1-1 as goalkeeper David de Gea lies on the ground

Flat out: Michu makes it 1-1 as goalkeeper David de Gea lies on the ground

Match facts:

Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton (Ki 62), Agustien (Shechter 88), De Guzman (Moore 71), Routledge, Michu.

Subs not used: Tremmel, Graham, Monk, Richards.

Goal: Michu 29

Booked: De Guzman, Williams

Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Valencia (Hernandez 62), Carrick, Cleverley (Scholes 86), Young, Rooney (Giggs 78), van Persie.

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Welbeck, Fletcher, Buttner.

Goal: Evra 16

Booked: Jones, Rooney, Van Persie, Scholes

Referee: Michael Oliver

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United will hold a four-point lead over Manchester City at Christmas but will be left to rue a series of missed chances during the final half hour when they piled the pressure on their hosts.

Swansea felt they had shown United too much respect during this fixture last season but, after a slow start, they showed little sign of being overawed as they took the game to the visitors.

Dwight Tiendalli flashed a threatening ball across the six-yard box before Kemy Agustien freed Michu with a superb long ball, but the Spaniard sliced high and wide.
David De Gea easily saved weak efforts from Wayne Routledge and Michu, but United halted the hosts' building momentum as they took the lead.

Wayne Rooney had already warmed Michel Vorm's hands with a stinging drive before Evra put the visitors ahead, arriving to glance a header in off the far post from a Van Persie corner.

But Swansea recovered well from the blow and Jonathan de Guzman had the ball in the net two minutes later, but the effort was ruled out for Michu blocking off Jonny Evans as the midfielder advanced.

All square: Michu scores the equiliser for Swansea

All square: Michu scores the equiliser for Swansea

Levelling up: Michu celebrates making it 1-1 just before the half hour mark

Levelling up: Michu celebrates making it 1-1 just before the half hour mark

The Liberty Stadium faithful were further angered when Phil Jones was given only a yellow card for a clumsy lunge on Ben Davies, although replays suggested referee Michael Oliver had got the decision right.

But it was United who felt they had been victims of an injustice as Michu levelled on the half hour mark.
Evra was caught out by De Guzman's clever run and when De Gea could only parry the Dutchman's angled shot, Michu was on hand to tap in.

Not going to plan: Wayne Rooney , Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick look on after Swansea level the scores

Not going to plan: Wayne Rooney , Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick look on after Swansea level the scores

Sir Alex Ferguson was visibly angered that Van Persie was not awarded a free-kick after he and Chico Flores went to ground following the Spaniard's challenge seconds before the equaliser, and the United boss made his feelings known to referee Oliver at the break.

The goal added an extra bite to Swansea's play and they had the better of the remainder of the opening half.
De Guzman and Routledge were becoming increasingly influential for the hosts and the former should have done better after working his way into the United box on the byline, only to shoot straight at De Gea with several team-mates well placed.

High riser: Patrice Evra heads United into the lead

High riser: Patrice Evra heads United into the lead

Head boy: Patrice Evra watches his header go in the back of the net

Head boy: Patrice Evra watches his header go in the back of the net

Goal rush: Evra celebrates scoring his third goal of the season

Goal rush: Evra celebrates scoring his third goal of the season

But United offered a remainder of their quality in first half stoppage time when Evra easily got past Nathan Dyer and intelligently pulled the ball back to Rooney, but the England forward fired directly at Vorm.

The second half started at a furious pace and there were chances for both sides.

Michu again headed over and De Gea had to stand firm to repel Routledge's close-range strike.

Body on the line: Ashley Williams gets across to block Wayne Rooney's shot

Body on the line: Ashley Williams gets across to block Wayne Rooney's shot

At the other end Ashley Williams made two superb blocks to stop goalbound efforts from Rooney and Ashley Young after Swansea twice surrendered possession cheaply.

United were finally exerting some authority and Van Persie came close to putting them back in front as he cleverly diverted a Rooney cross goalwards, only to see his effort cannon away off the bar.

Substitute Javier Hernandez wasted another presentable chance as he failed to control Van Persie's astute pass and Vorm gratefully held the Mexican's deflected strike.

Looking for his man: Ashley Young prepares to cross the ball

Looking for his man: Ashley Young prepares to cross the ball

Off target: Williams again gets in the way, this time to stop Van Persie

Off target: Williams again gets in the way, this time to stop Van Persie

Protecting the ball: Nathan Dyer fends off the challenge of Evra

Protecting the ball: Nathan Dyer fends off the challenge of Evra

Worse was to follow for United when Rooney dispossessed Chico Flores but allowed the defender to get back and intercept a slack pass which should have given Hernandez an easy finish, much to the fury of his manager.

Tempers flared as United frustrations grew. Van Persie was struck on the head by a Williams clearance after being brought down on the edge of the box leading to some pushing and shoving and a booking apiece for the central protagonists.

Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie

Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie

Pulled apart: Williams and Van Persie had to be separated by their team-mates

Pulled apart: Williams and Van Persie had to be separated by their team-mates

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

Swansea were by now under incessant pressure.

Vorm tipped a Carrick header against the bar while Van Persie and Young were denied by blocks from Williams and Davies, although there was a suspicion of handball about the latter, as Swansea held out.

Sir Alex scouts 15m-rated Benfica defender Garay

Sir Alex scouts 15m-rated Benfica defender Garay

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 21 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has sent scouts to watch 15million-rated Argentinian defender Ezequiel Garay play for Portuguese club Benfica.

Formerly of Real Madrid, Garay has to be sold by Benfica next summer since they are struggling to pay his wages.

Garay has 11 caps for his country and has also been tracked by Juventus.

Heads up: Sir Alex has sent scouts to watch Garay in recent matches

Heads up: Sir Alex has sent scouts to watch Garay in recent matches

Sir Alex has had to field a patched-up defence this season following Nemanja Vidic's lengthy absence and Rio Ferdinand has also been prone to injury in recent years.

He struggled to land a permanent place under Jose Mourinho, but has been impressive after moving to Portugal.

Real are also entitled to half of whatever fee he is sold for.

Case for the defence: Garay has been in action in the Champions League with Benfica

Case for the defence: Garay (left) has been in action in the Champions League with Benfica

Manchester United 3 Sunderland 1 match report: Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley, Wayne Rooney score goals

Manchester United 3 Sunderland 1: No slip up as Van Persie inspires Old Trafford stroll

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UPDATED:

17:02 GMT, 15 December 2012

Robin van Persie's 15th goal of the season ensured Manchester United will spend Christmas Day on top of the Premier League tree as the Red Devils eased past Sunderland.

Tom Cleverley's first league goal at Old Trafford and Wayne Rooney's fifth in four games were enough to keep United six points clear of neighbours City, with Frazier Campbell's header against his old club scant consolation for the Wearsiders, who remain deep in relegation trouble.

Yet perhaps the most significant moment of the entire game came with Nemanja Vidic's introduction midway through the second-half.

The main man: Robin van Persie enjoyed another fruitful afternoon in a Manchester United shirt, opening the scoring after 16 minutes with a cool finish (below)

The main man: Robin van Persie enjoyed another fruitful afternoon in a Manchester United shirt, opening the scoring after 16 minutes with a cool finish (below)

On target: Van Persie converts

Match facts

Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand (Vidic 68), Evra, Valencia, Carrick (Scholes 46), Cleverley (Giggs 73), Young, Rooney, Van Persie. Subs not used: Lindegaard, Hernandez, Welbeck, Fletcher.

Goals: Van Persie 16, Cleverley 19, Rooney 59.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Cuellar, Colback (McFadden 85), O'Shea, Bramble, Larsson, Gardner, Johnson (Campbell 68), McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher (Wickham 46). Subs not used: Westwood, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Saha.

Goal: Campbell 72.

Referee: Chris Foy.

Attendance: 75,582.

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Plagued by injuries since August
2011, Vidic's absence during last season's run-in contributed to
United's defensive wobbles and the Serbian is viewed as the main way of
plugging the leaks that have been so obvious for a side who have still
only kept three clean sheets all season.

Not for the first time, Sir Alex
Ferguson used the build-up to offer support to an under-fire colleague,
only for his team to dismantle them 24 hours later.

In ridiculing those who questioned
Martin O'Neill's credentials, Ferguson was ignoring statistics that
showed the Black Cats had won just twice in the Premier League this
season, both on home soil against teams – Wigan and Reading – that are
alongside them in the mire.

Within 20 minutes here, it had become apparent this was not going to be number three.

Ferguson had insisted those cheeky
celebrations by Sunderland fans when the title was snatched away from
their last-day visitors in May would play no part in the outcome.

Fine effort: Tom Cleverley curls his effort past helpless Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet

Slick finish: Tom Cleverley curls his effort past helpless Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet

Nevertheless, there was a sense of purpose about United's start which has rarely been matched this season.

Patrice Evra had already wasted one
excellent opportunity when Ashley Young wriggled away from Carlos
Cuellar close to the dead-ball line, then cut a cross back which Van
Persie finished expertly.

Scoring streak: Wayne Rooney netted his fifth goal in three Premier League games

Scoring streak: Wayne Rooney netted his fifth goal in three Premier League games

Yet the goal also needed significant
assistance from John O'Shea, who got himself into a muddle as he tried
to clear Young's cross, which allowed Van Persie to profit.

Given Wes Brown's own-goal was the
difference in last season's corresponding fixture, Sunderland's
ex-United contingent have not had the happiest of returns to old haunts.

Rising high: Fraizer Campbell nods home against his former club to hit Sunderland's consolation goal

Rising high: Fraizer Campbell nods home against his former club to hit Sunderland's consolation goal

Within three minutes, the hosts had their second.

If Cleverley wants to assume the Paul Scholes mantle, he needs to start finding the net more consistently.

Back in action: Nemanja Vidic made a welcome return to the heart of Manchester United's defence - but the Serb could not prevent Campbell's consolation strike

Back in action: Nemanja Vidic made a welcome return to the heart of Manchester United's defence – but the Serb could not prevent Campbell's consolation strike

And after two goals against Newcastle
earlier in the campaign, the England man finally got his first in the
Premier League at Old Trafford.

It was a gem too as Cleverley
exchanged passes with Michael Carrick before drilling an excellent
effort past Simon Mignolet from 12 yards.

Knockout: Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet and Titus Bramble struggle to contain Patrice Evra

Knockout: Mignolet and Titus Bramble struggle to contain Patrice Evra

With United scenting blood, Wayne Rooney wasted a glorious chance when he volleyed wide from Van Persie's knock-down.

The England striker then steered a near-post header wide from Evra's cross as the Red Devils threatened to run riot.

Close control: Van Persie receives a pass at Old Trafford

Close control: Van Persie receives a pass at Old Trafford

Half-time was approaching before
Sunderland carved out their first meaningful opportunity, which Stephane
Sessegnon struck Evra with before it flew over.

The interval introduction of Conor
Wickham for the injured Steven Fletcher did trigger a flurry of activity
around the United goal as David de Gea denied Craig Gardner and
Sessegnon.

Yet the clear chances kept falling to the hosts.

Held up: John O'Shea (second right) battles with Van Persie as Phil Jones gets stuck in

Outnumbered: John O'Shea (second right) battles with Van Persie as Phil Jones gets stuck in

Rooney's shot rattled the bar after flicking off Titus Bramble, with Young blazing the rebound over.

Then, given the number of goals he
has scored so far this season, came the somewhat surprising sight of Van
Persie lobbing wide after Young had sent the Dutchman running clear of
an over-stretched Sunderland defence.

Missed opportunity: Rooney reflects on one that got away

Missed opportunity: Rooney reflects on one that got away

There was little argument to be made
for a Black Cats comeback and any pretence was ended just before the
hour when an unselfish overlapping run by Van Persie was followed by a
deft piece of skill that took him between Cuellar and Bramble before he
set up Rooney, who tapped home from close range.

With victory assured, Ferguson felt sufficiently confident about easing Vidic back into the fray.

Long afternoon: Martin O'Neill looks on as his side were outclassed at Old Trafford

Long afternoon: Martin O'Neill looks on as his side were outclassed at Old Trafford

After only 13 appearances in a
16-month period that included a calf injury and two lots of knee
surgery, the 31-year-old desperately needs to stay injury free in order
to rediscover his old form.

Evidently, Vidic has plenty of work
in front of him too judging by the uncharacteristic mistake that
eventually led to United old-boy Campbell heading home from close range.

Nemanja Vidic set for Manchester United return

Vidic makes timely return as Man United defender in running to face Cluj and City

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UPDATED:

13:59 GMT, 4 December 2012

Nemanja Vidic took another step towards making his Manchester United comeback in Wednesday's Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj when he took part in Tuesday''s training session at Carrington.

The Serbian has been absent since undergoing knee surgery in September and has played only 15 matches since the start of last season.

Ready for action: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic with manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Ready for action: Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic with manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Man Utd Vidic talks to Ferguson during training at Carrington

Man Utd Vidic talks to Ferguson during training at Carrington

But it is anticipated the 31-year-old
will return as captain, which could put him in line to face Manchester
City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The only unexpected absentee was Jonny Evans, although no reason was given for the Northern Irishman's failure to train.

Midfielder Anderson, who injured his
hamstring in the 4-3 win at Reading on Saturday, was missing, as was
Antonio Valencia, who has a hip problem Sir Alex Ferguson hopes will
ease in time for Sunday's Manchester derby, which United go into three
points ahead of the champions.

While the game is a dead rubber for
the Red Devils, whose status as Group H winners is already assured, it
could be of huge significance to Cluj. The Romanian champions need to
better Galatasaray's result against Braga to reach the last 16.

Boost: Vidic could be in line for derby if he comes through Champions League tie

Boost: Vidic could be in line for derby if he comes through Champions League tie

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training

On the ball: Rio Ferdinand in the thick of the action during training