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Manchester United U23s 0-2 Sunderland U23s - Kirchhoff & Larsson Score To Sink Red Devils

Sunderland won away at Manchester United U23s this evening, with two returning first-team midfielders getting on the score sheet. Here's our report and player ratings - give it a read!

Sunderland v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

A goal in either half from Sebastian Larsson and Jan Kirchhoff gave Sunderland U23s all three points against Nicky Butt's Manchester United at Leigh Sports Village this evening.

Both Larsson and Kirchhoff completed ninety minutes of football whilst managing to get themselves on the scoresheet, much to the delight of David Moyes who was watching on from the stands.

Sunderland's side also featured Mika Domingues and Lynden Gooch, with the young American starting the game in the lone striker role up front.

The early stages of the game were largely dull and slow in truth - Sunderland seemed relatively happy to allow Manchester United possession of the ball, with plenty of pressing and harrying coming from the likes of George Honeyman and Sebastian Larsson.

And it was from Larsson that Sunderland had their first decent chance of the game - in the thirteenth minute, the Swede smashed a strike over the crossbar from just outside of the area, and perhaps should have done better.

In the 16th minute Sunderland should have been one up - an excellent interception by Jan Kirchhoff led to him feeding in Lynden Gooch, whose strike beat the goalkeeper but whistled just wide of the post.

In the 29th minute Mika made an excellent save to deny Regan Poole an almost certain goal from close range.

Sunderland seemed to stroll through the first half but found a break through just before half-time when, after a number of shots deflected away from goal, Sebastian Larsson's tame left footed effort deflected off Tuanzebe and into the Manchester United net.

The second half started much like the first, with Manchester United mainly in possession.

In the 55th minute Larsson collected a yellow card for moaning at the referee - nothing much has changed there, then.

Sunderland doubled their lead in the 61st minute and did so in style. With Rees Greenwood in space on the right hand side of the box he pulled it back and found Jan Kirchhoff, who finished well to put his side two-up on his first game back after his return from injury. It was just such a simple, tidy finish - the type of play we've come to expect from the efficient and elegant German midfielder.

In the 65th minute Sunderland were denied a stone-wall penalty. Seb Larsson played a delighful through ball to put Lynden Gooch through one on one with the goalkeeper and as he went round O'Hara he was brought down, but the referee waved away his appeals. In truth the referee was biased towards the home side all night and Sunderland never got a thing from him, so it came as no surprise when he decided against awarding us the decision.

Straight after Gooch was in amongst it again, battering a thunderbolt towards goal which was turned over by O'Hara in the United net. With Sunderland now two ahead they were attempting to turn the screw and kill off their opposition in clinical fashion.

Manchester United had their own penalty claim waved away late in the game when Dante Redmond was brought down in the Sunderland area, and whilst the appeals for it were strong it would have been a soft decision had it been given.

But Sunderland held out and manage to win the game in a professional manner - and with the first-team trio of Gooch, Larsson and Kirchhoff all playing well, David Moyes will have been more than happy with what he saw.

Player Ratings

Mika Domingues - 7

Mika had a fairly quiet evening - the one shot that he did have to save, in the first half from Regan Poole, was top class. I was glad to see him get another run out - his playing time here will almost certainly be sparse will him now third in the pecking order.

Thomas Robson - 7

Much like on Friday evening he was defensively sound and very tidy when in possession. Another good showing from the left back.

Michael Ledger - 6

Dealt with Redmond comfortably throughout and was rarely troubled in the air.

George Brady - 6

Like Ledger he was tidy, and did his job with ease.

Josh Robson - 6

Josh was a little sloppy at times in the first half but got better as the game wore on - went off late with a nasty looking injury, so hopefully he's ok.

Sebastian Larsson - 8 (Man Of The Match)

Absolutely brilliant and looked fit enough to be starting games in the Premier League. Harried and hassled the Manchester United midfield constantly, managed to get a goal and completed the full game. All in all it was a good run out for the Swede.

Jan Kirchhoff - 7

Jan seemed content with just getting the minutes under his belt and didn't push himself too much, but it was really important that he completed the game and he did just that. Took his goal superbly too and didn't look like he had missed a step.

George Honeyman - 7

Typical Honeyman performance really - very tidy and industrious.

Ethan Robson - 6

Got through the game quietly. Will have benefited from playing alongside two first team players in the midfield.

Rees Greenwood - 7

Much better display than on Friday and got himself a good assist when he set up Kirchhoff brilliantly for our second.

Lynden Gooch - 7

Played in an unfamiliar striker role and did very well. Should have had a penalty - it was an absolute stone-waller and I have no idea how the referee missed it.

Subs: Maja (for Gooch), Casey (for J Robson), Molyneux (for Greenwood), Stryjek, Asoro.

Manchester United: O'Hara, Williams, Tuanzebe, Poole, El Fitouri, Goss, Kehinde, Willock, McTominay, Harrop, Redmond.

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