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On This Day (11 December 1926): Sunderland hit the Red Devils with six of the best

Up until December 2021, Sunderland had been the only top-flight club to score two or more goals in 17 consecutive games. A remarkable feat, only just surpassed last week by Liverpool, the sequence included an eye-catching victory over Manchester United 95 years ago today.   

After finishing third the season before, Bob Kyle’s men were once again expected to challenge for the league title in 1926-27.

Those predictions seemed well-founded when a five-game winning run at the start of autumn put Sunderland top of Division One, and whilst a couple of heavy losses were suffered in the weeks following the side remained in good shape overall.

The visit of Manchester United on this date in 1926 further emphasised Sunderland’s credentials.

After a tight first half had ended goalless the hosts cut loose after the break and hit six goals without reply to well and truly entertain the Roker Park crowd.

Bobby Gurney and Billy Clunas both got on the scoresheet during the rout, but the real man of the moment was Dave Halliday, who bagged the other four goals on what was his 25th birthday.

Bobby Gurney got the second goal of the 6-0 win over United on this day. Photo taken from Sunderland AFC - The Official History

The match was the seventh game of Sunderland’s record scoring run, which didn’t end until a 4-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in February.

The goals soon started flowing again after that however, and whilst the title challenge did eventually come up short, the Black Cats did have the consolation of finishing the campaign as the highest scorers in the division.

The victory over United wasn’t the only big win Sunderland achieved during the season.

Earlier on they had beaten Burnley 7-1 and during the run-in they overcame both Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers 6-2.

Ironically, they did finish with a 0-0 draw at Manchester United, but there were no such problems for Liverpool in 2021, when they visited Old Trafford and won 5-0 en route to breaking a record that had been held by the Lads for nearly a century.

Billy Clunes, as seen in All the Lads, who scored from the penalty spot


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