English Premiership

Giggs suffers first loss

2014-05-03 18:49
Ryan Giggs (AP Photo)

Manchester - Sunderland took a huge step toward staying in the Premier League by handing Ryan Giggs the first defeat of his reign as interim Manchester United manager on Saturday.

Sebastian Larsson took advantage of some slack marking to fire home Connor Wickham's cross in the 30th minute as Sunderland recorded its first win at Old Trafford since 1968.

Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini both struck the woodwork in the second half and Gus Poyet's team looked comfortable in possession all afternoon.

United was flat in midfield, Javier Hernandez went missing up front, and even the return of Robin van Persie from the bench could not inspire the Red Devils to victory.

Many United fans want Giggs to be the club's next manager but this result is likely to reinforce the wisdom of the board's apparent decision to turn to the more experienced Louis van Gaal, who is set to be appointed as David Moyes' successor next week.

United's defeat also highlighted the need for reinforcements this summer, particularly in midfield, where Nani, Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick failed to impress.

It was all smiles for the home fans just before kickoff when Giggs received another huge welcome as he strolled down the touchline to his seat in the dugout. But just as they did in last week's 4-0 win over Norwich, United started very slowly.

Ashley Young, one of five changes to a starting eleven that did not contain the injured Wayne Rooney, dazzled Marcos Alonso with his skill, but his final ball was poor.

The only time United came close to scoring in the opening 15 minutes was when John O'Shea nearly turned the ball into his own net from Carrick's cross.

Another United old boy — Wes Brown — then put a crucial block in to deny Nani, who then picked himself up before curling over from 20 yards. Patrice Evra bundled his way through the crowd, but his weak header was easily collected by Vito Mannone.

Sunderland went ahead when Fletcher inexplicably allowed Wickham to send over a cross which Larsson expertly finished after giving Carrick the slip.

United was just as flat and unimaginative until the break, with Juan Mata the only man to test Mannone courtesy of a low drive.

Soon after the restart the United fans started voicing their frustration as the home team passed the ball across midfield without, seemingly devoid of any idea how to pierce the Sunderland back four.

Giggs replaced Nani with Adnan Januzaj, who scored two goals in the reverse fixture.

Then Van Persie entered, along with Danny Welbeck, for his first game in more than six weeks.

Tottenham's defeat against West Ham earlier Saturday had opened the door for United to claim the sixth spot and a Europa League place. The loss means United still trails Tottenham by six points while Sunderland climbs out of the relegation zone.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Go to Holland, Rivaldo: Fans

2014-11-24 14:57

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
16 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
Fixtures
24 November 2014
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 22:00
29 November 2014
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal, The Hawthorns 14:45
Liverpool v Stoke City, Anfield 17:00
West Ham United v Newcastle United, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Swansea City v Crystal Palace, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v Leicester City, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Hull City, Old Trafford 17:00
Burnley v Aston Villa, Turf Moor 17:00
Sunderland v Chelsea, Stadium of Light 19:30
30 November 2014
Southampton v Manchester City, St. Mary's Stadium 15:30
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, White Hart Lane 18:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.