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Sunderland

Black Cats seek Cup inspiration

Sunderland
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Chelsea closer to Premier League title, but are Everton in a relegation scrap?

Manchester United grab another three points, while Aston Villa break their losing streak with a vital extra-time winner.
A full slate of midweek fixtures saw Tim Sherwood lead Villa to victory, an apologetic Ben Foster and a water bottle showdown between Gus Poyet and Steve Bruce.
The ESPN FC panel discuss why Chelsea have been able to maintain their lead atop the Premier League as they held on for a 1-nil victory over West Ham.

It's time to run the rule over the Heroes and Villains of matchday 28 in the Premier League, as there were plenty of exciting midweek fixtures.

HEROES

Twice, Jonas Gutierrez has been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Twice, he has beaten it. To fight that battle with courage and dignity, whether that battle is won or lost, is an achievement that outstrips any of the trivialities this column covers from week to week. To fight it twice, to beat it twice and to return to one of the world's most demanding...

Sunderland lack creativity but still earn point at Hull

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Jack Rodwell goal (77') Hull City 1-1 Sunderland

Any Sunderland supporter asked for a view of Gus Poyet's starting XI at Hull City would have bemoaned a formation offering no width or pace, given that the home side had both.

Indeed, many did express the view, on social media and in the stadium. Their fears were justified as Hull charged forward down both flanks. The remedy, when it came, gave Sunderland what they had lacked for an hour and Poyet was able to claw a point from a game that had looked, for long spells, beyond his team.

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No one...

Sunderland face relegation reality despite Man Utd red card controversy

Wayne Rooney produced both goals in Manchester United's victory over Sunderland to earn player of the week honours.
Manchester United boss Louis Van Gaal has defended under-fire record signing Angel Di Maria, after a series of ineffectual performances from the Argentine midfielder.
Wayne Rooney's brace saved Manchester United from what could have been a defeat against 10-man Sunderland.
Wayne Rooney's brace saved Manchester United from what could have been a defeat against 10-man Sunderland.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno recaps Manchester United's sloppy victory against Sunderland highlighted by Wayne Rooney's brace.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was pleased with his team's performance in the second half.

We'll get to the bizarre decision-making of referee Roger East but the more important thing to say about Sunderland's defeat at Old Trafford is that Gus Poyet's side are lucky not to have slid deeper into relegation trouble.

Saturday's consolation was that Aston Villa, Hull City and Burnley all lost, too, but Poyet cannot rely on other strugglers and has serious problems to address.

In truth, East's blunder, which saw him appear to incorrectly send off Wes Brown instead of John O'Shea (although the...

Rooney double inspires Manchester United to victory over Sunderland

Wayne Rooney's brace saved Manchester United from what could have been a defeat against 10-man Sunderland.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno recaps Manchester United's sloppy victory against Sunderland highlighted by Wayne Rooney's brace.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal was pleased with his team's performance in the second half.

MANCHESTER, England -- Three thoughts on Manchester United's 2-0 win vs. Sunderland in the Premier League.

1. United labour to another win

It was yet another day when all would seem perfect at Manchester United if you looked just at the result and avoided the actual performance. There remains this deep disconnect between the two, as well as the feeling that it has to snap at some point.

At the same time, it is to their huge credit that they keep persevering, keep going and keep staying in those Champions...

Sunderland hope to repeat last season's success vs. Man United

Sunderland will need their veteran Jermain Defoe to get back to scoring goals if they want another upset vs. Manchester United. The striker hasn't scored in Sunderland's past two matches.

A glimpse into the mind of Sunderland boss Gus Poyet requires no extraordinary powers as he leads his team across the Pennines mountains to face Manchester United on Saturday.

He wants the same result as last season, a 1-0 win that took Sunderland's great escape to the brink of accomplishment. The victory also ended the brief honeymoon spell of Ryan Giggs, United's interim manager after the dismissal of David Moyes.

When Sebastian Larsson's 30th-minute strike proved the winner, it was the culmination...

Sunderland show spirit but left with predicable result

Lee Cattermole and Sunderland had to settle for their 13th draw of the season in Saturday's 0-0 final versus West Brom.
Lee Cattermole and Sunderland had to settle for their 13th draw of the season in Saturday's 0-0 final versus West Brom.

In his warm and entirely reasonable open letter to Sunderland supporters this week, manager Gus Poyet accepted the lion's share of responsibility for poor team results.

But whatever his own shortcomings, he can surely point an accusing finger at his players when looking back on another dreary 0-0 draw for his side at home against West Brom.

As I argued here a few days ago, Sunderland have entered that depressingly familiar phase of most seasons when, with relegation looming, they must regard...