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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Winning start for rookie Keane

Sunderland demonstrated the fighting spirit their new manager has based his career upon as Roy Keane celebrated a winning start to his career as boss of the Black Cats.

One-nil down at half-time at Derby, Sunderland turned the match around in the second half at Pride Park and secured a first away victory of the season thanks to two goals in three minutes.

Their last away trip resulted in Carling Cup humiliation at Bury, but after going behind just before half-time to Matt Oakley's volley today, Chris Brown and Ross Wallace replied for Sunderland.

Former Manchester United captain Keane could be satisfied not only with the three points, but the fact former Celtic midfielder Wallace was one of his six transfer deadline day signings.

Sunderland remain in the bottom half of the table, but the top is so congested that it may not be long before they enter the promotion frame.

The top three teams before kick-off all lost - Cardiff, Norwich and Crystal Palace.

Cardiff remain as leaders with 13 points from six games, but only on goal difference from Birmingham having been beaten 2-1 at Preston.

Cardiff's Glenn Loovens and Preston's David Nugent were both sent off in a goalless first half, before Patrick Agyemang put the home side in front three minutes after the interval.

Former Newcastle striker Michael Chopra equalised after 51 minutes for the Bluebirds, however one-time Manchester United prospect Danny Pugh headed home the decisive goal in the 65th minute.

Norwich were swept aside at Coventry, losing 3-0 as Chris Birchall, Kevin Kyle and Stern John plundered the goals.

Faltering Palace slipped up 2-1 at Luton, going behind to strikes from Carlos Edwards and Rowan Vine before James Scowcroft fired home a late penalty consolation.

Birmingham leapt two places to second after beating Hull 2-1 at St Andrews.

DJ Campbell's sharp finish put Birmingham ahead after 16 minutes and on-loan Arsenal player Nicolas Bendtner extended their lead in the 53rd minute.

David Livermore struck for Hull in the 67th minute, however the Tigers could not find an equaliser and striker Jon Parkin - a substitute - was sent off in the 90th minute.

West Brom crept up to third after finally wearing down Leicester at The Hawthorns, winning 2-0.

Leicester defender Darren Kenton gifted West Brom the lead after 83 minutes when he headed Nigel Quashie's cross past Paul Henderson, and a Kevin Phillips penalty three minutes later confirmed the outcome.

Colchester stunned Burnley at Turf Moor, where a goal on the counter-attack from Kevin Watson and Chris Iwelumo's penalty gave the visitors a 2-0 lead. Andy Gray pulled one back two minutes from time.

Ipswich came from behind to sink Southampton - and former boss George Burley - 2-1 at Portman Road.

Kenwyne Jones gave Saints a third-minute lead, but on-loan midfielder Simon Walton pulled Ipswich level from the spot after 67 minutes and Billy Clarke headed a winning goal from Mark Noble's cross 11 minutes later.

Southend versus Sheffield Wednesday finished goalless, while Plymouth were held 1-1 at home by QPR - Dexter Blackstock and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake the scorers - and Barnsley came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Stoke at Oakwell.

Clint Hill and Luke Chadwick struck early on, before Tommy Wright and Paul Hayes hauled Barnsley back level.