Manchester United 2-0 Sunderland [Video Highlights]

Wayne Rooney scored twice as Manchester United defeated Sunderland, 2-0, to maintain their challenge for a place in the top four of the Premier League.

The two sides played out a tepid first half that saw the score remain goalless at half-time despite United having almost 72percent of possession. Adnan Januzaj came on in place of Angel Di Maria at half-time in a move that will only serve to increase speculation about the Argentine’s future at Old Trafford.

Manchester United went in front on 66 minutes when two former United players, John O’Shea and Wes Brown, combined to bundle over Radamel Falcao in the box. Brown saw red for his troubles, though O’Shea was perhaps more culpable. Rooney stepped up to score from the penalty spot to give United the lead.

The England skipper wrapped up the points with six minutes to go when Januzaj’s shot was parried by Black Cats keeper Pantilimon and Rooney was on hand to head home.

The result puts United up to third place in the Premier League with fourth-placed Arsenal set to play Everton at the Emirates on Sunday.