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BBC Five Live's David Oates
reports from Old Trafford
 real 14k

Man Utd boss Alex Ferguson
"The overall performance wasn't as fluent as I would like"
 real 14k

Saturday, 9 September, 2000, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Scholes sinks Sunderland
Paul Scholes
Scholes leaps above Sunderland defence to score
Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland

Manchester United followed up their 6-0 demolition of Bradford in mid-week with a victory over struggling Sunderland, thanks to an impressive double from Paul Scholes.

The Black Cats continue to disappoint this season but they battled hard, and United will be thankful they were able to capitalise on one of their chances after dominating the initial proceedings.

The Red Devils were almost celebrating in the opening minute after David Beckham swung in a cross for Teddy Sheringham but the revitalised striker headed just over the bar.

Ryan Giggs was in scintillating form on the left wing and after eight minutes a dipping shot over the crossbar from Nicky Butt was just inches away from doubling the lead.

"He has had to come off with an Achilles injury. I think that while the grounds are firm like this, it's going to be a problem for him. We took him off as a precaution to try and protect him for Wednesday.
  Sir Alex Ferguson on Jaap Stam's injury scare
Cole also came close on 12 minutes but two minutes later United took a deserved lead.

Beckham received the ball from Scholes after a sweeping move and crossed the ball invitingly into the six yard box.

The unmarked Scholes was able to complete the fine movement he started and leapt above the static Sunderland defence to head beyond the helpless Jurgen Macho.

The goal seemed to have quite a sobering effect on all areas in front of goal because the remainder of the half degenerated into a fiery battle in midfield.

Teddy Sheringham
Sheringham continues his fine form

Both sets of players fought for every loose ball and although Scholes hit the post on the half-hour and Andy Cole should have done better with a lob, United seemed content to sit back on their slender lead.

The second half began in much the same fashion as the first with United pushing forward strongly.

Bundled over

United had an excellent chance on the hour after Cole was bundled over just outside the penalty box.

Beckham's free-kick was moved to just seven yards from goal after the Sunderland defenders were punished for arguing with the official but the ball was deflected tamely wide.

We are missing some players through injury, but it's not an excuse and we need to improve, and I'm sure we will
  Sunderland manager Peter Reid
Sunderland had to push for an equaliser and they had a glorious chance when Niall Quinn flicked on Emerson Thome's header but were only denied by a fine save by Fabien Barthez.

United finally grabbed the important second goal on 76 minutes with a composed toe-poke from Sheringham. On this performance his manager's cries for England re-selection may not be too unrealistic.

The home side's possession in the final 15 minutes was emphatic, and Scholes added a wonderful third from 30 yards with eight minutes remaining.

United stuttered at times but they march on and now sit at the top of the Premiership.

Man Utd: Barthez, G. Neville, Silvestre, Johnsen, Stam, Beckham, Butt, Scholes, Cole, Sheringham, Giggs. Subs: Van Der Gouw, P. Neville, Wallwork, Solskjaer, Irwin.

Sunderland: Macho, Makin, Gray, Hutchison, Craddock, Thome, Quinn, Holloway, Arca, Phillips, Kilbane. Subs: Marriott, Oster, Dichio, Williams, Roy.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe)

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See also:

09 Sep 00 |  Eng Prem
Chelsea hold Newcastle at bay
09 Sep 00 |  Eng Prem
Liverpool v Manchester City
09 Sep 00 |  Eng Prem
Bradford v Arsenal
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