Man Utd 3-1 Sunderland: Jose Mourinho's side breeze to fourth straight Premier League win
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 26/12/16 9:10pm
A stunning finish from Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the highlight as Manchester United beat Sunderland 3-1 in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
The Armenian, a second-half substitute, improvised superbly to flick home Zlatan Ibrahimovic's cross with his heel, although he was standing in an offside position.
Daley Blind had given United a first-half lead with his first goal since January, finishing into the bottom corner from inside the area after Ibrahimovic's neat assist.
Ibrahimovic scored United's second on 81 minutes, turning home after being put through on goal by Paul Pogba, before Mkhitaryan's world class finish with four minutes left.
Fabio Borini volleyed home a stunning consolation for Sunderland from 25 yards, but the result means the hosts have now won four Premier League games on the trot, while the Black Cats are 18th, a point off safety.
Wayne Rooney was left out of the United squad through injury, while Blind started at the expense of Matteo Darmian.
Pogba forced an early save out of Jordan Pickford before David de Gea did well to beat away Patrick van Aanholt's free-kick from just outside the box.
Pogba then hit the post as his curling effort deflected off the boot of Seb Larsson, while at the other end Sunderland nearly took the lead themselves, seeing De Gea block Victor Anichebe's close-range effort on the turn.
United midfielder Pogba had another first-half effort go agonisingly close, this time through a half-volley that flew inches over Pickford's bar, but the hosts finally took the lead after 39 minutes.
Breaking into the area from his defensive position, Blind fired superbly into the bottom corner from 15 yards after Ibrahimovic had fed him for his first United assist.
Pogba went close again before the break but was denied by Pickford again after his creative flick and volley in the box, while Juan Mata saw his free-kick beat away by the promising young goalkeeper in injury time.
After the break, France international Pogba headed narrowly over, before Pickford saved superbly from Ibrahimovic after he was put through on goal by Mkhitaryan.
Ibrahimovic got his goal with nine minutes remaining, sticking the ball beyond Pickford after being played in by Pogba, who had robbed the ball from Sunderland in midfield.
Mkhitaryan then produced his goal of the season contender, although he was a yard offside from Ibrahimovic's ball from the right. With the cross slightly behind him, the former Borussia Dortmund forward improvised to send the ball into the far corner with a flick of the right boot.
There was time for Sunderland to grab a superb consolation through Borini, who chested and volleyed into the top left corner past De Gea from 25 yards.
Man Utd: De Gea (6), Valencia (7), Jones (7), Rojo (6), Blind (7), Carrick (7), Herrera (6), Pogba (7), Mata (6), Lingard (6), Ibrahimovic (7)
Subs: Mkihitaryan (7), Martial (6), Fellaini (NA)
Sunderland: Pickford (7), Jones (5), Van Aanholt (5), Djilobodji (5), Kone (6), Denayer (5), Ndong (5), Borini (5), Larsson (5), Anichebe (6), Defoe (5)
Subs: Love (NA), Khazri (NA)
Man of the match: Zlatan Ibrahimovic