Man Utd v SAFC

O'Neill on United loss

by Kate Smith

Boss reflects on Old Trafford defeat.

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill watched his side suffer a 3-1 reverse at the hands of Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Two United goals in a three minute spell inside the first 20 minutes left the visitors with an uphill battle and the Black Cats boss conceded: “Coming to Old Trafford can sometimes be daunting and I think we gave a very good side a little bit too much respect early on in the game.”

Robin van Persie opened the scoring for United just after the first quarter, before Tom Cleverley netted their second moments later.

“Their first goal was a mistake on our part and we probably should have dealt with it better,” the manager continued.

“At that point it could have got a little bit more frenetic.”

However, O’Neill was buoyed by his side’s display after the break.

“It was a really spirited performance in the second half," he said. “We improved and created some very good chances.

“It could have made for a really interesting finish, but we were unable to put them away."

Fraizer Campbell grabbed a late consolation goal for Sunderland after some tenacious play from Stephane Sessegnon. However, the visitors were unable to go on and take anything from the game. 

“[Stephane] Sessegnon helped us get our goal back but we were unable to reduce the deficit any further, which was naturally disappointing with the chances we had," O'Neill added.

“We can take a lot of heart from the second-half performance.

“There are a lot of big games coming up and they’re going to be important for us.”