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Published: 14:49 | 13/2/16

Kone gives Sunderland win over Man United

Late goal damages visitors' Champions League hopes

Sunderland gave their Premier League survival hopes a much-needed boost by deservedly beating Manchester United 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.

Wahbi Khazri put Sam Allardyce’s side ahead after just three minutes with a free-kick which fooled everyone including David de Gea in the Utd goal.

Anthony Martial levelled after a delightful chip from close range over Vito Mannone, who should have done better to push Juan Mata's shot away from danger.

Louis Van Gaal’s side were uninspired in general, delivering a flat display and they lost late on when Lamine Kone's towering header from Khazri's corner went in via a deflection off keeper David de Gea.

The Mackems move up to 18th spot, only one point from safety, while Utd remain six points off a Champions League place having played a game more than their rivals.

Sunderland had a dream start, Khazri’s whipped free-kick eluding everyone including de Gea before nestling in the bottom corner of the net to give them the lead.

They almost doubled their lead on 11 minutes when Patrick Van Aanholt did brilliantly to win the ball back from Matteo Darmian before feeding Jermain Defoe who was ready to pull the trigger until Chris Smalling put him off and made the striker miss his kick, the chance going abegging.

It took until after the half-hour mark for Utd to have their first shot on goal, Juan Mata doing well to shoot from Wayne Rooney’s pass first time but his effort was straight at Vito Mannone.

On 39 minutes the visitors were level; Mata curler from the edge of the area was saved by Mannone but the ball dropped to Martial who from an acute angle applied a perfect chipped finish.

Minutes after the break Defoe had another great opportunity to score, Van Aanholt again crossing from the left side and the ball arrived at the feet of Defoe who flicked it goalwards but Daley Blind did superbly to divert the ball past the post for a corner kick.

Sunderland continued to threaten and on 61 minutes the debutant Dame N’Doye was sent clear with only the keeper to beat but de Gea stuck out a leg which knocked the ball away from danger.

Utd continued to look dangerous on the occasions when they got close to the Sunderland goal, Jack Rodwell making a vital block on Mata’s goalbound shot.

However, it was the hosts who made the vital breakthrough, Kone powerfully heading home a corner from the edge of the six-yard box.

Van Gaal brought on Will Keane in an attempt to find a second equaliser but despite some late pressure Sunderland held on for a crucial win which they hope will kickstart another successful fight against relegation.

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