Juan Mata handed Manchester United their first lead of the Premier League term, but it wouldn’t last long. Coming off a shocking loss to Swansea last week, United looked to bounce back but wound up in a 1-1 draw with Sunderland Sunday at Stadium of Light.
As news of Angel Di Maria’s transfer to Old Trafford bustled about the rest of the league, and likely provided some relief to supporters worried over manager Louis van Gaal’s lack of success this summer, Mata would hand the Red Devils the lead in the 17th minute, but Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell submitted a stunner soon after in the 30th to cap the day's scoring.
Neither side could generate many serious threats, both coming up with three shots on goal and four corner kicks. United keepers David De Gea and counterpart Vito Mannone also came up with two saves.
Mata’s first strike of the season came off a crafty low through ball slung by Antonio Valencia, who easily slipped past Sunderland’s Patrick Van Aanholt to create the space and lead in the 17th.
Sadly for United the advantage was short-lived, thanks to Rodwell and midfielder Sebastian Larsson. After United’s Tom Cleverly conceded a corner, Larsson fired his cross to an unmanned Rodwell for the direct header and the eventual draw.
Mata nearly provided some heroics in the 70th with a cross to midfielder Michael Keane, who came on before the end of the first half for Chris Smalling. Mata’s cross was very well placed and so was Keane’s header, but Mannone notched his second save of the day.