Sunderland 2 Manchester United 1: Ellis Short watches new recruits excel plus five other things learned from win

Sunderland's first home win against Manchester United in the league since March 1997, could not have come at a better time.

Sunday, 14th February 2016, 9:59 am
Updated Sunday, 14th February 2016, 10:10 am
Wahbi Khazri on his way to beating three Manchester United players

The deserved 2-1 victory at the Stadium of Light has pulled the Black Cats to within a point of safety ahead of their mid-season warm-weather training camp in Dubai.

And with the side having now picked up four points against Liverpool and Man United in the last two games, Sam Allardyce's squad can enjoy a deserved break from league action.

John O'Shea and Patrick van Aanholt impressed for Sunderland

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Here's what we learned from the win:

England's Wayne Rooney marked out of the game by John O'Shea and Lamine Kone:

Heading into the game Rooney had five goals and three assists to his name already in 2016 - yet he didn't have a sniff at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland's centre-back pairing of Kone and captain O'Shea were immense.

Lamine Kone wins a towering header for Sunderland

The Republic of Ireland international won the sponsors man of the match award, making three vital blocks at the near post early on in the game on his way to a commanding display.

Immense throughout, it was a real 'captain's performance', with Kone again excellent alongside him - the pair winning every header that came their way.

Chance for DeAndre Yedlin to cement his place in Sunderland line-up:

Billy Jones missed the game through injury, a problem with his hip causing him to sit this one out.

John O'Shea and Patrick van Aanholt impressed for Sunderland

But there is every chance he would have been dropped anyway after a poor run of recent form.

In came Spurs loanee Yedlin and he impressed defensively, while also adding more width and pace to the right wing.

Sunderland have a better balance when Yedlin and Patrick van Aanholt are the wing backs.

And Yedlin now has a real chance to cement his place in the side for the rest of the season.

Lamine Kone wins a towering header for Sunderland

Ellis Short and Roy Hodgson watch as January recruits star again:

Allardyce will have been delighted his January recruits Lamine Kone and Wahbi Khazri were the among the stars of the show, more so because his boss, owner Ellis Short was among the crowd alongside England manager Roy Hodgson.

Khazri was outstanding again, his delivery from set pieces pin point and he played a huge part in both goals.

Kone at the back shone while Dame N'Doye had an improved second half.

And Short will have been pleased to see his investments bearing immediate fruit.

Hodgson was keeping an eye on Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick and Jesse Lingard ahead of Euro 2016.

It was just a shame Jermain Defoe enjoyed a quieter afternoon than normal.

Warm-weather break has come at just the right time:

Sunderland's sunshine break in Dubai has come at just the right time for the Black Cats.

Some would argue that after a spirited draw at Anfield and the impressive win over Manchester United that Sunderland wouldn't want a break from competitive action.

But injuries are beginning to take their toll and two weeks without a match - thanks to the club being knocked out of the FA Cup - should help ease the increasing injury list.

Not often the Sunderland bench is stronger than Manchester United's:

The Red Devils headed into the game with eight injuries - nine now after Matteo Darmian dislocated his shoulder after falling awkwardly from a Khazri challenge.

And you could see the toll it had taken judging by their young bench. Sunderland's wasn't the strongest but it still had more experience.

But the United bench included Donald Love (aptly named on Valentines Weekend), Andreas Pereira, James Weir and Will Keane.

Not the names you'd usually expect from a United bench.

Under pressure Louis van Gaal and United are on the ropes at the moment and Sunderland took full advantage.

Where would Sunderland be if Allardyce had been in charge since the summer?

It is a question we'll never know the answer too but where would Sunderland be if Sam Allardyce had taken charge in the summer?

Allardyce - and his January signings - have made a huge impact since joining the club.

Will it have come too late?

With just a point separating Sunderland from safety and 12 more Premier League games to go, certainly not.

Let's hope they can maintain the momentum gathered this past week for the run-in.