Manchester United fell to an agonising 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light as a late Lamine Kone header was diverted into his own net by the unfortunate David de Gea.
habi Khazri opened the scoring with a third-minute free-kick, before Anthony Martial equalised, but United’s defence was breached for a second time as Kone’s powerful downward header from a corner rebounded off De Gea to send the Reds home pointless.
United boss Louis van Gaal made one change to his starting XI as Morgan Schneiderlin replaced Marouane Fellaini, but there was a new and quite aptly-named youngster on the bench with 21-year-old defender Donald Love included in the matchday squad for the first time on this Valentine’s weekend trip to Wearside. Will Keane was also among the seven substitutes as a reward for his recent fine form in the Under-21s.
United headed into this clash unbeaten in 13 visits to the Stadium of Light and with the teams in the top four facing off on Sunday, the Reds knew it was an opportunity to close the gap. However, the quest for a crucial victory got off to the worst possible start after just three minutes.