Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was as good as his word when he left Wayne Rooney out of this afternoon’s Barclays Premier League trip to Sunderland.
The England international, who is nursing an ankle injury, did not make the 18 at the Stadium of Light, where there were starts for Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Michael Owen as Ferguson made four changes to the side which won 1-0 in Valencia during the week and named Dimitar Berbatov among the substitutes.
Former United defender Steve Bruce kept faith with the bulk of the men who drew 2-2 at Liverpool last weekend with Bolo Zenden’s inclusion in place of Danny Welbeck the only change.
There was a return to the bench for hamstring victims Anton Ferdinand and John Mensah, and they were once again joined by record signing Asamoah Gyan.
Sunderland vs Man Utd
Sunderland: Mignolet, Onuoha, Turner, Bramble, Bardsley, Malbranque, Cattermole, Henderson, Zenden, Bent, Elmohamady
Subs: Gordon, Mensah, Da Silva, Riveros, Reid, Ferdinand, Gyan
Man Utd: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, O’Shea, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson, Macheda, Owen
Subs: Kuszczak, Evra, Berbatov, Smalling, Hernandez, Gibson, Bebe
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)