Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the heart of all good things for Manchester United with a goal and an assist as the Red Devils swept aside Sunderland 3-0 at the Stadium of Light. Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku scored two goals as Everton handed Leicester City their first defeat in the Craig Shakespeare era.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for United with his 28th goal of the season on the half-hour mark with a pinpoint strike low into the bottom corner.
Sunderland’s day got worse when Sebastian Larsson was shown a straight red card for an over the top challenge on Ander Herrera just before half-time. And Henrikh Mkhitaryan all but ended the game as a contest, when he fired a low shot into the bottom corner in the 46th minute, after being played in by Luke Shaw.
Jose Mourinho brought on Marcus Rashford for Jesse Lingard in the 64th minute and the youngster sealed the points for United when he got his first goal of 2017 from close range in the 89th minute following an assist from Ibrahimovic.
The result means that United are only 4 points off Manchester City in the race for the last Champions League spot and also have a game in hand over their crosstown rivals. Sunderland, meanwhile, look certain to be relegated as they now find themselves at the bottom of the table, 10 points away from safety.
Elsewhere, Romelu Lukaku was at the double as Everton ended Leicester City’s six- match winning streak under manager, Craig Shakespeare. Everton took the lead through Tom Davies in the first minute of the game, before goals from Islam Slimani and Marc Albrighton had the Foxes up 2-1 after just 10 minutes. But Lukaku found the back of the net, either side of Phil Jagielka’s strike to ensure that Everton claimed all three points.
Sunderland 0 Manchester United 3
Everton 4 Leicester City 2