Sunderland star admits teammate could have changed United result

Sunderland's Patrick van Aanholt admitted that Connor Wickham could have changed the game against Manchester United.

Sunderland defender Patrick van Aanholt has told the Chronicle that their game against Manchester United might have been different if Connor Wickham had taken a great chance in the first half.

The Sunderland striker powered past two United defenders, but decided to go alone when Jermain Defoe was better placed and saw his tame shot saved easily by David de Gea.

It was a massive opportunity for the side and van Aanholt felt that the miss was the turning point in the match. 

“We went there for the three points and to be fair, we started the game very well," the Dutchman said.

“We had the chance with Connor. If we’d finished that, it’s a different game."

Despite van Aanholt's comments on Wickham's miss, most of the discussion after the match, which Sunderland went on to lose 2-0, has focused around Wes Brown's sending off.

Brown received a red card after John O'Shea brought Radamel Falcao down in the box, in a case of mistaken identity, and that ultimately ended any hopes Sunderland had of victory.

It was a major disappointment for the side, who are just three points above the drop zone and desperate for points.

Sunderland's form has been poor throughout the campaign so far and it seems that they are set to be locked in a relegation battle until May. 

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