Manchester United's Persie celebrates after scoring a goal (Photo: Reuters)
Manchester United brushed aside an overmatched Sunderland in a routine 3-1 victory at Old Trafford on Saturday to ensure Alex Ferguson's side will be top of the Premier League at Christmas.
Robin van Persie opened the scoring when he fired into the top left corner in the 16th minute after being set up by Ashley Young, and Tom Cleverley doubled the advantage by turning in a pass from Michael Carrick three minutes later.
Despite several Sunderland chances at the start of the second half, United stretched its lead through Wayne Rooney in the 59th when the striker converted a pass from Van Persie. The visitors scored a consolation goal in the 72nd through Fraizer Campbell.
The league title has been won by the team that was top of the standings at Christmas in each of the past three seasons.
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