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PREMIER LEAGUE ROUND-UP

Sunderland stun United as Watford, West Brom win

Under-fire Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal saw his side slip to a 2-1 defeat at the Stadium of Light as relegation troubled sides enjoyed a good day.

Sunderland stun United as Watford, West Brom win
Lee Smith REUTERS

Manchester United missed the chance to steal a march on the Premier League's top four when an own goal by keeper David De Gea cost them a 2-1 defeat at Premier League strugglers Sunderland on Saturday.

With the sides above them all playing each other in a mouth-watering Sunday program, United could have closed to within three points of fourth-placed Manchester City but the gloom that has enveloped them most of the season returned.

Anthony Martial's dinked finish shortly before halftime cancelled out Wahbi Khazri's third-minute opener for Sunderland but United fizzled out after the break and De Gea could only help Lamine Kone's late header into his own goal.

While United's second defeat in eight league games put the spotlight back on under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal, Sunderland's first home league win over United since 1997 raised spirits after a week which saw them sack midfielder Adam Johnson after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.

Sunderland remain second from bottom but with Swansea City and Bournemouth losing and Norwich City surrendering a two-goal lead against West Ham United, their hopes of avoiding relegation received a boost.

Norwich, on a run of five consecutive defeats, led West Ham 2-0 with second-half goals from Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan but their leaky defence buckled again and Dimitri Payet and Mark Noble earned West Ham a point.

West Ham, who could have moved above Manchester United into fifth spot with a win, dropped to seventh, below Southampton on goal difference after they beat Swansea 1-0 in south Wales.

United have 41 points and look destined for a battle for a Europa League place with Southampton and West Ham who have 40.

"It will be difficult to qualify for the Champions League and the top four now, we know that," United skipper Wayne Rooney told the club's website. "So it's a sad day in terms of losing three points and we have to somehow move on."

West Bromwich Albion eased their relegation fears, winning 1-0 at mid-table Everton, but Bournemouth's 3-1 home defeat by Stoke City left the south coast club in 15th place and four points above third-from-bottom Norwich.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first goal since joining Crystal Palace but could not prevent a sixth defeat in seven matches for Alan Pardew's side who lost 2-1 at home to Watford.