Sunderland Under 23s slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Manchester United U23s at Eppleton CW on Monday night, as Jan Kirchhoff completed 64 minutes on his return from injury.
The Red Devils took the lead through Dimitri Mitchell’s 28th minute penalty before Scott McTominay doubled their advantage just four minutes later.
Devonte Redmond then compounded the Black Cats’ misery after 71 minutes as he converted a rebounded shot from close range to ensure United took home three points, although George Honeyman’s late consolation made the scoreline more respectable for the hosts.
Sunderland began with a strong side including first-team familiars such as Lynden Gooch, Donald Love and Honeyman alongside the returning Kirchhoff.
The opening half of the first period was a cagey affair with neither side creating any clear cut chances, though the visitors came closest via Josh Harrop cutting inside former United man Love and testing Maksimilian Stryjek on a couple of occasions.
The tides turned after Harrop went down inside the area under pressure from Love, leading the referee to point to the spot on 28 minutes.
Left-back Mitchell converted in confident fashion and there would be little reprieve before Sunderland found themselves 2-0 down through a huge slice of luck on United’s part.
Scott McTominay picked up a deflected effort on the edge of the area and fired towards goal before seeing his shot deflect past Stryjek and into the net just four minutes after the opener.
Kirchhoff came close to reducing the deficit at the beginning of the second half after winning possession in the United half before driving into the box and placing just wide on his weaker left side.
The visitors made sure of the three points on 71 minutes, as Redmond followed up an initial rebound inside the area to blast home for 3-0 with the goal gaping.
Substitute Joel Asoro saw his penalty appeal late on waved away as Sunderland pushed to get back in the game, with numerous efforts from Honeyman and Gooch going close.
United were reduced to 10 men in injury time after Regan Poole was shown his second yellow card and Honeyman netted a consolation with a close range rebound from the resulting free-kick, ensuring Sunderland added their name to the scoresheet.
The defeat sees Elliot Dickman’s side leapfrogged by United, leaving them 7th in the Premier League 2 and two points behind tonight’s opponents.