MANCHESTER — Teenage starlet Adnan Januzaj scored twice as Manchester United came from behind to win 2-1 at Sunderland on Saturday and revive their flagging Premier League title defence.
The champions have made their worst start to a season since 1989 and were set on course for a third consecutive defeat when Craig Gardner scored an early goal for bottom club Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
However, on his first league start for the club, 18-year-old Januzaj scored two fine goals in the space of six minutes early in the second half to snatch victory and send United up to ninth place in the table.
United manager David Moyes likened Januzaj to his teammate Wayne Rooney, who was blooded by Moyes as a 16-year-old at Everton.
“I remember giving Wayne his debut, even people like Ross Barkley their debut, and Adnan’s certainly in that quality. He’s a top, top player, he really is,” Moyes told Sky Sports.
“I’ll not be getting too excited because I won, just like when I was losing, I wasn’t getting too low either. I know the quality and the players I’ve got in the dressing room.”
Moyes has been bullish about his ability to turn United’s season around, but he saw Gardner give Sunderland a fifth-minute lead after Nemanja Vidic fluffed an attempted clearance.
The visitors were then indebted to goalkeeper David de Gea for a breath-taking full-stretch save to touch away a header from Emanuele Giaccherini, who also blazed wastefully over on the verge of half-time.
United had struggled to cope with their hosts’ furious work rate, but they levelled in the 55th minute when Januzaj met Patrice Evra’s drilled cross with a measured side-foot finish that flashed into the net.
The Belgian youngster’s work was not finished, and minutes later he claimed a glorious winner, thumping a sweet left-foot volley into the bottom-right corner after Nani’s cross was headed into the air by United old boy John O’Shea.
Meanwhile, in-form Liverpool strike duo Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both found the net in a 3-1 win at home to Crystal Palace.
Earlier, Manchester City bounced back from defeats by Aston Villa and Bayern Munich to end Everton’s unbeaten start to the season with a 3-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.
Loic Remy scored twice in the space of eight first-half minutes as Newcastle United claimed a first win in three games with a 2-1 victory at Cardiff City, who replied through Peter Odemwingie.
Fulham climbed out of the relegation zone after a neat 83rd-minute strike from Darren Bent secured a 1-0 win at home to Stoke City, while Aston Villa were held to a 0-0 draw at Hull City.