I have no idea who Roger Bennett is but his half-time tweet deserves a mention: "For Manchester United under David Moyes, squeaky bum time is now just known as time."
That summed up the situation nicely as United threatened to lose a third successive league game for the first time since December 2001 through embarrassing blunders at the back, and with sturdier finishing Sunderland might have made them pay. But that is not how things generally work when you are bottom of the table with no manager and just one point. Kevin Ball's side missed their chances to take a two- or three-goal interval lead and United hit them with two smartly taken goals by Adnan Januzaj in the second half. Making his first start for United, the 18-year-old enjoyed the sort of debut he must have dreamed about. Exuding class and confidence in a manner that few of his team-mates were able to manage, the fresh-faced player signed two years ago from Anderlecht looks very much like the answer to most of Moyes' immediate problems.
"We gave away a terrible goal and needed David de Gea to keep us in the game, but apart from that we played some really good stuff," the United manager said. "I thought this was the right time to play Adnan because he's been so good. I thought about using him three or four weeks ago but there was a slight injury."
United got off to exactly the sort of start Moyes would have been hoping to avoid, going a goal down inside five minutes through a defensive mix-up.
Emanuele Giaccherini's cross went straight to Phil Jones, whose clearance was indecisive but at least ended up at Nemanja Vidic's feet, only for the United captain to miscontrol the ball and make a present of it to Craig Garner just outside the six yard area. Gardner was never going to miss from that distance, and didn't, and the same player bamboozled Jones again a couple of minutes later although this time the defender recovered to retrieve the situation.
Januzaj's first attempt, a confidently struck shot from the edge of the area, only missed by inches. Nani went just as close midway through the first half with a right-foot volley, even if he will feel he should have done better when Patrice Evra's cross found him unmarked at the far post.
United gradually imposed themselves on Sunderland as the first half progressed, with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both seeing more of the ball, yet the visitors would have gone two down just past the half hour but for a wonderful save from David de Gea. Giaccherini's header from Adam Johnson's excellent cross was text book, sending the ball back the way it came and bound for the inside of De Gea's right hand post, before the goalkeeper sprang back across his goal to claw it away. Nani brought a save from Keiren Westwood before the interval as United continued to impress going forward, though there remained every chance that another lapse of concentration at the back would undo their good work. The lively Giaccherini should have increased Sunderland's lead on the stroke of the interval but shot wastefully high from a good position, set up when Johnson retained control on the left of the area. after avoiding ineffective lunges from both Jones and Vidic.
Maintaining a Belgian presence for United in the absence of the injured Marouane Fellaini, Januzaj was booked for diving at the start of the second half, a sign of desperation that he quickly redeemed by scoring the equaliser five minutes later. First farming the ball out to Evra on the left, then moving up to accept the return and place a sidefoot shot beyond Westwood. Januzaj's first Premier League goal was elegant in its simplicity.
Though inexperienced he looks as languidly comfortable on the ball as Ryan Giggs did in his teens easily the most effective wide player United can field at the moment, and his second goal showed exceptional technique and quality. John O'Shea could have done better with a headed clearance from Nani than direct it to the edge of the area where a United player was lurking, yet that should take nothing away from the crispness and accuracy Januzaj demonstrated in volleying it straight back into Westwood's bottom left corner.
Sunderland crumpled almost visibly after that, resigned to another defeat and another week searching for a new manager. The chairman, Ellis Short, used his programme notes to pay tribute to Paolo Di Canio's role in keeping the club up last season, and indicated he did not intend to be rushed into finding a replacement. "Our only consideration is what is best for the club," he said. "I urge supporters to ignore speculation about the selection process because most of it is completely wrong. We would like to see long-term success on the pitch and stability at the club. Unfortunately the quest for stability can be interrupted by the absolute necessity of staying in the Premier League."
With all respect to Sunderland's deepening plight, the day belonged to Januzaj, and so should the last word. "We have a lot to thank him for," Michael Carrick said. "Those were two great finishes, he's got a great attitude and lots of ability. He looks a proper player."