Blackburn 0 Man United 2

Antonio Valencia

Black­burn Rov­ers 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 2, Ew­ood Park, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, April 2, 2012. Man­chester Uni­ted gain­ed three vi­tal points ag­ainst Black­burn Rov­ers at Ew­ood Park. So­uth Amer­ic­an wing­er An­tonio Va­lencia made it 1-0 in the eighty-fir­st min­ute be­fore Ash­ley Young doubled the Uni­ted ad­vant­age wi­th a fierce and ac­cur­ate shot five min­utes later.

Sir Al­ex Fer­guson was well pleased wi­th his team’s ef­fort in the 2-0 Pre­mier Lea­gue vic­tory ag­ainst loc­al rivals Black­burn Rov­ers at Ew­ood Park. The Old Traf­ford su­premo par­tic­u­larly sing­led out Ecuadori­an in­ter­na­tion­al An­tonio Va­lencia who pro­duced one goal and made one as­sist ag­ainst The Blue and Whi­tes. In the cor­res­pond­ing Pre­miership en­counter of the 2010-11 cam­paign, Black­burn and Man­chester Uni­ted had played out a hard-fou­ght 1-1 draw, wi­th the Ew­ood Park club go­ing ahead in the fir­st pe­riod thro­ugh Brett Emer­ton af­ter the dy­nam­ic mid­field play­maker had beaten away cus­todi­an To­masz Kusz­a­ck wi­th a thun­der­bolt ef­fort in the twen­ti­eth min­ute of the tussle. In the sec­ond pe­riod, how­ever, Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Way­ne Roo­ney con­ver­ted a highly con­tro­ver­sial pen­alty-kick in the sev­enty-third min­ute to bring Ferguson´s troops level. And al­though Man­chester Uni­ted had on­ly ma­naged a nar­row 1-0 win ag­ainst mid-ta­blers Ful­ham at Old Traf­ford in their pre­vi­ous Pre­miership fix­ture, they were ex­pec­ted bag an­oth­er three points ag­ainst Rovers.

An­tonio Va­lencia was back to his best ag­ainst Black­burn Rov­ers at Ew­ood Park af­ter re­turn­ing from in­jury; show­ing what he was really made of. Fol­low­ing a goal­less fir­st ha­lf, Man­chester Uni­ted fi­nally wor­ked them­selves in­to the lead as Va­lencia shot across Black­burn goal­keeper Paul Robin­son to score in the eighty-fir­st min­ute and they had their sec­ond five min­utes af­ter­wards when the goal scor­er turned pro­vider, set­ting up fel­low wing­er Ash­ley Young who ham­mered the ball ho­me. The de­fend­ing Pre­mier Lea­gue cham­pi­ons push­ed hard from the start and came clo­se to scor­ing af­ter el­ev­en min­utes when Javi­er Her­nandez re­ceived a low cross from the left-hand si­de and shot from just a few yards out, on­ly to watch Robin­son pull off a su­perb re­flex save. And on­ly three min­utes la­ter, Mi­chael Car­rick struck a long dis­tance shot from some twenty-five yards out, but the ball curled over the cross­bar. Man­chester Uni­ted con­tin­ued to cre­ate most of the at­tack­ing op­por­tun­it­ies in the fir­st ha­lf, but the vis­it­ors were un­able to break down a stub­born and well-or­gan­ised ho­me de­fence. The Pre­miership lead­ers kept on dom­in­at­ing the mat­ch fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of ac­tion, giv­ing The Blue and Whi­tes a really hard time. In or­der to in­ject some more en­ergy in­to his te­am, Sir Al­ex made three sub­sti­tu­tions dur­ing the sec­ond ha­lf, wi­th Dan­ny Wel­beck, Ry­an Gig­gs, and Young re­pla­cing Chi­charito, Phil Jones, and Paul Scho­les re­spect­ively. And wi­th nine min­utes left to play, Man­chester Uni­ted fi­nally broke the de­fens­ive dead­lock when Ra­fael de Silva fed the ball to Va­lencia who sprin­ted in­to the area and un­leashed a shot across the goal and in­side the far up­right. Keep­ing up the pace, Uni­ted ul­ti­mately doubled their ad­vant­age as Va­lencia sent a square pass to the feet of Young who ma­naged to be­at Robin­son wi­th an ac­cur­ate shot in­side the left-hand up­right four min­utes from time. Black­burn tried to sta­ge a late come­back, but the Man­chester Uni­ted back-line held firm for the re­maining min­utes of the ga­me to se­cure a cru­cial 2-0 away tri­umph which took Ferguson´s title con­tenders five points clear of Man­chester City at the top of the Pre­mier Lea­gue table.

Born in Lago Ag­rio, An­tonio Va­lencia had be­en on the books of Club De­port­ivo El Nacion­al, Vil­lar­real, Re­cre­at­ivo de Huelva, and Wi­gan Ath­let­ic be­fore he joi­ned Man­chester Uni­ted for a trans­fer fee in the re­gion of six­teen mil­lion pounds at the start of the 2009-10 cam­paign. He was han­ded his com­pet­it­ive de­but for Uni­ted in a 2–2 draw ag­ainst Chel­sea at Wemb­ley in the Com­munity Shield on the ninth of Au­gust 2009, and went on to make his fir­st Pre­mier Lea­gue ap­pear­ance for The Reds in a 1–0 ho­me vic­tory over new­ly pro­moted Birm­ing­ham City the fol­low­ing week­end. A highly ver­sat­ile play­er, Va­lencia was an in­stant hit at Man­chester Uni­ted and pro­ceeded to play forty-nine fir­st te­am mat­ches in all com­pet­i­tions in his fir­st sea­son wi­th the club. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson: “The goal by An­tonio Va­lencia, com­ing so late in the ga­me, was ob­vi­ously im­port­ant. It typ­i­fies the his­tory of Man­chester Uni­ted. If you don’t try to shoot you don’t find out if you can score like that. He got amaz­ing power on it. To get that goal is very dif­fi­cult wi­th the way Black­burn de­fen­ded. We are also help­ed by hav­ing made up the goals de­fi­cit on Man­chester City. I think it was eight­een at one time. Da­vid de Gea’s pro­gress is clear. De Gea has al­ways had great abil­ity and kept us in the ga­me here so we could go on and get those goals.” Black­burn Rov­ers Te­am: Paul Robin­son, Mar­tin Ols­son, Scott Dann, Brad­ley Orr, Grant Han­ley, Morten Gamst Ped­er­sen, Ste­ven N’Zonzi, Mar­cus Ols­son, Ju­ni­or Hoi­lett, Ja­son Lowe, Yak­ubu Ayeg­beni. Sub­stitutes: Ma­rk Bunn, Ad­am Hen­ley, Da­vid Dunn, Mauro Formica, Ra­dosav Pet­ro­vic, An­thony Mod­este, Ruben Roch­ina. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Jon­ny Evans, Rio Fer­dinand, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Phil Jones, Paul Scho­les, Mi­chael Car­rick, Javi­er Her­nandez, Way­ne Roo­ney, An­tonio Va­lencia. Sub­stitutes: Ben Amos, Ry­an Gig­gs, Dan­ny Wel­beck, Ash­ley Young, Chris Small­ing, Paul Po­gba, Ji-Sung Park.

 

Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted be­at Black­burn Rov­ers 4-2 at Ew­ood Park on the twenty-third of Oct­ober 1994 thro­ugh a brace by An­drei Kanchel­s­kis and one goal each from Eric Can­tona and Ma­rk Hughes. 

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