Blackburn 0 Man United 0

Dimitar Berbatov

Black­burn Rov­ers 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0, Ew­ood Park, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, April 11, 2010. Man­chester Uni­ted suf­fered a third ma­jor blow in the time span of just eight days as they could on­ly man­age a goal­less draw ag­ainst old rivals Black­burn Rov­ers at Ew­ood Park. Uni­ted cre­ated most of the goal scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies, but the packed Black­burn de­fence ma­naged to keep the vis­it­ing te­am at bay in a Pre­miership mat­ch which nev­er really caught fire.

In the re­verse Pre­mier Lea­gue fix­ture on the 31st of Oct­ober 2009, Man­chester Uni­ted had com­fort­ably de­feated Black­burn Rov­ers 2-0 at Old Traf­ford thro­ugh goals from Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov and Way­ne Roo­ney in the 55th and 87th min­ute of the tie re­spect­ively. Black­burn were un­defeated in their last four ga­mes, how­ever, and Sam Allardyce´s play­ers were po­ten­tially cap­able of cre­at­ing an up­set ag­ainst The Reds at Ew­ood Park. Man­chester Uni­ted had the bet­ter si­de on pa­per, tho­ugh, and Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s boys were firm fa­vour­ites to win the clash wi­th The River­siders. The Old Traf­ford boss had made as many as six changes to the te­am which had star­ted the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Quart­er-Fi­nal Sec­ond Leg ga­me ag­ainst Bay­ern Mu­nich at The Theatre of Dreams earli­er in the week, but the Pre­mier Lea­gue meet­ing wi­th Black­burn Rov­ers turned out to be an ex­ceed­ingly bor­ing af­fair. Black­burn barely threat­ened dur­ing the fir­st forty-five min­utes, and even tho­ugh they grew more in­to the ga­me fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion, they were nev­er as dan­ger­ous as the vis­it­ors from Man­chester. The Blue and Whi­tes did have their scor­ing chances, but poor fin­ish­ing in front of the goal let them down. Wi­th lead­ing goal scor­er Way­ne Roo­ney mis­sing the fix­ture af­ter ser­i­ously in­jur­ing his ankle dur­ing the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Quart­er Fi­nal ag­ainst The Bav­ari­ans, Man­chester Uni­ted star­ted the tie at Ew­ood Park wi­th Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov and Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda up front, but they bo­th failed to break down the re­si­li­ent de­fence of the op­pos­i­tion. And when Fer­guson ev­entually re­placed Ry­an Gig­gs wi­th Re­pub­lic of Ire­land mid­field play­er Dar­ron Gib­son twelve min­utes in­to the sec­ond ha­lf, the blatantly cos­met­ic char­ac­ter of the change was shown in the fact that it changed noth­ing at all. Any­way, Man­chester Uni­ted should have sco­red in the 80th min­ute of the tie when an ac­cur­ate cross from hard run­ning right full­back Ga­ry Ne­ville fou­nd Ber­batov, but the mas­sive centre for­ward shot straight at Black­burn and Three Li­ons goal­tender Paul Robin­son. As an ul­ti­mate res­ult of all this op­por­tun­ity squan­der­ing, Uni­ted dropped two price­less points and the high hopes of land­ing a re­cord break­ing 19th Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue title were more or less about to van­ish in­to thin blue air. Rov­ers, mean­while, were un­doubtedly re­lieved to earn a point from a ga­me in which they struggled for long peri­ods of time. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ga­ry Ne­ville, Rio Fer­dinand, Ne­manja Vid­ic, John O’Shea, Ry­an Gig­gs, Nani, Paul Scho­les, Va­lencia, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Fe­d­erico Ma­cheda. Sub­stitutes: Dar­ron Gib­son, Jon­ny Evans, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ji-Sung Park, Gab­riel Ober­tan, To­masz Kuszczak.


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