Man United 5 Birmingham 0

Dimitar Berbatov

Man­chester Uni­ted 5 Birm­ing­ham City 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Jan­uary 22, 2011. Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov re­gistered a hat-trick as Man­chester Uni­ted dis­mantled Birm­ing­ham City 5-0 at Old Traf­ford. Birm­ing­ham boss Al­ex McLeish could on­ly sit and watch as his City si­de were out­classed and out­played in every de­part­ment by Uni­ted, and but for the re­peated ac­ro­bat­ics of away cus­todi­an Ben Fo­ster, it could eas­ily have be­en double figures.

Ta­ble top­pers Man­chester Uni­ted, who were un­defeated in the Pre­mier Lea­gue so far in the 2010-11 cam­paign, faced lowly pla­ced Birm­ing­ham City at ho­me look­ing for an­oth­er im­port­ant three points. The Black Coun­try club had nev­er ma­naged to be­at Uni­ted in the Pre­miership, and there was no doubt that The Reds were heavy fa­vour­ites to win the en­counter ag­ainst The Blues. Man­chester Uni­ted came in­to this fix­ture on the back of three vic­tor­ies and two draws, whi­le Birm­ing­ham had won two, drawn one and lost two of their pre­vi­ous five mat­ches. In the re­verse meet­ing of the sea­son on­ly three weeks earli­er, Man­chester Uni­ted and Birm­ing­ham had played out a hard fou­ght 1-1 draw at St Andrew´s wi­th Lee Bow­yer find­ing the tar­get for The Brummies, and Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov scor­ing for the men in red shirts. On the in­jury front, Old Traf­ford man­ager Sir Al­ex Fer­guson had to make do with­out de­fender An­tonio Va­lencia and mid­fielder Owen Har­greaves due to ankle and ham­string in­jur­ies re­spect­ively. Birm­ing­ham gaf­fer Al­ex McLeish, for his part, was mis­sing key play­ers Scott Dann and Ja­mes Mc­Fad­den who were bo­th strug­gling wi­th long term in­jury problems.

Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov led the Man­chester Uni­ted for­ward line su­perbly and the in­dus­tri­ous sharp­shoot­er capped a dy­nam­ic per­form­ance by scor­ing his third hat-trick of the 2010-11 term. The fir­st goal of the con­test ar­rived af­ter on­ly two min­utes of play when a cor­ner kick from Ry­an Gig­gs was flicked on by John O´Shea for Ber­batov to head ho­me from two yards out, and the marks­man net­ted his sec­ond of the day in the 31st min­ute when he re­ceived a mag­ni­fi­cent low cross from strik­ing part­ner Way­ne Roo­ney and be­at for­mer Man­chester Uni­ted shot stop­per Ben Fo­ster at his near post. And wi­th the fir­st ha­lf ap­proach­ing its end, Gig­gs sco­red the third goal of the clash as the 37-year-old ever­green mid­fielder si­de-footed the ball in­to the roof of the net just be­fore the sound of the ha­lf-time whistle. Fol­low­ing the re­start, Ber­batov went on to com­plete his tre­ble in the 53rd min­ute of pro­ceed­ings be­fore Lu­is Nani made the fi­nal sco­reline read 5-0 in Man­chester United´s fa­vour wi­th some 15 min­utes re­maining of nor­mal time. Wi­th the hat-trick ag­ainst Birm­ing­ham, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov had now ma­naged to notch up a highly re­spect­able 17 goals for Man­chester Uni­ted thus far in the sea­son. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, John O’Shea, Chris Small­ing, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Oli­veira An­der­son, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ry­an Gig­gs, Lu­is Nani, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: Jon­athan Evans, Fa­bio da Silva, Dar­ron Gib­son, Paul Scho­les, Gab­riel Ober­tan, Mi­chael Owen, To­masz Kusz­czak. Birm­ing­ham City Te­am: Ben Fo­ster, Steph­en Carr, Ro­ger John­son, Liam Ridgewell, Da­vid Murphy, Da­vid Bent­ley, Keith Fa­hey, Bar­ry Fer­guson, Aleksandr Hleb, Jor­don Mutch, Matt Derby­shire. Sub­stitutes: Mar­tin Jir­anek, Craig Gard­ner, Se­basti­an Larsson, Lee Bow­yer, Camer­on Jerome, Nikola Zi­gic, Co­lin Doyle.

 

Dimitar Berbatov Quickfacts

Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov sco­red his fir­st two goals for Man­chester Uni­ted in a 3–0 vic­tory ag­ainst Aal­borg at Aal­borg Sta­dium in the Cham­pi­ons Lea­gue Group Sta­ge on the 30th of Septem­ber 2008.

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