Man United 2 Blackburn 3

Dimitar Berbatov

Man­chester Uni­ted 2 Black­burn Rov­ers 3, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Dec­ember 31, 2011. Man­chester Uni­ted suc­cumbed to a shock 3-2 loss to Black­burn Rov­ers in the luchtime fix­ture at Old Traf­ford. Af­ter Rov­ers had gone in­to a 2-0 lead thro­ugh a brace by Yak­ubu Ai­yeg­beni, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov fou­nd the net twice for Uni­ted, on­ly for Grant Han­ley to net the win­ner for Rov­ers wi­th ten min­utes left.

Man­chester Uni­ted were with­out de­fenders Rio Fer­dinand, Fa­bio da Silva, Chris Small­ing, and Ne­manja Vid­ic; mid­field­ers Tom Clev­er­ley, Dar­ren Fletch­er, and Ash­ley Young; and for­ward Mi­chael Owen who were either in­jured or sick. Black­burn Rov­ers, mean­while, were mis­sing goal­keeper Paul Robin­son, de­fenders Scott Dann, Gael Giv­et, Ry­an Nelsen, and Mar­tin Ols­son; mid­field­ers Da­vid Dunn and Vince Grella; and for­ward Ju­ni­or Hoi­lett be­cause of in­jury and ill­ness. The River­siders got off to a dream start when they were awar­ded a pen­alty-kick by ref­er­ee Mi­ke Dean which Ni­geri­an in­ter­na­tion­al Yak­ubu Ai­yeg­beni sub­sequently con­ver­ted to put the Ew­ood Park club ahead in the six­teenth min­ute of the en­counter. To make things even worse for Man­chester Uni­ted, Ai­yeg­beni sco­red his sec­ond goal of the mat­ch six min­utes in­to the sec­ond ha­lf as the twenty-nine-year-old at­tack­er out­paced Three Li­ons de­fender Phil Jones be­fore he power­ed the ball thro­ugh the legs of ho­me shot stop­per Da­vid de Gea. Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Pre­miership title chasers re­spon­ded in­stantly when of­fens­ive ori­ented full back Ra­fael da Silva fou­nd Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov who head­ed the ball pa­st Ma­rk Bunn in the Black­burn goal and in­to the net from clo­se ran­ge af­ter fifty-two min­utes of ac­tion. And on­ly ten min­utes la­ter, Ber­batov ma­naged to level the score when the goal poach­er shot pa­st Bunn af­ter An­tonio Va­lencia had cut the ball back from the right-hand by­line. But then, in the eighti­eth min­ute of the clash, a dread­ful mis­take from De Gea al­lowed Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al Grant Han­ley to head ho­me the visitor´s win­ning goal.

Des­pite the un­ex­pec­ted 3-2 loss at ho­me to re­leg­a­tion threat­ened Black­burn Rov­ers, Man­chester Uni­ted were still joint ta­ble-top­pers wi­th neigh­bouring rivals Man­chester City, who suf­fered an equally sur­pris­ing 1-0 de­feat at the hands of un­fan­cied Sun­der­land at The Sta­dium of Light where for­mer Jeon­nam Dragons mid­field play­er Ji Dong-won re­gistered the win­ner for The Black Cats in the very last min­ute of nor­mal time. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Phil Jones, An­tonio Va­lencia, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ji-Sung Park, Lu­is Nani, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Javi­er Her­nandez, Dan­ny Wel­beck. Sub­stitutes: An­ders Linde­gaard, Oli­veira An­der­son, Ezekiel Fry­ers, Lar­nell Cole, Paul Po­gba, Mame Biram Di­ouf, Wil­li­am Ke­ane. Black­burn Rov­ers Te­am: Ma­rk Bunn, Grant Han­ley, Ad­am Hen­ley, Chris­toph­er Samba, Mauro Formica, Ja­son Lowe, Ste­ven N’Zonzi, Morten Gamst Ped­er­sen, Ra­dosav Pet­ro­vic, Ruben Roch­ina, Yak­ubu Ayeg­beni. Sub­stitutes: Jake Kean, Joshua Mor­ris, Amine Lingan­zi, Si­mon Vuk­cevic, Nick Black­man, Da­vid Good­wil­lie, Jor­dan Slew.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Car­los Tev­ez hit four of the goals whi­le Lu­is Nani was also on tar­get as Man­chester Uni­ted de­feated Black­burn Rov­ers by 5-3 at ho­me in the 5th ro­und of the Lea­gue Cup on the 3rd of Dec­ember 2008.


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