27 November 2010

Review Match Day 15: Berbatov revvs past Rovers (Video)

“Christmas came about a month early to Old Trafford.”

And indeed it did, the atmosphere was festive with the full capacity crowd enjoying Berbatov’s moment of magic. His performance was fabulous or to say, Berbalicious.

It was never going to be easy for a Blackburn side to play against a rejuvenated Manchester United at Old Trafford which was ready to welcome its star striker Wayne Rooney, his first start at Old Trafford after his contract saga. And what a reception it was. The fans put all their bitter memories behind and welcomed their favorite with loud and continuous chants of “Rooney Rooney”.

If the game was important for Rooney, it was even more important for his strike partner, Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian had not scored since his match winning performance against Liverpool and with all the rumors that the manager had finally lost his faith in the “lazy” striker and was ready to sell him flying around the pressure on his was immense.

Living a dream: Dimitar Berbatov

United lineup included Carrick and Anderson, the two under-fire central midfielders along with Nani and Park on the wings. With the set defensive pair of Rio and Vidic fit, there were no surprises in the back four.Van Der Sar, the flying Dutchman was there at his favorite position in front of goal.
From the moment the match kicked off, the Blackburn defense was finding it hard to contain Nani who seemed to be firing on all cylinders.
Berba's opener goal against Blackburn; he added 4 more!
United burst out of the traps and took the lead in just the second minute through Berbatov. It was actually 72 seconds to be very precise- an interesting feat achieved by Dimitar Berbatov. Nani’s cross was flicked by Rooney towards the Bulgarian who gladly poked home from close range. Rooney and Berbatov were clearly enjoying their partnership on the field and played some brilliant 1-2s to continue United attack. Patrice Evra, who hadn’t scored for nearly 4 years before last weekend’s match, came close to scoring twice within a week in the 19th minute with a header from a corner conceded by Samba. United were continuously testing Rovers’ defense and a second goal seemed inevitable. And indeed, the Korean 3-lung Park, after playing a delightful 1-2 with Rooney scored from a 6 yard area over Robinson’s head.

Then came the Christmas present by Chimbonda, who had a terrible day on the field with Nani, sending a backpass to Robinson which was intercepted on its way by an alert Berbatov and the Bulgarian had all the time and space in the world to send the ball past a helpless Robinson. United 3 Blackburn 0. The dismal performance forced Sam Allardyce to make an early first half substitution and David Hoilett came on for young Frenchman Gulon. The first half produced more chances for United with Captain Vidic coming close to scoring from a Nani free-kick.

There was a slight moment of concern for the fans when Wayne Rooney seemed to have injured his ankle in the 34th minute. With a point to prove, Rooney shrugged off the injury and continued playing despite Hernandez beginning to warm up on the sidelines. The first 45 minutes ended with Van Der Sar yet to be tested.

If anyone had a question in their mind as to whether United will continue to attack in the second half or would they sit back and preserve their lead, their question was answered within 96 seconds of the second half when Berbatov displayed why he is the best when it comes to passing and slight touches. The Bulgarian picked up the ball on the edge of his own area, played a 1-2 with Patrice Evra and made light of accusations of laziness as he drove to the half-way line. His inch-perfect pass found Nani. The winger then repaid the favor to see Berbatov sweep past Robinson for his second hat trick of the season. Nani,who was playing marvelously tonight finally registered his name on the score sheet in the 48th minute when he twisted and turned inside the area before firing into the far corner. United 5 Blackburn 0.

Dimitar Berbatov's hat-trick goal
Then came a moment of brilliance by young Rafael who made a run into the Rovers half before playing in Park whose shot was blocked by Samba. It was surely Berbatov’s day as the deflected ball fell to his feet seven yards from goal and he obliged by scoring his fourth. His fifth for the day came when in the 70th minute he was slipped in by Anderson. After his effort was intercepted by Nelsen, he kept his composure to fire the ball in past Robinson. This goal made him only the fourth player in the premier league to score 5 in a game.

With 20 minutes left on the clock, all eyes were on Berbatov, waiting for him to score a 6th, a feat that has never happened in the Premier League. Though, it didn’t happen and United fans will have to wait for some time to see that happen. In the one sided match, Blackburn’s first chance came in the 80th minute for Samba who meekly headed the ball into Edwin van der Sar’s arms.

The giant Central Defender made up for his side’s miserable defensive performance by scoring a consolation goal from a header in the 83rd minute.
This was undoubtedly United’s best performance in the season so far. The team seems to have put the final piece in the jumble in the form of Wayne Rooney who looked at his previous best with a promise of goals to come. On a day when both United and Berbatov had a point to prove, they did put in the perfect performance to unsettle early pacesetters Chelsea. 


Berbatov was unable to hide his happiness and nothing could wipe the smile off his face. On a day when the Premier League recorded highest number of goals in a single day, 36 in all, Berbatov outshone everyone. This was certainly his day.
 
HAIL DIMITAR BERBATOV, THE AWESOME MANCHESTER UNITED BULGARIAN

HD Highlights: Manchester United 7-1 Blackburn Rovers

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