28 December 2010

Review 18: Berbatov's elegant goal not enough to win at St. Andrews

Birmingham City 1-1 Manchester United
Berbatov 58' Bowyer 89' 
St Andrews, City of Birmingham Stadium

Finding the net often these days- A happy Dimitar Berbatov
The last game of the year 2010 pretty much reflected the story of the season: Away Draws. 18 games on, United are still struggling with away form. 7 of the 8 draws that United have suffered have occurred at opponent's ground. This is something United would be keen to improve in the second half of the season beginning 1st January, 2011! So Berbatov was the last Red Devil to score in 2010. Congratulations to him, this was his 15th goal for United.. his highest with United in a single season so far!

Talking about the game, it was really a low-tempo match with the game opening a little bit towards the end. Berbatov stole the show with yet another blazing goal, thanks to a sleek assit with midfielder Darron Gibson who was rather deployed a defensive role in today's game. It seemed as if Wayne Rooney was instructed to play on the flanks and the strategy proved to be quite effective.

Darron Gibson was replaced for Ji Sung Park who is away to Qatar for international duty as his team S.Korea takes part in the Asian Cup. It is speculated that Park will quit international football after this tournament is over, much like Ryan Giggs and Berbatov have done. This was the only change made by Fergie as he opted not to give rest to the squad he played 48 hours ago in a 2-0 win over Sunderland.

The game started off with a few nervy clearances by Rio Ferdiand. But gradually picked up as Anderson easily found Rooney on the flanks and Berbatov mastered with his brilliant skill work. The main highlight of the 1st half was the Ryan Giggs' shot deflected off the goal post brushing off Ben Foster's gloves in the 18th minute. It was a really close save and had that gone in, United may have grabbed all three points tonight.

Berbatov celebrates the goal with Wayne Rooney and a fan, is he the same Irish soul from Rangers game?
Second half so United attacking and finally found a hard-earned goal through Dimitar Berbatov's powerful strike in the bottom right of the net, thanks to a lovely assist pass by Darron Gibson.

Lee Bowyer's last minute equaliser
As minutes came closer to the final whistle, one would have constantly prayed that United doesn't concede a goal but it seems the prayers didn't work as Lee Bowyer notched in a last minute goal which spoiled United's new year celebrations. However, it was a controversial goal as Nikola Zigic had used his arm to knock the ball down in the penalty area. VDS's appeal was denied by the linesman. But nevertheless, United are still unbeaten in the 18 games played so far this season. And this is quite an unbelievable feat achieved by Sir Alex Ferguson and his men.

Next game is happening next year as United take on West Home away at 12.45 KO. Let's hope United doesn't produce another draw.

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