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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 March 2007, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Man Utd 4-1 Blackburn
By Mandeep Sanghera

Paul Scholes celebrates his equaliser against Blackburn in Man Utd's 4-1 win
Scholes equalised against Blackburn before Man Utd surged to victory
Manchester United stormed back from a goal down to brush aside Blackburn.

United central defender Nemanja Vidic was forced off with a broken collarbone and the home side then fell behind when Matt Derbyshire slotted home.

But United dug deep and Paul Scholes slalomed into space and fired in before Michael Carrick sidefooted in.

Park Ji-Sung pounced to add a third and an Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer drive completed United's comeback to leave them needing five wins for the title.

Blackburn did the double over United in the Premiership last season and they started off in determined mood to cause an upset.

606: DEBATE

David Dunn and Derbyshire both had early half chances, but it was United who had the first clear opportunity when a Cristiano Ronaldo strike was blocked by keeper Brad Friedel.

The ball fell loose for Wayne Rooney and he thought he had slotted home only for Friedel to scramble across to somehow palm his effort wide.

United escaped a penalty appeal after a Dunn cross struck Wes Brown on the arm before the lack of form and confidence Rooney showed for England transferred itself to club level.

The striker was found unmarked at the far post by a diagonal Giggs cross and, with just Friedel to beat, fluffed his shot before his second attempt was smothered by the Blackburn keeper.

Wes Brown congratulates Paul Scholes after he equalised in Manchester United's 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers
Scholes equalised against Blackburn before Man Utd surged to victory

The agony was etched on the face of a demoralised Rooney and his frustration was soon compounded as United suffered a double setback.

Vidic has been a stalwart in United central defence but could be out for the season after falling awkwardly challenging for a header at a corner.

United barely had time to settle before Derbyshire gave Blackburn the lead with a poacher's strike.

Carrick diverted a Morten Gamst Pedersen cross towards his own net and, despite keeper Edwin van der Sar saving, Derbyshire sidefooted into the roof of the net.

United went into the interval piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser and started the second half in the same manner.

The Old Trafford side were rattled and Rio Ferdinand kicked the ball into the crowd and hit a spectator when the referee did not play an advantage with United's frustration boiling to the surface.

Blackburn eventually caved into the wave of United attacks when Scholes wriggled into space in the area and drove in a shot.

Giggs had a glorious chance to put his side ahead but amazingly saw his shot come back off the crossbar from just eight yards out.

Carrick spared his blushes when angling in a low shot to give the home side in front.

Ji-Sung scored with an effort from point-blank range after being the quickest to react after Friedel parried a Ronaldo free-kick and Solskjaer added the finishing touch to the win with his late strike.


  • Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson:
    "The intensity of our game was fantastic but so was the support - that put us over the line.

    "The players were all talking about it in the dressing room - they couldn't believe the volume of noise.

    "The great thing we showed was the composure to not lose our heads, keep our nerve and keep on playing and by doing that we kept on making chances."

  • Blackburn manager Mark Hughes:
    "United will not be denied now, I think they will win the title comfortably.

    "For 60 minutes we were really in the game. The crowd were anxious and I felt we were going to capitalise on it.

    "But they were able to galvanise themselves and show why they are champions-elect. This year, they have played the best football."


    Man Utd: Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic (O'Shea 28), Heinze, Ronaldo (Solskjaer 84), Carrick, Scholes, Park, Giggs (Smith 84), Rooney.
    Subs Not Used: Kuszczak, Richardson.

    Booked: Heinze.

    Goals: Scholes 61, Carrick 73, Park 83, Solskjaer 90. Blackburn: Friedel, Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Dunn, Kerimoglu (Peter 74), Mokoena, Pedersen, Derbyshire, McCarthy (Roberts 69).
    Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Nonda, Henchoz.

    Booked: Dunn, Pedersen, Emerton.

    Goals: Derbyshire 29.

    Att: 76,098

    Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).



    SEE ALSO
    Premiership clockwatch
    31 Mar 07 |  Premiership
    Saturday's football photos
    31 Mar 07 |  Football


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