BBC Sport football

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 19:32 GMT, Saturday, 31 October 2009

Man Utd   2 - 0   Blackburn

Dimitar Berbatov
Berbatov cracks in a fantastic opening goal from the edge of the box for United

By Mark Ashenden

Dimitar Berbatov's second-half volley helped to set up a stuttering Manchester United win over Blackburn.

United's new look defence had few problems and after being twice denied early on, Berbatov flicked up Patrice Evra's skewed shot to score the opener.

Wayne Rooney doubled the lead after 87 minutes, cracking in an Anderson cross with an exquisite half-volley.

Blackburn's Nikola Kalinic was unlucky to have a late strike ruled offside as Michael Owen missed from close range.

It will be a welcome three points for boss Sir Alex Ferguson arriving soon after their 2-0 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield and also keeps them breathing down the necks of table-topping Chelsea.

606: DEBATE
Benzeguero

But for large periods, they struggled to break down a hard-working but unadventurous Blackburn side, playing with defender Christopher Samba and David Dunn, both having recovered from swine flu.

The Old Trafford faithful were barely vocal in the opening half an hour with neither team doing little to threaten a goal, apart from a mistimed volley from Antonio Valencia.

United - with only one clean sheet to their name this season - fielded centre-halves Wes Brown and Jonny Evans - in for the injured Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand - but it was their front men who were the busier pairing.

Phelan content with win over Blackburn

Striker Berbatov was denied by a last-ditch tackle from Gael Givet and then he nodded down Valencia's curling cross from the right, but Paul Robinson was equal to it and tipped it over the bar.

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce - another one to recover from illness - spent increasing amounts of time screaming at his players to push forward as their opponents looked intent on grabbing the opener before the interval.

After Berbatov had a shot turned round the post, he then finally had the ball in the net after the move of the half involving Nani and Rooney, only to be denied by the offside flag.

Nine minutes into the second period a huge smile appeared on the face of the Bulgarian as he broke the deadlock with a sublime piece of skill inside the box.

Evra burst down the left and after his weak shot skidded across the box, Berbatov flicked the ball up, turned on the spot and volleyed superbly low into the net to bag his fourth of the season.

Allardyce critical of disallowed late strike

With the hosts more relaxed, substitute Gabriel Obertan - on for Nani - almost made it a sensational Premier League debut as he picked up the ball in the box but shot inexplicably wide.

With three minutes remaining, the points were safe as Anderson drove the ball into the box for Rooney to caress it into the net with a delightful left-foot half-volley.

There was still time for Blackburn - trying to avoid their 10th successive away defeat in the league - to be harshly denied a consolation goal.

Benni McCarthy's shot was well saved by Edwin van der Sar and substitute Kalinic fired into the net with the referee's assistant waving for offside.

The last piece of action fell to Michael Owen but after a selfless pass from Valencia, the England striker dragged his shot wide.


Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov:
"As long as we keep on winning I think everyone will be happy.

"In the first half, I had a couple of chances to score - you need to be patient and when another chance comes, you need to score it.

"I was glad that I scored, and Wayne Rooney scored another one and it was finished for Blackburn.

"It is always difficult to play against Blackburn, but always when you score a goal you are relieved because you feel that you have done something special."

Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce:
"We defended very, very well indeed and limited Manchester United to not too many clear-cut chances. The two goals they scored were superb finishes from two class players.

"My only disappointment is we didn't challenge United in their goal enough today, where they have been a bit shaky in the past.

"Then, in the last four minutes we've been denied a goal and when you look at the replay [Nikola Kalinic] is so far on-side it's unbelievable. How the assistant got that wrong I don't know.

"I'm not saying we would have got anything from the game but who knows? After battling like that something pops up in our favour and the luck goes against us again."

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man Utd 2-0 Blackburn FT
(HT 0-0)
  • Berbatov 55
  • Rooney 87

    Man Utd

    Substitutes

    Blackburn

    Substitutes

    Ref: DowdAtt: 74,658
    MAN UTD
    BLACKBURN

    Possession

    • Man Utd 59%
    • Blackburn 41%

    Attempts on target

    • Man Utd 11
    • Blackburn 1

    Attempts off target

    • Man Utd 9
    • Blackburn 1

    Corners

    • Man Utd 7
    • Blackburn 2

    Fouls

    • Man Utd 10
    • Blackburn 21
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+4:28 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
    • 90:00+4:02 Shot by Michael Owen from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
    • 90:00+3:18 The referee blows for offside. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
    • 90:00+2:19 Wayne Rooney fouled by Benedict McCarthy, the ref awards a free kick. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.
    • 90:00+1:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Antonio Valencia by Nikola Kalinic. Edwin Van der Sar takes the direct free kick.
    • 90:00 A cross is delivered by El-Hadji Diouf, clearance made by Patrice Evra. Benedict McCarthy takes a shot. Edwin Van der Sar makes a save. The assistant referee signals for offside against Nikola Kalinic. Free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 88:33 El-Hadji Diouf is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 88:01 Jonathan Evans concedes a free kick for a foul on Nikola Kalinic. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Benedict McCarthy from right channel, clearance made by Patrice Evra.
    • 86:55 Assist by Oliveira Anderson.
    • 86:55 GOAL - Wayne RooneyMan Utd 2 - 0 Blackburn Wayne Rooney scores a goal from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 2-0 Blackburn.
    • 86:47 Oliveira Anderson crosses the ball,
    • 85:16 Morten Gamst Pedersen fouled by Patrice Evra, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Brett Emerton from right channel, free kick awarded for a foul by El-Hadji Diouf on Wes Brown. Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 82:31 The free kick is delivered left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from right wing, Michael Carrick manages to make a clearance.
    • 82:31 Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with Benedict McCarthy coming on for David Dunn.
    • 82:31 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on El-Hadji Diouf by Gabriel Obertan.
    • 81:05 Effort from deep inside the area by Gabriel Obertan misses to the left of the target.
    • 79:29 The assistant referee flags for offside against Antonio Valencia. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 78:12 Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
    • 78:12 Substitution Michael Owen replaces Dimitar Berbatov.
    • 78:12 Dimitar Berbatov challenges Christopher Samba unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 77:54 The ball is crossed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, save by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 77:01 El-Hadji Diouf challenges Oliveira Anderson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Oliveira Anderson.
    • 75:55 Foul by David Dunn on Oliveira Anderson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
    • 75:14 Substitution Nikola Kalinic replaces Franco Di Santo.
    • 74:12 Corner taken by Oliveira Anderson, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
    • 73:48 Oliveira Anderson takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Morten Gamst Pedersen manages to make a clearance.
    • 73:26 Corner taken right-footed by Wayne Rooney from the left by-line to the near post, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.
    • 73:20 Gabriel Obertan crosses the ball, blocked by El-Hadji Diouf.
    • 71:35 Morten Gamst Pedersen crosses the ball.
    • 68:55 Foul by Franco Di Santo on Wes Brown, free kick awarded. John O'Shea takes the free kick.
    • 68:12 Wayne Rooney has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the target.
    • 67:44 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
    • 66:59 Centre by Brett Emerton, clearance by Patrice Evra.
    • 65:54 Gabriel Obertan takes a shot. Comfortable save by Paul Robinson.
    • 64:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Oliveira Anderson on El-Hadji Diouf. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
    • Correction - 62:31 Substitution Gabriel Obertan replaces Luis Nani.
    • Correction - 62:31 Foul by Luis Nani on David Dunn, free kick awarded.
    • 62:31 Direct free kick taken by David Dunn.
    • 62:31 Substitution Gabriel Obertan joins the action as a substitute, replacing Luis Nani.
    • 62:31 Unfair challenge on David Dunn by Luis Nani results in a .
    • 56:53 Substitution Morten Gamst Pedersen comes on in place of Keith Andrews.
    • 56:42 Oliveira Anderson has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
    • 56:36 Antonio Valencia sends in a cross, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.
    • 54:44 Assist by Patrice Evra.
    • 54:44 GOAL - Dimitar BerbatovMan Utd 1 - 0 Blackburn Dimitar Berbatov fires in a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-0 Blackburn.
    • 47:43 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by David Dunn.
    • 45:26 A cross is delivered by Luis Nani, Dimitar Berbatov concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Nelsen. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
    • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:06 The match has reached half-time.
    • 45:00+0:13 Free kick awarded for a foul by Franco Di Santo on Wes Brown. Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the free kick.
    • 44:26 Dimitar Berbatov has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
    • 43:23 Corner taken right-footed by Antonio Valencia.
    • 43:10 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Gael Givet.
    • 41:19 Michael Carrick sends in a cross, clearance by Christopher Samba.
    • 41:02 Unfair challenge on Patrice Evra by Franco Di Santo results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
    • 39:07 The assistant referee signals for offside against Wayne Rooney. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
    • 37:14 Wayne Rooney shoots direct from the free kick.
    • 37:14 Booking The referee books Pascal Chimbonda for unsporting behaviour.
    • 37:06 Luis Nani fouled by Pascal Chimbonda, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 35:30 Patrice Evra takes the direct free kick.
    • 35:30 Booking Brett Emerton is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 35:05 Brett Emerton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Luis Nani. Direct free kick taken by Patrice Evra. Unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Brett Emerton results in a free kick.
    • 33:50 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Corner taken short by Antonio Valencia. Patrice Evra concedes a free kick for a foul on Franco Di Santo. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
    • Correction - 32:51 Corner taken by David Dunn, Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Christopher Samba misses to the right of the target.
    • 32:51 Corner taken by David Dunn, Ryan Nelsen has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.
    • 31:19 Effort from outside the penalty area by Luis Nani goes wide left of the target.
    • 30:32 Patrice Evra delivers the ball, Gael Givet makes a clearance.
    • 29:29 Michael Carrick takes a shot. David Dunn gets a block in. Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson. Corner from right by-line taken by Oliveira Anderson.
    • 29:15 Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Ryan Nelsen gets a block in.
    • 27:08 David Dunn concedes a free kick for a foul on Oliveira Anderson. Oliveira Anderson takes the direct free kick.
    • 26:27 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Wes Brown by Franco Di Santo. Direct free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 24:48 Antonio Valencia takes a shot. El-Hadji Diouf gets a block in. Corner taken by Luis Nani played to the near post.
    • 24:06 Pascal Chimbonda concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Nani. Wayne Rooney takes the direct free kick.
    • 23:18 Ryan Nelsen concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Nani. Oliveira Anderson crosses the ball in from the free kick, Paul Robinson makes a save.
    • 19:41 Christopher Samba challenges Dimitar Berbatov unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.
    • 17:27 Brett Emerton sends in a cross, free kick awarded for a foul by Christopher Samba on Wes Brown. Direct free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
    • 16:38 Oliveira Anderson challenges David Dunn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
    • 14:28 Luis Nani fouled by Pascal Chimbonda, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Luis Nani from left wing, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.
    • 13:42 Unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Franco Di Santo results in a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.
    • 12:13 Effort from deep inside the area by Antonio Valencia misses to the left of the goal.
    • 7:07 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dimitar Berbatov by Steven Nzonzi. Luis Nani crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save by Paul Robinson.
    • 3:03 Luis Nani produces a left-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses left.
    • 2:34 Gael Givet gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Antonio Valencia. John O'Shea takes the direct free kick.
    • 1:32 David Dunn takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Wes Brown manages to make a clearance.
    • 0:54 Wes Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on El-Hadji Diouf. Free kick taken by David Dunn.
    • 0:00 The game begins.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



    Print Sponsor


    Premier League results

    31 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

    Home Team Score Away Team Time
    Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham R
    Bolton 0-4 Chelsea R
    Burnley 2-0 Hull R
    Everton 1-1 Aston Villa R
    Fulham 3-1 Liverpool R
    Man Utd 2-0 Blackburn R
    Portsmouth 4-0 Wigan R
    Stoke 2-2 Wolverhampton R
    Sunderland 2-2 West Ham R

    Premier League table snapshot

    As it stood on 31 Oct 2009 23:59 UK

    Position Team P GD PTS
    1 Chelsea 11 20 27
    2 Man Utd 11 12 25
    3 Arsenal 10 19 22
    4 Tottenham 11 4 19
    5 Liverpool 11 9 18
    6 Man City 9 7 18
    7 Aston Villa 10 5 18
    8 Sunderland 11 3 17
    9 Stoke 11 -2 16
    10 Burnley 11 -10 15
    11 Fulham 10 0 14
    12 Wigan 11 -9 13
    13 Everton 10 -3 12
    14 Bolton 10 -5 11
    15 Birmingham 10 -4 10
    16 Wolverhampton 11 -7 10
    17 Blackburn 10 -13 10
    18 Hull 11 -16 8
    19 West Ham 10 -4 7
    20 Portsmouth 11 -6 7

    see also
    Saturday football as it happened
    31 Oct 09 |  Football
    Saturday's football photos
    31 Oct 09 |  Football
    Rovers lose Roberts to swine flu
    30 Oct 09 |  Blackburn



    BBC navigation

    BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

    This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.