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Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Sunday, 11 April 2010 15:27 UK

Blackburn   0 - 0   Man Utd

Dimitar Berbatov shows his frustration against Blackburn
It was a frustrating afternoon for Berbatov and his United team-mates

By Paul Fletcher

Manchester United missed the chance to move top of the Premier League after a frustrating afternoon saw them held to a goalless draw at Blackburn.

Paul Robinson made an excellent save after Antonio Valencia had been played clean through and later held a shot from an unmarked Dimitar Berbatov.

Rovers created little but Gary Neville blocked from Steven Nzonzi late on.

United would have moved a point clear of Chelsea with victory but are one point behind having played a game more.

It was a must-win game for United, who were looking for a positive response to the twin disappointment of Premier League defeat to Chelsea and the Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.

606: DEBATE
the white pele

But without the injured Wayne Rooney, the visiting team lacked a cutting edge and with four games of their league season left United must now be viewed as unlikely to end the campaign with their fourth consecutive Premier League title.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson had stressed before the match the importance of victory and his increasingly frustrated demeanour as he prowled his technical area underlined the importance of his team finding a winning goal.

But it was never going to be an easy task against a Rovers team who have been defeated only twice at home this season and, at least until United notably increased the tempo in the closing stages, Sam Allardyce's side looked relatively comfortable.

If it was a largely forgettable afternoon for United, in their first goalless draw of the season, then there was little for the neutral to savour either.

The opening half was without a clear opening until Berbatov's delightful disguised pass played Valencia clean through on goal shortly before the break.

The ball had been gifted to Berbatov by a dreadful clearance from Robinson but the keeper quickly atoned by saving Valencia's crisp strike with his legs.

Title out of our hands - Phelan

Valencia also had United's only other decent chance of the opening half after Federico Macheda, making his first start of the Premier League season, slipped the ball into his path but Robinson saved the 18-yard strike.

The largely ineffectual Nani shot wide with a curling effort, while the surly Berbatov, who played in a deep position and spent far too much times waving his arms in frustration and remonstrating with his team-mates, appeared to go down under pressure from Rovers substitute Ryan Nelsen but his penalty appeals were turned down.

Rovers started with Nikola Kalinic as the lone striker and the Croat, competing against the considerable presence of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, struggled to hold the ball up.

The only first half chance of note for the home team fell to Chris Samba, but the big defender, who later went off injured, could not generate sufficient power on his eighth minute header to trouble Edwin van der Sar.

Ferdinand, who later limped through the final minutes with what appeared to be a groin injury, horrifically dislocated a finger after 48 minutes but the defender was soon able to continue after receiving treatment.

Rovers brought on David Dunn for Brett Emerton at the break and played slightly higher up the pitch in an attempt to support Kalinic.

But, largely, the second half continued much like the first, with United enjoying the lion's share of possession but encountering a resolute Rovers defence.

Ferguson, cutting an increasingly desperate figure as he prowled his technical area, brought on Darron Gibson for Ryan Giggs and, later, Ji-Sung Park for the anonymous Macheda.

Allardyce salutes 'great' performance

Gibson scored a stunning long-range strike against Bayern Munich but shot wide after Phil Jones's block from Berbatov's shot dropped invitingly.

Berbatov had the opportunity to underline his worth to United after the ball dropped to the unmarked striker 14 yards from goal but his strike lacked power and Robinson saved.

Rovers might have snatched an unlikely victory late on but Neville bravely threw his body in the way to block Nzonzi's strike.


Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce:
"It was a great, resilient performance and to get a point is always beneficial for our team.

"I know we have been lacking in front of goal for much of this season but we have been very good defensively and it was a another good performance defensively from us.

"United only had the one real chance before half time and we played well to limit them to that."

Read Manchester United reaction here

Live text and stats

 

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Blackburn 0-0 Man Utd FT
(HT 0-0)

      Blackburn

      Substitutes

      Man Utd

      Substitutes

      Ref: WaltonAtt: 29,912
      BLACKBURN
      MAN UTD

      Possession

      • Blackburn 44%
      • Man Utd 56%

      Attempts on target

      • Blackburn 7
      • Man Utd 6

      Attempts off target

      • Blackburn 1
      • Man Utd 7

      Corners

      • Blackburn 1
      • Man Utd 7

      Fouls

      • Blackburn 14
      • Man Utd 12
      • Final Result
      • Full Time
      • 90:00+4:22 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
      • 90:00+2:35 Gary Neville produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.
      • 90:00+2:18 Luis Nani crosses the ball, clearance made by Phil Jones.
      • 88:05 Steven Nzonzi takes a shot. Gary Neville gets a block in.
      • 86:41 Strike comes in from Morten Gamst Pedersen from the free kick.
      • 86:41 Booking Darron Gibson goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
      • 86:35 Darron Gibson challenges Nikola Kalinic unfairly and gives away a free kick.
      • 86:13 A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia.
      • 85:44 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patrice Evra by El-Hadji Diouf. Direct free kick taken by Nemanja Vidic.
      • 84:48 El-Hadji Diouf takes a shot. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
      • 84:21 Centre by Gary Neville, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.
      • 82:32 Dimitar Berbatov produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.
      • 81:04 Corner from right by-line taken by Luis Nani.
      • 80:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phil Jones by Luis Nani. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 79:49 Effort from 12 yards by Dimitar Berbatov. Save by Paul Robinson.
      • 77:17 Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the free kick.
      • 77:17 Substitution Patrice Evra on for John O'Shea.
      • 77:17 Corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the right by-line to the near post, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Edwin Van der Sar by Ryan Nelsen.
      • 76:34 A cross is delivered by Michel Salgado, clearance by Nemanja Vidic.
      • 75:20 Antonio Valencia crosses the ball, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance. Corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani from the right by-line to the near post, David Dunn manages to make a clearance.
      • 74:25 The referee penalises Dimitar Berbatov for handball. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 74:10 The ball is sent over by Antonio Valencia, Ryan Nelsen manages to make a clearance.
      • 72:54 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani.
      • 69:33 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the direct free kick.
      • 69:33 Substitution El-Hadji Diouf joins the action as a substitute, replacing Martin Olsson.
      • 69:33 Booking Gary Neville is given a yellow card.
      • 69:28 Foul by Gary Neville on Martin Olsson, free kick awarded.
      • 66:11 Foul by Gael Givet on Luis Nani, free kick awarded. A cross is delivered by Luis Nani, Dimitar Berbatov takes a shot. Blocked by Phil Jones. Darron Gibson produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
      • Correction - 64:37 Centre by Gary Neville.
      • 64:37 Substitution Ji-Sung Park replaces Federico Macheda.
      • 64:37 The ball is sent over by Gary Neville.
      • 63:51 Handball decision goes against Martin Olsson. Rio Ferdinand takes the free kick.
      • 62:29 Darron Gibson has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the goal.
      • 58:58 Foul by Steven Nzonzi on Darron Gibson, free kick awarded. Luis Nani produces a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
      • 58:10 Luis Nani takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Michel Salgado.
      • 56:40 Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 56:40 Substitution Darron Gibson replaces Ryan Giggs.
      • 56:40 Foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Phil Jones, free kick awarded.
      • 53:38 Paul Scholes challenges Nikola Kalinic unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 53:17 The ball is sent over by Federico Macheda, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.
      • 50:16 The ball is crossed by Phil Jones.
      • 49:18 Unfair challenge on Nikola Kalinic by Rio Ferdinand results in a free kick. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
      • 49:09 Centre by Gary Neville, clearance by Ryan Nelsen.
      • 47:08 Unfair challenge on Rio Ferdinand by Martin Olsson results in a free kick. Edwin Van der Sar takes the free kick.
      • 45:33 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot. Blocked by Nemanja Vidic.
      • 45:01 The referee starts the second half.
      • 45:01 Substitution Brett Emerton goes off and David Dunn comes on.
      • Half Time
      • 45:00+2:10 The referee blows for half time.
      • 43:37 Free kick awarded for a foul by Steven Nzonzi on Dimitar Berbatov. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.
      • 42:57 Antonio Valencia takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a fantastic save.
      • 40:58 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Martin Olsson by Luis Nani. Direct free kick taken by Michel Salgado.
      • 40:16 Morten Gamst Pedersen gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Paul Scholes. Rio Ferdinand restarts play with the free kick.
      • 39:34 Dimitar Berbatov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Gael Givet. Morten Gamst Pedersen restarts play with the free kick.
      • 38:38 Unfair challenge on Vincenzo Grella by Paul Scholes results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the direct free kick.
      • 38:25 The ball is delivered by John O'Shea, Ryan Nelsen makes a clearance.
      • 37:54 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, Gael Givet makes a clearance.
      • 35:38 Nikola Kalinic fouled by Rio Ferdinand, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen.
      • 34:27 Shot from 12 yards by Dimitar Berbatov. Comfortable save by Paul Robinson.
      • 33:16 Shot from just outside the area by Luis Nani misses to the right of the target.
      • 31:59 Luis Nani decides to take the corner short.
      • 31:59 Substitution (Blackburn) makes a substitution, with Ryan Nelsen coming on for Christopher Samba.
      • 31:59 The ball is swung over by Gary Neville, Michel Salgado makes a clearance.
      • 31:19 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dimitar Berbatov by Vincenzo Grella. Ryan Giggs takes the free kick.
      • 30:36 Unfair challenge on Gary Neville by Nikola Kalinic results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Paul Scholes.
      • 30:04 Inswinging corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line played to the near post, Martin Olsson makes a clearance.
      • 29:49 Luis Nani takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in.
      • 28:56 Effort on goal by Luis Nani from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
      • 28:45 Ryan Giggs produces a cross.
      • 28:07 The ball is crossed by Ryan Giggs, Gael Givet makes a clearance. Short corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line.
      • 24:57 The official flags Nikola Kalinic offside. Rio Ferdinand restarts play with the free kick.
      • 24:39 Antonio Valencia has a drilled shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
      • 24:19 Martin Olsson delivers the ball, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.
      • 23:50 A cross is delivered by Gary Neville.
      • 23:17 Free kick taken by John O'Shea.
      • 23:17 Booking Michel Salgado goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
      • 22:42 Christopher Samba takes a shot. Blocked by Rio Ferdinand. Michel Salgado concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Nani.
      • 20:59 The ball is swung over by Luis Nani, clearance by Phil Jones.
      • 20:37 The offside flag is raised against Martin Olsson. Indirect free kick taken by Nemanja Vidic.
      • 18:20 The ball is crossed by Gary Neville, save by Paul Robinson.
      • 17:23 Foul by Michel Salgado on Luis Nani, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Luis Nani.
      • 17:09 Nikola Kalinic challenges Antonio Valencia unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Scholes takes the free kick.
      • 16:14 Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the right by-line.
      • 16:07 The ball is delivered by Luis Nani, clearance made by Michel Salgado.
      • 15:45 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes a shot. Blocked by Dimitar Berbatov.
      • 13:37 Martin Olsson concedes a free kick for a foul on Federico Macheda. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.
      • 12:00 Michel Salgado fouled by John O'Shea, the ref awards a free kick. The free kick is swung in left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Rio Ferdinand makes a clearance.
      • 11:12 A cross is delivered by Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.
      • 7:52 Vincenzo Grella delivers the ball, Christopher Samba takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
      • 6:59 Luis Nani challenges Christopher Samba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
      • 5:18 The referee blows for offside against Dimitar Berbatov. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
      • 3:59 Steven Nzonzi takes a shot.
      • 2:56 The ball is swung over by Antonio Valencia.
      • 1:07 Michel Salgado challenges Luis Nani unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ryan Giggs takes the direct free kick.
      • 0:00 The match gets underway.

      Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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      Premier League results

      11 Apr 2010 23:59 UK


      Premier League table snapshot

      As it stood on 11 Apr 2010 23:59 UK

      Position Team P GD PTS
      1 Chelsea 33 54 74
      2 Man Utd 34 50 73
      3 Arsenal 33 41 71
      4 Man City 33 28 62
      5 Tottenham 32 26 58
      6 Liverpool 34 21 56
      7 Aston Villa 32 12 54
      8 Everton 33 8 50
      9 Birmingham 34 -8 46
      10 Stoke 33 -3 43
      11 Blackburn 34 -15 43
      12 Fulham 33 -2 42
      13 Sunderland 34 -8 38
      14 Wolves 34 -23 33
      15 Bolton 33 -25 32
      16 West Ham 34 -16 31
      17 Wigan 33 -34 31
      18 Burnley 34 -36 27
      19 Hull 33 -38 27
      20 Portsmouth 33 -32 14

      see also
      Title bid dealt a blow - Ferguson
      11 Apr 10 |  Man Utd
      Sunday football as it happened
      11 Apr 10 |  Football
      Sunday's football photos
      11 Apr 10 |  Football



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