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Page last updated at 21:31 GMT, Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Blackpool   2 - 3   Man Utd

Berbatov (left) and Hernandez took advantage of a tiring Blackpool
Berbatov (left) and Hernandez took advantage of a tiring Blackpool

By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer at Bloomfield Road

Manchester United staged a stunning late comeback to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with victory at Blackpool.

United's attempt to extend their unbeaten league sequence to 23 games this season looked to be in shreds as the Seasiders - managed by Ian Holloway - roared into a fully deserved two-goal lead at the interval.

Blackpool still held the advantage given to them by two headed goals, from former United youngster Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell, with only 18 minutes left - but they were then hit by a torrent of attacks that brought United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's visitors an unlikely triumph.

And Ferguson himself was able to take much of the credit for the turnaround following his decision to remove a subdued Wayne Rooney after 66 minutes and replace the England man with Javier Hernandez, who went on to play a crucial role in United's fightback.

Terrific fightback pleases Phelan

Dimitar Berbatov found the first cracks in the home side's resilience when he pulled one back from close range and Hernandez himself drew the visitors level with a composed finish three minutes later as Bloomfield Road's earlier jubilation turned to despair.

And after a lengthy delay caused by an injury to Rafael da Silva - which resulted in 10 minutes of stoppage time - Berbatov maintained his golden run of form by punishing more gaps in Blackpool's rearguard to fire home the winner with his 19th league goal of the campaign.

It was a bitter pill for Holloway and his players, who performed magnificently in the first half to take full toll on a shoddy United display, to swallow as they slumped on the turf at the final whistle.

At the heart of that dramatic opening period was in-demand midfield man Charlie Adam, who continues to be pursued by Liverpool and has informed Blackpool of his desire to leave.

Adam dictated the game in an enthralling opening half, showing his full range of passes and providing both of the corners from which the Seasiders scored.

He gave a display that fully justified Holloway's insistence that he is worth more than the £4m currently on offer from Liverpool.

Blackpool may feel the game turned on the moment early in the second half when referee Peter Walton rejected penalty claims as Rafael appeared to bundle Luke Varney to the ground in the area.

From then on the visitors, inspired by the composure provided by Ryan Giggs after he came on for Darron Gibson at half-time, managed to unscramble their senses to slowly but surely overpower gallant Blackpool.

In another demonstration of the resilience and never-say-die spirit that is built into this United side, they hunted Blackpool down once they had the whiff of victory and there was almost an inevitability about the final outcome once they found a foothold in the game.

PHIL MCNULTY'S BLOG

The only cloud on their night was that injury to Rafael, who was followed off the pitch by his anxious brother Fabio as he was stretchered away down the tunnel.

Holloway had no hesitation in including Adam in his starting line-up - and the Blackpool boss was rewarded as the Scot emerged as the stand-out performer in a memorable first half.

Recovering from an early arm injury that required treatment, Adam was heavily involved and left United defender Patrice Evra with a facial injury following a clash near the touchline that infuriated Ferguson, who remonstrated with referee Walton.

Evra was only just recovering his position after a spell of treatment when the home side took the lead in the 15th minute, Cathcart losing his marker Berbatov to power a header past goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

Blackpool's fearless and positive approach had United rattled, an uncertainly that was underlined when Van der Sar had to react swiftly to prevent Nemanja Vidic turning Adam's dangerous cross into his own net.

Seconds later Elliot Grandin blazed over the top from 10 yards when a second goal looked certain.

Ferguson attempted to inject some urgency into United by moving Rooney inside from his left-flank position in support of Berbatov - but still it was Blackpool who were in control and they deservedly doubled their lead two minutes before the interval.

Van der Sar did superbly to turn David Vaughan's shot away for a corner, but there was to be no reprieve for United. Adam's corner glanced off Gibson and Campbell was alert at the far post to send Bloomfield Road into ecstasy.

Holloway 'gutted' after Man Utd defeat

Ferguson, who presumably showed no mercy to his shambolic side at half-time, sent on Giggs for Gibson and United immediately showed a greater sense of urgency.

It was the Seasiders, however, who were swiftly on the attack again and they had very presentable claims for a penalty waved away as Varney tumbled under a challenge from Rafael.

Blackpool keeper Richard Kingson was finally tested by efforts from Nani and Paul Scholes but United's lack of sustained threat prompted Ferguson to remove Rooney and send on Hernandez.

The results were spectacular as Ferguson's men launched a stunning revival with two goals in the space of three minutes. Berbatov was the first to strike with 18 minutes left as he turned in Darren Fletcher's cross before Hernandez raced on to Giggs's pass and steered his finish past Kingson.

United had the momentum, but it was halted when defender Rafael fell awkwardly and required lengthy treatment behind the goal before being stretchered away.

After a delay that resulted in such a lengthy spell of stoppage time, United soon picked up the pace again and with three minutes of normal time Berbatov took control inside the Blackpool area to bury his finish emphatically beyond Kingson after running on to Scholes's pass.

Blackpool had nothing left to give, despite that lengthy period of injury time, and United had once again produced the sort of fightback that has become their trademark under Ferguson.

Live text and stats

 

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Blackpool 2-3 Man Utd FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Cathcart 15
  • Campbell 43
  • Berbatov 72
  • Hernandez 74
  • Berbatov 88

Blackpool

Substitutes

Man Utd

Substitutes

Ref: WaltonAtt: 15,574
BLACKPOOL
MAN UTD

Possession

  • Blackpool 48%
  • Man Utd 52%

Attempts on target

  • Blackpool 4
  • Man Utd 13

Attempts off target

  • Blackpool 2
  • Man Utd 4

Corners

  • Blackpool 6
  • Man Utd 8

Fouls

  • Blackpool 11
  • Man Utd 10
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+10:36 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
  • 90:00+9:44 Unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez by Craig Cathcart results in a free kick. Darren Fletcher restarts play with the free kick.
  • 90:00+5:00 Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Save by Richard Kingson.
  • 90:00+3:47 Ryan Giggs decides to take a short corner.
  • 87:11 Assist by Paul Scholes.
  • 87:11 GOAL - Dimitar BerbatovBlackpool 2 - 3 Man Utd Dimitar Berbatov scores a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Blackpool 2-3 Man Utd.
  • 85:45 The assistant referee signals for offside against Javier Hernandez. Craig Cathcart takes the free kick.
  • 79:49 Substitution Rafael Da Silva leaves the field to be replaced by Oliveira Anderson.
  • 76:19 The assistant referee flags for offside against Ryan Giggs. Free kick taken by Richard Kingson.
  • 73:54 Ryan Giggs provided the assist for the goal.
  • 73:54 GOAL - Javier HernandezBlackpool 2 - 2 Man Utd Javier Hernandez scores a goal from deep inside the penalty box low into the middle of the goal. Blackpool 2-2 Man Utd.
  • 73:28 Substitution Gary Taylor-Fletcher leaves the field to be replaced by Marlon Harewood.
  • 73:12 Effort on goal by Alex Baptiste from just inside the area clears the bar.
  • 71:41 Darren Fletcher provided the assist for the goal.
  • 71:41 GOAL - Dimitar BerbatovBlackpool 2 - 1 Man Utd Dimitar Berbatov finds the net with a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Blackpool 2-1 Man Utd.
  • 71:12 Foul by Matt Phillips on Rafael Da Silva, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Rafael Da Silva.
  • 70:21 Shot on goal by Darren Fletcher from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
  • 70:04 Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Save by Richard Kingson.
  • 69:05 Outswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line.
  • 68:51 Paul Scholes takes a shot. Blocked by Charlie Adam.
  • 68:14 Ian Evatt gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Ryan Giggs from right by-line.
  • 67:13 Substitution Matt Phillips joins the action as a substitute, replacing Luke Varney.
  • 65:47 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Javier Hernandez coming on for Wayne Rooney.
  • 64:21 Shot by Ryan Giggs from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.
  • 63:26 Outswinging corner taken by Darren Fletcher from the right by-line.
  • 63:15 Paul Scholes takes a shot. Save by Richard Kingson.
  • 61:29 Free kick awarded for a foul by Charlie Adam on Luis Nani. Rafael Da Silva takes the free kick.
  • 61:29 Booking Charlie Adam is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
  • 52:57 Rafael Da Silva takes a shot. Save by Richard Kingson.
  • 51:55 Foul by Elliot Grandin on Patrice Evra, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Ryan Giggs.
  • 51:33 Dudley Campbell is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Nemanja Vidic restarts play with the free kick.
  • 50:13 Unfair challenge on Charlie Adam by Ryan Giggs results in a free kick. Richard Kingson takes the direct free kick.
  • 48:59 Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs, clearance made by Charlie Adam.
  • 48:38 Ryan Giggs takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post.
  • 48:28 Luis Nani takes a shot. Save by Richard Kingson.
  • 48:02 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Blocked by Ian Evatt.
  • 46:56 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam from the right by-line to the near post, Luis Nani manages to make a clearance.
  • 46:03 Unfair challenge on Charlie Adam by Darren Fletcher results in a free kick. Ian Evatt takes the free kick.
  • 45:01 The game restarts for the second half.
  • 45:01 Substitution Darron Gibson goes off and Ryan Giggs comes on.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+2:25 It is the end of the first-half.
  • 45:00+1:40 Elliot Grandin fouled by Darron Gibson, the ref awards a free kick. Charlie Adam takes the direct free kick.
  • 45:00+1:40 Booking Darron Gibson booked for unsporting behaviour.
  • 45:00+0:18 Foul by Paul Scholes on David Vaughan, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Adam.
  • 45:00+0:18 Booking Booking for Paul Scholes for unsporting behaviour.
  • 42:54 Corner taken by Charlie Adam from the right by-line, Charlie Adam provided the assist for the goal.
  • 42:54 GOAL - Dudley CampbellBlackpool 2 - 0 Man Utd Dudley Campbell scores a goal from close in to the top left corner of the goal. Blackpool 2-0 Man Utd.
  • 42:29 David Vaughan takes a shot. Save by Edwin Van der Sar.
  • 41:27 Charlie Adam fouled by Darren Fletcher, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Alex Baptiste.
  • 40:38 Effort on goal by Dimitar Berbatov from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 40:00 Rafael Da Silva takes a shot. Richard Kingson makes a save.
  • 37:21 Foul by Dudley Campbell on Nemanja Vidic, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Chris Smalling.
  • 36:16 Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Charlie Adam from the right by-line.
  • 36:00 Dudley Campbell takes a shot. Nemanja Vidic gets a block in.
  • 34:43 Dudley Campbell challenges Chris Smalling unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Edwin Van der Sar.
  • Correction - 33:37 Darron Gibson takes a shot. Save by Richard Kingson.
  • 33:37 Darren Fletcher takes a shot. Richard Kingson makes a save.
  • 32:22 Charlie Adam takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Dimitar Berbatov.
  • 30:01 Elliot Grandin fouled by Darron Gibson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Charlie Adam.
  • 28:53 Short corner taken by Charlie Adam from the left by-line.
  • 28:07 Rafael Da Silva challenges Luke Varney unfairly and gives away a free kick. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Charlie Adam from left wing, clearance by Chris Smalling.
  • 25:52 Craig Cathcart concedes a free kick for a foul on Dimitar Berbatov. Free kick taken by Darren Fletcher.
  • 25:19 Shot on goal by Elliot Grandin from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
  • 24:42 Handball by Charlie Adam. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:00 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patrice Evra by Elliot Grandin. Luis Nani crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Ian Evatt.
  • 21:53 Foul by Luke Varney on Rafael Da Silva, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Luis Nani, save made by Richard Kingson.
  • Correction - 19:54 The referee blows for offside. Richard Kingson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 19:54 Dimitar Berbatov is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Richard Kingson,
  • 19:16 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Luis Nani.
  • 18:59 Darron Gibson takes a shot. Blocked by Ian Evatt.
  • 16:04 Luis Nani takes a shot. Alex Baptiste gets a block in.
  • 14:41 Inswinging corner taken by Charlie Adam from the right by-line, assist by Charlie Adam.
  • 14:41 GOAL - Craig CathcartBlackpool 1 - 0 Man Utd Craig Cathcart grabs a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Blackpool 1-0 Man Utd.
  • 9:48 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alex Baptiste by Rafael Da Silva. Direct free kick taken by Richard Kingson.
  • 7:24 Corner taken right-footed by Luis Nani.
  • 6:18 Nemanja Vidic concedes a free kick for a foul on Ian Evatt. Direct free kick taken by Richard Kingson.
  • 5:44 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the right by-line.
  • 3:25 Ian Evatt challenges Luis Nani unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Scholes restarts play with the free kick.
  • 0:13 Dimitar Berbatov concedes a free kick for a foul on Ian Evatt. Free kick taken by Richard Kingson.
  • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Barclays Premier League results

25 Jan 2011 23:59 UK


Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 25 Jan 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 23 30 51
2 Arsenal 23 26 46
3 Man City 24 17 45
4 Chelsea 23 23 41
5 Tottenham 23 6 38
6 Sunderland 24 4 37
7 Blackburn 24 -6 31
8 Newcastle 23 3 30
9 Stoke 23 0 30
10 Bolton 24 -1 30
11 Liverpool 23 -1 29
12 Blackpool 23 -7 28
13 Aston Villa 24 -13 28
14 Everton 23 -2 27
15 Fulham 23 0 26
16 West Brom 23 -14 25
17 Birmingham 22 -10 23
18 Wigan 24 -19 22
19 Wolves 23 -17 21
20 West Ham 24 -19 21

see also
Holloway 'gutted' after Blackpool defeat
25 Jan 11 |  Blackpool
Boss Holloway wants to keep Adam
26 Jan 11 |  Blackpool
Terrific fightback pleases Phelan
25 Jan 11 |  Man Utd
Tuesday football as it happened
25 Jan 11 |  Football
Tuesday's football photos
25 Jan 11 |  Football



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