There was a lot riding on this game. Manchester United had been carrying this game in hand for almost a month and that was the guard the other title contenders had, the hope the Red Devils would falter.
Charlie Adam, the captain and the man in thick of things in the transfer market, had just submitted a transfer request to join Liverpool and though things are still uncertain, he wanted to give his best against United at home.
For the first 45 min, it was Blackpool all the way. The orchestrator, the artist with the left foot, Charlie was picking passes, winning tackles, driving pin point crosses into the box at will. Sir Alex had tweaked up the midfield after the 5-0 drubbing 2 days ago and they just didn’t seem to get going at all.
Rooney was slotted to the left wing and was listless almost the entire time. Strayed passes, poor service to the front men, players struggling on the surface, United were not even a shadow of the team that played so well against the Blues.
Two pinpoint corners from Charlie, picked Cathart and D J Campbell and Blackpool deserved all the plaudits for what seemed like surely an end to MUFC’s unbeaten run in the league and the cushion of the game in hand.
Holloway knew what would be happening in the United dressing room at half time and braced his team for a possible onslaught from the visitors. Sir Alex, IMO, chose the wrong starting XI in the first place, so he sent Gibson off and brought on Giggs. His impact was instantaneous as there was a lot more impetus to United‘s forward play and also the desire to restore parity.
A 65th min bold call by SAF to take off Wazza who continued to be ineffective despite moving central, was understandable. Berbatov is in the form of his life and right to be on the pitch. So on came Chicharito, and dint he have an instant impact. Blackpool were pegged more and more into their own half but they continued into play a high line, and paid the price when a lovely reverse from Nani sent an easy cross for Berba to slot in.
In a matter of minutes, 2 more goals came in, Chicha leveling and Berba exploiting a gap at right back to get united ahead.
2 incidents in the 2nd half caught the headline – Rafael’s concussion and being stretchered off and his prior body check on Varney which Fulton did not deem to be a penalty.
- United used that moment of luck to turn the game on its head and go 5 points clear on top of the table; could very well have a telling part in the title race.
- Berbatov continues to sizzle with his goal scoring form, Giggs rolled back the years once again to resurrect the team.
- Rafael will miss the FA clash with Southampton, head injury is not as serious as it was initially thought.
- Blackpool has a lot of fight in them, and losing their captain would be a big blow no money will repair.
- Manchester United as always showed what it takes to be the Champions garnering all the experience in one of the most exciting comebacks of the season
Van der Sar 8.0, Evra 8.0, Vidic 8.5, Smalling 7.5, Rafael 9.0, Nani 8.0, Gibson 7.0, Fletcher 7.5, Scholes 8.0, Rooney 7.5, Berbatov 9.5
Subs: Giggs 9.0, Hernandez 9.0, Anderson 8.0