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25 January 2011
• Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, Lancashire
Referee: P. Walton
• Attendance: 15574
C. Cathcart 15'
D. Campbell 44'
D. Berbatov 72', 88'
J. Hernández 74'
FULL-TIME - BLACKPOOL 2-3 MANCHESTER UNITED. What a turnaround in one of the best games of the season so far. Charlie Adam grabbed himself two assists in possibly his final game for the club in the first half as Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell both scored from corners to give Blackpool a shock 2-0 half-time lead. The Seasiders should have been awarded a penalty in the second half but referee Peter Walton waved play on, and that decision proved crucial as a Dimitar Berbatov brace and a Javier Hernandez goal completed the comeback as United moved five points clear at the top of the table. Thanks for joining Goal.com tonight - farewell!
90' + 10'
And there doesn’t look likely to be a late scare here. Javier Hernandez is fouled just inside his own half and United have a free-kick. Just a minute to play now.
90' + 7'
The game has developed a testimonial type feel in the last few minutes. United are quite happy to keep the ball and wait for an opening, while Blackpool are simply too tired to keep up their usual high energy work rate.
90' + 5'
“Giggs, Giggs will tear you apart… again!” is the chant being sung by the United fans. The Welshman then promptly attempts to set up a chance for his side before wasting a decent opportunity.
90' + 2'
Ryan Giggs swings a left-footed cross towards the far post from the left and Blackpool look set to clear. No challenges for the ball again though, and Javier Hernandez sneaks in to pull a header back, only for nobody to arrive to apply the finish. The Seasiders can breathe a sigh of relief.
My word, is this a record? There will be 10 minutes of injury time at Bloomfield Road following the injury to Rafael.
GOAL!! AND THE COMEBACK IS COMPLETE!! Blackpool don’t even challenge for the ball in midfield as Paul Scholes pings a superb pass over to Dimitar Berbatov in the Blackpool half. The striker runs into the penalty area, manages to evade the ‘challenge’ of Craig Cathcart and fire past Richard Kingson to put United 3-2 up. A quite splendid comeback from the visitors - is a Berbatov hat-trick on the cards?
Dimitar Berbatov wins a flick on and looks to set Javier Hernandez on his way again in the Blackpool half. However, the striker is offside and play is pulled back for a free-kick to the hosts.
And we’re now back under way at Bloomfield Road. Rafael has left the pitch on the stretcher in a neck brace. He’s been joined going down the tunnel by concerned twin Fabio.
Rafael looks to be in some trouble. The Brazilian is off the pitch and receiving treatment on a stretcher following a clash of heads. Darren Fletcher has moved to right-back, with Anderson coming on to play alongside Paul Scholes in midfield.
And there was a change for Blackpool in between those two United goals. Big Marlon Harewood is on, with Gary Taylor Fletcher making way.
GOAL!! THAT’S WHY THEY’RE TOP OF THE TABLE!! 2-2!! Ryan Giggs receives the ball out on the left wing and lofts a great pass into the path of Javier Hernandez. The Mexican looks just onside as he races past the Blackpool defence before slotting the ball round Richard Kingson to level. Perhaps that penalty decision may prove crucial come full-time?
GOAL!! DIMITAR BERBATOV PULLS ONE BACK! IS THE COMEBACK ON? Nani checks inside from the right and finds Darren Fletcher on the right side of the Blackpool penalty area. The Scot then picks out Berbatov waiting in the six-yard box, and the unmarked Bulgarian finishes from close range to start the comeback. Game on now at Bloomfield Road.
He’s only been on a few minutes, but he’s already making an impact. Javier Hernandez beats the offside trap as he runs in behind the Blackpool defence. He’s clean through on goal and only has Richard Kingson to beat, but the Ghanaian does well to close the striker down to make a save before Craig Cathcart clears the danger.
And there’s some activity on the Blackpool bench as well now. Matt Phillips, signed from League Two side Wycombe Wanderers in the summer, is on in the place of Luke Varney.
Big change this from Sir Alex Ferguson. Wayne Rooney, who has been anonymous tonight, is replaced by Javier Hernandez. Straight swap, with Chicharito partnering Dimitar Berbatov up front.
Nani works the ball well down the right before clipping a cross over to the onrushing Ryan Giggs at the far post. The United legend can’t recreate his strike against Birmingham at the weekend as he can only steer his left-footed effort into the side-netting.
Referees don’t give in to pressure from managers, do they? Surely not, not against one of the big four? Oh yes they do. Charlie Adam walks away after a foul on Nani. It could quite easily have been a yellow card but there is a huge delay until Sir Alex is up in arms in frustration that the Blackpool skipper hasn’t been booked - then Walton decides to hand out a yellow card to the midfielder.
Yellow CardCharlie Adam
Ryan Giggs is giving away possession now for the visitors - proof that they are really not on form tonight. The veteran Welshman simply tries to trap the ball just inside the Blackpool half but nudges the ball in front of him to David Vaughan - that sums up Manchester United’s performance.
Blackpool are enjoying this one - even Alex Baptiste is getting forward now. The left-back races forward and picks up possession inside the Manchester United penalty area. However, his touch is poor and the ball eventually goes out of play for a goal-kick.
So that half-time change means a slight change in style from United. Wayne Rooney is now partnering Dimitar Berbatov in attack, while Ryan Giggs is making up a midfield four.
Rafael receives the ball 25 yards out and has his effort on goal deflected straight to Richard Kingson in the Blackpool goal. The Ghanaian falls awkwardly on the bobbly Bloomfield Road turf and seems to twist his knee. He’s down at the moment and still receiving treatment, but he looks like he wants to continue.
PENALTY TO BLACKPOOL? NO SAYS REFEREE PETER WALTON! Luke Varney causes more problems to the United back line and gets into the penalty area from the left. Rafael races back to put in a hasty challenge by barging the Blackpool man to ground. It looks a certain penalty but Walton is having none of it, despite protests from Varney and Ian Holloway.
Decent effort from Nani. The Manchester United winger cuts inside from the right and fires a left-footed effort towards the bottom right-hand corner. Richard Kingson is equal to it in the Blackpool goal and tips it wide.
Not the best of starts already from the visitors. Gary Taylor-Fletcher gets in down the right wing and cuts the ball back across goal looking for a team-mate. Rafael manages to get back to clear the danger, but that is not how they planned the opening of the second half.
Blackpool kick us off for the second half. One change at the break, as Ryan Giggs replaces Darron Gibson for Manchester United.
Steve Hewlett reports from Bloomfield Road: At the break Blackpool go in with a two goal lead and, boy, do they deserve it. They have shown more attacking threat than Manchester United, Sir Alex will be dusting off the hairdryer. The Jimmy Armfield stand to my left has been in fantastic voice all night and they have had plenty to cheer.
HALF-TIME - BLACKPOOL 2-0 MANCHESTER UNITED. Who would have thought this before the game? It’s been a terrific performance from Ian Holloway’s men, with Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell scoring headers from corners to give them a shock 2-0 half-time lead. United just haven’t shown up, and Sir Alex will no doubt give his side a ticking off at the break.
45' + 2'
Yellow CardDarron Gibson
45' + 1'
Yellow CardPaul Scholes
Steve Hewlett reports from Bloomfield Road: Stunning stuff on the Fylde coast, unbeaten Manchester United go two down to Blackpool through a DJ Campbell goal. The second goal was almost a carbon copy of the first. Cross from the right to which Campbell climbs high at the far post to leave Van der Sar helpless. Blackpool thoroughly deserve their lead and fans around me cannot believe their eyes.
GOAL!! AND IT’S 2-0 TO BLACKPOOL! A wonderful move from Blackpool sees them earn a corner as Edwin van der Sar tips David Vaughan’s effort from 25 yards out wide of the post. Charlie Adam then curls a left-footed cross into the area and DJ Campbell is there at the far post to head home after a Blackpool flick on. The tangerine dream continues!
Safe hands from Richard Kingson. United put a decent move together - rare from them this half - and Rafael storms forward from right-back and directs his looping header towards goal from inside the penalty area. But Kingson is there to coolly claim under no pressure from a United forward.
Steve Hewlett reports from Bloomfield Road: Charlie Adam is literally everywhere, he drops to help out at the back, and then the next minute he nutmegs Darren Fletcher and leaves him for dead.
After cheers with every pass from the Blackpool faithful, the hosts are almost made to pay for their style of play. Ian Evatt takes a heavy touch 25 yards out from his own goal but is spared his blushes as he manages to play it back to Richard Kingson. The centre-back then redeems himself fully by putting in a great challenge moments later to stop a United attack.
Great chance for Luke Varney. The former Crewe Alexandra man gets forward and receives the ball on the edge of the area. He attempts to catch Edwin van der Sar out at his near post with a crack at goal but it takes a deflection off a defender before looping over the bar for a corner. Charlie Adam’s corner fails to pick out a tangerine shirt, however, and Dimitar Berbatov heads clear.
Steve Hewlett reports from Bloomfield Road: The Blackpool fans chant "We'll only get 10 points", followed by "Ollie Mourinho". They are certainly loving it in the Premier League.
Very, very sloppy defending from Manchester United. Darron Gibson fails to clear on the edge of the area and turns the ball back towards his own goal. The ball is set to go out of play for a corner before Darren Fletcher fires it away and it seems he’s prevented it - no, the referee rules that the ball had crossed the line and Blackpool earn a corner, which comes to nothing.
And just moments after DJ Campbell wastes a chance for Blackpool by smashing the ball well over the bar from inside the area, United break down the other end. Wayne Rooney plays a wonderfully weighted pass into the box but Dimitar Berbatov can’t quite turn the ball towards goal and Blackpool eventually earn a goal-kick.
Nemanja Vidic, what on earth are you doing? Charlie Adam is at the heart of a Blackpool move down the left and drives an inviting cross into the six-yard box. Vidic looks as though he’s set to clear but inexplicably turns the ball towards his own goal with a bizarre header. Luckily for United, Edwin van der Sar is on hand to prevent the ball crossing the line. Huge let off there for the visitors.
Nani swings over a free-kick from the right looking for a white shirt in the middle, but Richard Kingson clears with an unorthodox punch. Charlie Adam then finishes the job by hacking the ball away over the halfway line.
Craig Cathcart’s short clearance only falls as far as Darron Gibson 25 yards out. The midfielder then lets fly with an effort at goal but it takes a deflection off David Vaughan and rolls wide for a corner. United fail to create anything from it, and Blackpool clear.
Steve Hewlett reports from Bloomfield Road: Bloomfield Road erupts. The Tangerine army take the lead from an excellent Charlie Adam corner which is met by the head of Craig Cathcart. 1-0 Blackpool, and United look stunned.
GOAL!! CRAIG CATHCART AGAINST HIS FORMER CLUB!! Blackpool earn a corner down by the right and Charlie Adam swings a dangerous delivery into the penalty area. Manchester United aren’t happy as Patrice Evra can’t get back on the post on time after being allowed to return. Craig Cathcart then escapes his marker Dimitar Berbatov to power a header home to prove a point to his former boss and give his side a shock lead. Craig Cathcart - take a bow, son!
Plenty of blood running from the face of Patrice Evra at the moment. The Frenchman is caught in the face by the arm of Charlie Adam as he brushes past him in an attempt to win the ball. Evra is receiving treatment for the time being, but Sir Alex Ferguson is fuming, with fourth official Mark Clattenburg attempting to prevent him from entering the field of play.
Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping this doesn’t become a trademark of Rafael’s. The Brazilian full-back, returning to the starting line-up from suspension tonight, goes in all wrong with a challenge on Alex Baptiste. There’s no malice in it, it’s just mis-timed, and he manages to escape without a booking.
Nani does well down the right before wasting his cross by only finding Darron Gibson all the way out on the left wing. Wayne Rooney then receives a pass and plays a great ball to Patrice Evra, who then wins a corner. But the corner is over-hit as well and the move breaks down.
This is not what Blackpool wanted to see, or even Liverpool for that matter. Charlie Adam falls awkwardly and lands on his shoulder. He stays down initially before leaving the field for treatment and returning to the action. So he’s back on but doesn’t look 100 per cent.
Nani runs through the centre of the pitch and threads a neat through ball into the path of Dimitar Berbatov on the edge of the area. The Bulgarian is offside but the referee brings play back for a foul on Nani. The free-kick comes to nothing, however.
Wayne Rooney's first touch is met with whistles and cat calls, his pass which goes directly to Ian Evatt brings much mirth to the Blackpool fans.
Manchester United get us under way at Bloomfield Road.
Steve Hewlett reports from Bloomfield Road: A buzzing atmosphere in Bloomfield Road tonight. These are the nights when Blackpool fans know for sure that they are a Premier League team. No doubt Tangerines' fans circled this game in their diaries the day the fixtures were published. Shame it was postponed originally!
Stephen Crainey misses out for Blackpool through injury, so Alex Baptiste comes into the defence, but it’s an otherwise familiar look to their starting line-up. Meanwhile, Rafael returns from suspension, Chris Smalling continues at centre-back and Darron Gibson starts in midfield for Manchester United.
Manchester United: Van der Sar; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Fletcher, Gibson, Scholes; Nani, Berbatov, Rooney. Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Fabio, Anderson, Giggs, Hernandez, Owen.
Blackpool: Kingson; Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Baptiste; Grandin, Adam, Vaughan; Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Varney. Subs: Rachubka, Edwards, Harewood, Sylvestre, Southern, Phillips, Ormerod.
Despite the close of the transfer window drawing ever nearer, it looks all the more likely that Charlie Adam will leave. And with Liverpool leading the chase for his signature, he has now handed in a transfer request. Big question - does he start tonight? Yes he does. Full team news on its way…
Good evening and welcome to Goal.com’s live coverage of the Premier League clash between Blackpool and Manchester United. My name is Danny Hart and I will be taking you through tonight’s match.
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