The odds against Manchester United hitting the net seven times against Blackburn Rovers without star striker Wayne Rooney getting on the scoresheet would have been enormous yet that’s exactly what happened at Old Trafford as Dimitar Berbatov stole the show with a five goal haul. United had threatened to hammer someone all season with a hatful of chances going begging in most of their previous games but it all came together in a sparkling performance which took them to the top of the table for the first time in this campaign.
The only blot on a sensational afternoon came towards the end when United failed to keep another clean sheet. To their credit Blackburn did manage to salvage some pride as Chris Samba headed home a Josh Morris cross to beat Edwin van der Sar with seven minutes remaining but by then Rovers’ humiliation was well and truly complete.
Manchester United 7 v Blackburn 1
Daily Telegraph – Dimitar Berbatov became just the fourth player in Premier League history to score five goals in a single game as Manchester United swatted Blackburn Rovers aside with consummate ease to move to the top of the Premier League table. The Bulgarian’s first, after just 78 seconds, effectively killed the game as a contest as Sam Allardyce’s side visibly crumbled.
Four more, as well as strikes from Park Ji-Sung and Nani, ensured United’s biggest win and best performance of the season not only took them above Arsenal on points but wiped out Chelsea’s superior goal difference. While this victory will be rightly heralded as a signal that United – unbeaten but unimpressive so far this season – are rapidly returning to their imperious best, in truth Sir Alex Ferguson’s side could hardly have hoped for more pliant opposition. Full Report
Manchester Evening News – Dimitar Berbatov joined an elite group of Premier League sharpshooters with a five-star performance as Manchester United demolished Blackburn at Old Trafford. Since the new league was formed in 1992, only Andy Cole, Alan Shearer and Jermain Defoe have scored five in a single game. Berbatov joined that band this afternoon, scoring twice before half-time, then three more times after the break as United finally rid themselves of the shackles that have halted their progress this season.
It took the Bulgarian to 12 goals for the season and completed United’s first seven-goal haul since the defeat of Roma three years ago. More importantly, it sent them powering to the top of the table for the first time this season, giving a significant boost to their goal difference as well at the start of a month that includes meetings with both Arsenal and Chelsea in a potentially pivotal seven-day December period. Full Report
Blackburn Rovers.com – Rovers slumped to their heaviest ever Premier League defeat after a 7-1 thrashing at Old Trafford. The home side scored three in the first half and four in the second with Dimitar Berbatov bagging five goals on a day that Rovers will want to quickly forget.
Rovers got off to the worse possible start when Dimitar Berbatov fired home after two minutes, Ji-Sung Park doubling their lead after a one-two with Wayne Rooney at the midway point of the half. A third soon arrived for the home side when Pascal Chimbonda’s wasteful back pass was intercepted by Berbatov, the Bulgarian unable to miss when clean through. Full Report
Manchester United – Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic (Evans 65), Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Park (Obertan 72), Berbatov, Rooney. Goals – Berbatov 2, 23, 47, 62, 70, Park 23, Nani 4
Blackburn Rovers – Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Nelsen, Chimbonda, Emerton (Linganzi 52), Jones, Goulon (Hoilett 28), EH Diouf (Morris 52), Dunn, Roberts Goal – Samba 83