Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Berbatov runs riot for United

Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov scored five as Manchester United hammered Blackburn 7-1 to charge to the top of the Premier League.

Berbatov scored twice in the first half, sandwiching a Park Ji-sung effort, to effectively wrap up the points before the interval.

And the Bulgarian added three more after the restart, with Nani also finding the target as Christopher Samba's consolation failed to disguise a one-sided romp.

It took Berbatov just 71 seconds to find the net as Wayne Rooney touched on Nani's left-wing cross and his strike partner made no mistake with a first-time shot.

United could easily have been further ahead before one of a series of surging Anderson runs allowed Park to feed Rooney and race into the area to collect an excellent return pass and beat Paul Robinson with ease.

Pascal Chimbonda's erroneous backpass then fell to Berbatov and the striker steadied himself and crashed home a shot which set the seal on his side's best half of the season.

Berbatov's next was magical as he released Patrice Evra with a deft back-heel, collected the return pass, then sprayed a fabulous ball to Nani with the outside of his right-foot. Nani drove Blackburn's desperate defence backwards before rolling a pass into Berbatov's path, inviting the finish that brought up his second hat-trick of the season.

When Nani next took possession, he stepped inside Chimbonda before drilling a shot into the far corner and Berbatov had another as a Park shot that followed Rafael's cutback deflected into the 30-year-old's path.

A pass to Rooney was blocked by Ryan Nelsen and from an acute angle, Berbatov beat Robinson for a fifth time.

Christopher Samba pulled one back for the visitors seven minutes from time.

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