Belfast Telegraph

Berbatov treble wins thriller

Dimitar Berbatov's hat-trick saw Manchester United edge a thrilling 3-2 win over Liverpool, whose miserable start to the season continues.

Berbatov put United ahead with a header and doubled their lead with stunning overhead kick, but Liverpool rallied and surprisingly levelled through Steven Gerrard's quickfire brace.

However Berbatov had the final say when his second header of the match crucially saw United return to winning ways and left Liverpool with a solitary Barclays Premier League win to their name this term.

United started strongly and should have taken the lead when Wayne Rooney's deflected effort landed perfectly for Nani, but he skewed his shot wide from six yards when unmarked.

They continued to press and were rewarded three minutes before the break when Berbatov headed home Ryan Giggs' cross to notch his fourth league goal of the campaign.

The hosts' dominance continued after the interval and Nani was inches away from doubling their lead but his 16-yard shot thundered into the post and rebounded to safety.

Eventually United did gain further advantage with a goal of the highest quality on the hour. Darren Fletcher's long ball found Nani, who fired in a cross for Berbatov. The the Bulgarian striker sumptuously controlled the ball on his knee before unleashing a bicycle kick that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

Liverpool immediately hauled themselves back into the game out of nowhere when Jonny Evans needlessly fouled Fernando Torres in the area and Steven Gerrard converted the resulting spot-kick.

Just six minutes later the comeback was complete when Gerrard again stepped up to the plate to curl in a free-kick from 20 yards, after O'Shea had hauled down Torres and been fortunate to avoid a red card.

But United were not to be defeated and scored a deserved winner when Berbatov nodded home with six minutes left - controversially from an O'Shea cross.

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