A must win for United, as Chelsea beat a very weak and fragile Liverpool at Anfield. It really felt like if someone was going to take points from Chelsea this late in the season, it would be Liverpool. I couldn’t have been more wrong, Liverpool looked despicable, a team with no pride waiting for the season to come to an end.
United would start Wayne Rooney after both an ankle and groin injury. Sir Alex would play a 4-4-2 to give Berbatov a spot on the team. It feels like its a charity start for Berbatov. I think Sir Alex knows that he has this week and next week to “show off” the Bulgarian to potential buyers (AC Milan) before the summer transfer window. If Berbatov performs well, United can squeeze just a little more money out of him. The flip side to this is Berbatov will perform like his usual self and depreciate another five or six million euros.
It only took United 4 minutes to create a goal scoring opportunity, after Rooney was able to control a not so great ball with his chest and create a side volley which Gordon pushed away into the path of Giggs, but it was cleared by the Sunderland defender. Great chance for United.
8 minutes in Rooney gets the ball to Berbatov at the top of the box and Berbatov refuses to strike.
Giggsy almost hits a wonder goal in the 23rd minute. He received a ball from Valencia, turned in then out and struck it with his left as it hits the top of the cross-bar and out.
2 minutes later on the opposite end, Van der Sar at 39 shows he is still one of the best keepers in the world as he pushes a great shot up and over the bar.
Nani would strike in the 28th minute to put United up 1-nil. United managed to get 5 passes in and around the Sunderland area before Fletcher put a ball out to Nani on the outside and with a tough angle Nani manged to hit it with the outside of his right foot to curl it around Gordon and find the back post.
In the 43rd minute United would have a break with Rooney carrying down the middle of the pitch, Nani on his right and Berbatov on his left. It was 3v3 and Rooney decided to go with Berbatov. If you still believe Berbatov can play at United, please defend and explain this particular play, because this happens a dozen times each game. He slows the game down and allows defenders to regain their shape, then loses the ball.
5 minutes later, again Berbatov is given a ball by Rooney after United did a great job at recovering. Rooney does wonderfully by pulling all the defenders to the left side then slides it into Berbatov on the right side and the Bulgarian again, instead of going to the ball and meeting it with a strike he allows the ball to come to him across this body and then shoots it wide, he has to meet that ball to get a better angle!
United need to either loan or sell Berbatov this summer. Just get him out of Old Trafford. United have Chicharito coming in the summer, and he will bring a Tevez style of football to United. He’s known for his work ethic and pace and his desire to never give up.
1-nil at half
At the start of the second half, Berbatov would recover a ball on the right flank. Then when you expect him to do more, he gets bullied off the ball by Malbranque far too easily and it goes off of him for a goal kick.
A minute later is when it starts to get embarrassing. At this point you almost start to feel sorry for the ex-Tottenham player. Then you remember he is making over £4 million a year, thats almost £20 thousand a day. For that kind of money he needs to put away these chances! Rooney does brilliantly from the left flank and puts in a ball across the face of goal for Berbatov to tuck it away, and he manages to kick it up and over the bar. This was harder to miss than to make!
Finally, Sir Alex puts him out of his misery in the 70th min. as Carrick comes on for the Bulgarian who should have at least had one goal.
Manchester United would have one more chance at goal, when Rooney, Nani and Carrick combine, but the Sunderland defense kicks it off the line, literally.
This would end 1-0, it probably should have been up 4-0 but a win is a win. Now the title will be decided on the last day. United will host Stoke, while Chelsea will host Wigan.
Tags: Berbatov, Manchester United, Nani, Rooney, Sunderland