Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Sat 27 Nov 10 at 17:05 PM

Report: Man Utd 7 Rovers 1

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.

Even though it didn't seem possible, Sam Allardyce's side started the second half worse than the first. Dimitar Berbatov completed his hat-trick sixty seconds after the restart, then a minute later Nani curled in United's fifth.

Berbatov grabbed his fourth and United's sixth when he pounced on a rebound after Ji-Sung Park's shot was blocked. His fifth of the game coming on 70 minutes after Nelsen had denied his initial effort.

Chris Samba headed home a centre from Josh Morris six minutes from time, but it was mere consolation for a poor Rovers display.

The last thing you want when facing Manchester United at Old Trafford is to be down to the bare bones in terms of squad selection.

But ahead of the game that is exactly the situation that Sam Allardyce found himself in as he was forced to make three changes from the side that defeated Aston Villa last time out.

The big blow was that Morten Gamst Pedersen, scorer of both goals in last week's 2-0 win, failed a fitness test on the morning of the game, he had to settle for a place amongst the away fans, whilst Gael Givet's illness saw him drop to the bench along with Junior Hoilett.

That meant a return to the starting eleven for Brett Emerton and Pascal Chimbonda, whilst there was a first Barclays Premier League start for Herold Goulon in the centre of midfield.

Rovers couldn't have made a worse start, the home side taking the lead with their first attack inside two minutes. A ball into the box looked regulation for Paul Robinson to claim, but to his cost he hesitated in coming out allowing Anderson to block his clearance, it rebounded wide and was whipped in from the left by Nani, Wayne Rooney flicked on leaving Dimitar Berbatov with the simple task of tapping home from close-range.

Rovers rarely saw the ball in the first ten minutes, but from a corner kick on 14 they fashioned their first opportunity. Diouf's centre was only cleared as far as Ryan Nelsen, he drilled it back in, similar to last week, but Herold Goulon couldn't divert the ball on target.

That was Rovers' only attempt of note in the opening half as a second arrived for the home side on 23 minutes.

The move started on half way with Patrice Evra finding Ji-Sung Park, he ran unopposed through the Rovers back line before exchanging passes with Wayne Rooney and beating Paul Robinson with a simple chip. It was all too easy.

United's third was all of Rovers own making once again and there was only one man culpable, Pascal Chimbonda. The French full back picking out Berbatov perfectly with a back pass and the Bulgarian made no mistake.

That prompted Sam Allardyce to make a swift change, Junior Hoilett brought on for Herold Goulon who had looked shaky on his first league start.

But the play continued to be only in one direction, a Nani free-kick grazed the outside of a post, before the Portuguese international was a couple of yards over Paul Robinson's bar from a 25 yard effort, then only a great tackle from El-Hadji Diouf in the area stopped a menacing run from the winger.

Then deep into first half injury time Dimitar Berbatov skipped past Rovers boots in the area before going to ground, but referee Probert was unmoved to the Bulgarian's claims.

The half time whistle may have come as welcome relief to all connected with Rovers, but the second half started in exactly the same manner as the first.

Starting from a Rovers attacking position, United broke across field to Nani who with space cut into the area before squaring for Dimitar Berbatov to net his hat-trick.

Sixty seconds later and a fifth arrived, again it was the switched from left to right that saw Rovers all at sea, Evra playing the ball to Anderson, then onto Nani who cut inside past Chimbonda before curling a left-footed effort past Robinson into the far corner of the goal.

With an eye on the matches to come in December, Brett Emerton and El-Hadji Diouf were both replaced on 52 minutes. Amine Linganzi on for only his second Premier League appearance, Josh Morris making his senior debut.

But with little ball retention in midfield and Jason Roberts cutting a lonely figure up front it was all one way traffic.

Robinson saved with legs to deny Nani after he outpaced Chimbonda and Samba, but he could do nothing about their 6th on 63 minutes. a ball in from the right presented Ji-Sung Park with a shooting chance, his effort was blocked by Samba but the rebound went straight to Berbatov who lashed home.

70 minutes saw United make it 7-0 and Berbatov once again the goalscorer. Played through the Bulgarian saw his initial shot by a disparing lunge from Ryan Nelsen but from a tight angle he put the rebound into the far corner of the net for his fifth.

Edwin van der Sar made his first save of the match on 80 minutes, as he comfortably claimed a header from Chris Samba after David Dunn's free-kick, but even that almost lead to an eighth home goal as they raced away only for substitute Gabriel Obertan to see Robinson push his attempted chip wide.

Then after Chris Samba had hit the bar with a header from a corner, Josh Morris sent the ball back in and this time the Rovers captain made no mistake to claim a consolation.

Only acrobatics from Robinson denied Berbatov from getting an unprecedented sixth goal, rising high above Samba, the United number 9 rose to head Wayne Rooney's centre, but the Rovers stopper clawed the ball away from under his crossbar.

MAN UTD: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic (c) (sub Evans 65 mins), Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Park (sub Obertan 72 mins), Berbatov, Rooney.

Subs not used: Kuszczak, Giggs, Hernandez, O'Shea, Fletcher.

ROVERS: Robinson, Salgado, Samba (c), Nelsen, Chimbonda, Emerton (sub Linganzi 52 mins), Jones, Goulon (sub Hoilett 28 mins), EH Diouf (sub Morris 52 mins), Dunn, Roberts.

Subs not used: Bunn, Givet, Benjani, Hanley.

Booked: Salgado, Diouf (Rovers).

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 74,850

    Latest Match Reports