Here’s a little trivia for you: coming into today’s match, Dimitar Berbatov hadn’t scored in his last 798 minutes of play for the Red Devils. With 25 missed attempts since his last goal, it only took the Bulgarian one attempt and 1 minute to get himself on the score sheet again as the clock for minutes gone without scoring ticked on to 800. Dimitar Berbatov ended the game with 5 goals today and was chasing the double hat-trick, but was denied the opportunity to join the likes of George Best.
From the start of the match today United were running on all four cylinders. United’s passing was brilliant to say the least, with 85% of their passes being successful (the Red Devils knocked the ball around 627 times). It was their passing that allowed them to move the ball around and hold the ball for 65% of the possession. While Berbatov was putting on a show of his own, all the other United players played phenomenally as well. Wayne Rooney has been the subject of heavy criticism over the past few weeks but today he showed that he’s still capable of playing the center role. Rooney distributed the ball to all four corners of the park with over 90 passes and had a brilliant assist in the first half to Park Ji-Sung. Anderson also had a brilliant performance today and was heavily involved in all of United’s attacks. Rio Ferdiand and Nemanja Vidic were a force to be reckoned with in the back as the duo prevented Blackburn from putting a single shot on target. Nani had the 2 minutes of his life in the 47th & 48th minutes as he helped Berbatov record his hat-trick and followed the assist with a goal of his own.
Berbatov’s 5 goal display makes him the Premier Leagues top scorer with 11 goals, followed by old teammate Carlos Tevez who trails with 9 goals on the season. Today’s win puts United on the top of the table with 31 pts and increases their goal differential to 19. This puts the pressure on Chelsea who still have a game in hand and travel to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle tomorrow. United travel to Upton Park on Tuesday to face West Ham in a Carling Cup tie. West Ham will be eager to win this tie as their future in the Championship is starting to look more like a reality and less a probability.