Saturday January 22, 2011 Day 24 Finished Old Trafford

Manchester United 5 - 0 Birmingham City

  • Berbatov 2’, 31’, 53’
  • Giggs 45’
  • Nani 76’

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  1. Berbatov buries Birmingham

    Berbatov buries Birmingham

    Dimitar Berbatov grabbed his third hat-trick of the season as Manchester United hammered Birmingham 5-0 at Old Trafford. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Manchester United
    • Birmingham City
    • - Don't forget you can watch highlights of this match, along with every Premier League game, from 00:01 on Monday morning (UK only).
    • 90+2 The ref puts Birmingham out of their collective misery, United romp to a 5-0 win that pulls them two points clear at the top.
    • 90+1 It breathes! Jerome has a pop which is batted out by his own man Derbyshire, with Gardner offside as he plants the rebound.
    • 90' Two minutes of added time being played.
    • 89' Birmingham want to go home, Jerome going through the motions as he traps a long ball.
    • 88' Good passing move from United is spoiled by O'Shea as his ball to Nani is too heavy. Fans from both sides are leaving early.
    • 87' Fabio plays a backheel to no-one in particular but gets lucky as it breaks off Carr into his path, an accidental one-two.
    • 86' Owen is offside after Rooney played him in.
    • 85' Birmingham sub: Gardner on for Bentley.
    • 83' Poor Birmingham look like conceding every time United bother to come forward.
    • 81' Larsson with the corner but easy for VdS. Anderson comes forward and Owen is in the box, he wriggles away from Ridgewell and fires in a rising finish but just wide!
    • 80' O'Shea is forced to head the ball behind for a corner. Bentley with the cross.
    • 79' Nani comes forward again, with Gibson wide right, he drills it in low but Johnson hacks away from Rooney.
    • 78' Nani goes well over after another run cutting inside from the right. Sigh. Could be 10.
    • 77' Nani crosses to the far post, everyone misses it AND ROONEY but he skies the finish!
    • 76' Nani makes it five! He smacks in a vicious drive from 25 yards and makes up for his poor final ball. Cutting inside from the right, he shifts it on to his left and pings a low one inside the far post.
    • 74' Bentley pumps it in but Vidic clears.
    • 73' Birmingham have a free-kick on the left as Zigic tries to get on the pitch...
    • 71' A speculative through ball from Mutch is blocked by Vidic and United clear. Nani shoots and Foster parries, getting on to the loose ball before sniper Owen.
    • 70' Owen with a superb stepover to allow Rooney a one-two but Rooney overplays the return which spins out for a goal kick.
    • 69' JUST WIDE FROM BERBATOV! Wriggling inside from the right and playing a one-two with Nani, the Bulgarian wizard's low drive is just too far across the beaten Foster.
    • 68' Jerome on the right with a good cross that, alas, he isn't present to attack. Bentley, Larsson and co. make a mess of doing something with the loose ball and United clear.
    • 67' Nani with another bad cross when in tons of space wide right. If you're not going to have your best day, best have it when you're caning the oppo.
    • 66' United charge forward, Berbatov leading it but Nani AGAIN with a rotten cross. Poor kid, the one good ball he does put in and Rooney fluffs it.
    • 65' Bentley does rather well to get past O'Shea and hang a dangerous cross in, but his team-mates aren't on the same wavelength.
    • 64' BIRMINGHAM SUB: Fahey off for contract-rebel Larsson.
    • 63' Nani again wastes a great chance, firing well wide after being given the run of the Blues half.
    • 61' Nani on the run cuts inside from the right and pops a low drive well wide.
    • 60' Well, horror misses at both ends. Gibson catches his Irish mate Fahey totally by accident but it's a free-kick to Blues on the left.
    • 59' Bentley on the right with a low cross that Vidic makes a mess of clearing, Derbyshire is in and he hammers a vicious drive from an angle that Van der Sar gets a hand on AND SURELY FAHEY but he kicks air! What a miss! Open goal!
    • 58' Nani is over this, it's 35 yards out but the greedy so-and-so will shoot... and he does, about 10 yards over.
    • 57' Rooney is clattered by Johnson and United have a free-kick.
    • 56' Owen with a deft flick wide to Nani, now Gibson but he can't shoot, Rooney has it but his through ball is cut out. Blues can't clear it and United come again...
    • 55' UNITED SUB: They want more. It's not Berbatov making way for Owen, but Giggs. Three up front!
    • 54' Nani cuts in from the right but hammers a shot miles over. Michael Owen is warming up.
    • 53' 4-0! It's another hat-trick for Berbatov as he smacks it in off the underside of the bar! A long clearance from Van der Sar is controlled wonderfully by Rooney who deftly releases Giggs, his low cross smacked in at pace by the sliding Berbatov. Wow.
    • 52' Bentley drives a bouncingt low shot just wide after squeezing between Fabio and Anderson! Good effort.
    • 51' Decent possession from Blues, who look stickier up front with Jerome as a presence.
    • 50' Bentley tries to cut inside Giggs from the right but opts to pass short instead of crossing.
    • 48' O'Shea now on the right but his cross is too deep for Rooney. I can't believe he missed that chance - last season's he'd have knocked that in half cut.
    • 47' WHAT A MISS BY ROONEY! Unmarked at the far post after brilliant wingplay by Nani and he somehow heads it wide!
    • 46' Nice far-post ball from Bentley but just beyond Johsnon at the back stick.
    • 46' The second half is underway.
    • - UNITED SUB: Fabio is on. Not Rafael, honest. Looks like Evra is off.
    • - BIRMINGHAM SUB: Jerome is on for Hleb.
    • 45+2 Half time and it's been one-way traffic, United leading 3-0, Berbatov immense.
    • 45+1 Giggs swings it in from the left but headed awway by Hleb and Bentley with the pass, but Berbatov of all people with a slide tackle on Murphy and then a lay off to Rooney, he backheels it back to Berbatov, now Rooney in space on the right with a wicked low ball across the face of goal FOR GIGGS INTO THE ROOF OF THE NET! Niiiiiice. 3-0.
    • 45+1 In the first of two added minutes as United continue their barrage, Evra winning a corner off Barry Ferguson.
    • 45' Whether he realises it was a mistake or not, Mike Jones blows up immediately for some push or other. Berbatov comes forward on the right, meanwhile, and almost picks out Rooney but for a sliding interception from Johnson.
    • 44' Nani over-elaborates on the right wing, trying to beat men time and time again and it's out for a goal kick. But the ref incorrectly awards a corner, saying it hit Murphy when it didn't.
    • 43' Hleb on the run, super ball wide to Fahey but he drills a weak low cross straight at VdS. Poor, should have done better.
    • 42' Giggs lofts it near post, Johnson meets it but the clearance again lands to Giggs. This time there is a foul from Smalling on Foster as the keeper drops the ball, Vidic pulled up as he prepared to finish.
    • 41' The corner is poor this time and Blues clear. United get another bite at the cherry though as Ridgewell miskicks an easy clearance out for a throw. O'Shea crosses, it strikes Murphy and Foster cannot prevent yet another United corner.
    • 40' Fahey crosses and it hits O'Shea around the midriff, Birmingham ask the question but no penalty! United carry on as they counter at pace, Giggs on the edge of the box smacks a low drive between the legs of Mutch and it beats Foster but skips just wide! Deflected, says the ref, so a corner!
    • 39' Anderson feeds Nani who takes it inside Murphy but his touch to O'Shea is short. United retain possession though and GIBSON WITH THE SHOT FROM RANGE but Foster is in the right place to parry and hold the loose ball!
    • 38' Berbatov on the left but he gives it away this time, but Bentley loses the ball and Giggs lofts it in for Berbatov only for Ridgewell to head away.
    • 37' Rooney picks up the clearance deep in the United left-back area and after stumbling once or twice he hooks an ambitious, Gerrard-esque Hollywood ball wide that Berbatov cannot reach.
    • 36' Evra catches Bentley late as he tries to make a cross on the right. He's been Birmingham's only player today.
    • 35' Berbatov collides with Johnson and offers a handshake in apology.
    • 34' Birmingham have a free-kick a good 35 yards out but Bentley's delivery is headed away. Ferguson then fouls Rooney, arm across the neck.
    • 33' Berbatov now has 16 Premier League goals in this, by far his most fruitful, seasonm - he has broken his record league haul in England just over halfway through the season.
    • 32' Stepover from Rooney to send Berbatov away and he hammers a low shot inches wide with Foster beaten! Yikes!
    • 31' Anderson with a touch to send Rooney on the charge as Blues back off, he slips it to Berbatov on the left side of the box, lovely first touch to take it inside of Johnson and set up the shot and he smacks a low drive past Foster and in. 2-0, unplayable when he fancies it this lad.
    • 30' Rooney brings it forward, Anderson wide to Nani who crazily shoots with four red shirts to aim at, blasting it high and wide of the far post.
    • 29' Fahey sends Bentley down the left and he drills in a horrible ball that United's defence just watch drift wide to Carr! Any kind of touch from a Blues player and United were in trouble!
    • 27' Evra fails to keep Giggs's heavy flick-on in play on the left.
    • 26' Anderson with a good ball wide to Evra but his pass inside for Giggs is knocked out by Carr.
    • 25' Corner taken short to Hleb, he lays it off to Bentley who puts in a dangerous, nasty mid-height cross that Van der Sar flies out to parry and then Fahey has a pop that goes well wide! I'll give them that as a chance.
    • 24' UNITED SUB: Carrick hasn't shrugged off that knock from Hleb's late tackle and he is replaced by Gibson.
    • 23' Birmingham win a corner to ironic cheers from both sets of fans, Murphy crossing in against O'Shea.
    • 22' Rooney with a far-post cross that is too deep for Berbatov but he kung-fu kicks it acrobatically but only succeeds in turning the ball away from touch. Oh, flag up, he was offside.
    • 21' Birmingham have a free-kick that Bentley swings on to the grateful head of Vidic, who clears.
    • 20' Incessant, old-school United pressure but Berbatov is caught half a yard offside. Lazy.
    • 19' United casually knocking it about like a practise match now as Berbatov just fails to meet an Evra cross.
    • 18' United are all over Birmingham today. If they get a second in the near future it could get messy. Giggs has a shot blocked by Ridgewell, then Nani blasts one high and wide from the edge of the box.
    • 17' Lovely play by Berbatov to ease wide right and slide Nani away with a perfectly-weighted ball, all under pressure from two Blues players but effortless in its execution. Nani spoils the beauty of it all with a rubbish cross.
    • 16' Giggs curls it far post AND SMALLING MEETS IT WITH A POWER HEADER blocked by the manhood of Murphy and VIDIC ROLLS IT IN but no! The whistle goes for a push of sorts, I didn't see much but there were bodies everywhere!
    • 15' Lovely interplay between Nani and Berbatov, and the Portuguese races down the right before winning a corner off the overworked Murphy.
    • 14' Giggs rolls back the years with a driving run inside from the left but Rooney lets him down by underhitting the one-two return and Blues clear.
    • 13' Carrick is still down. I didn't see a twist or catch in the turf so am assuming it's just a heavy knock.... He is up and limps off for treatment.
    • 12' Hleb catches Carrick, who goes down like a sack of spuds. An accidental tread on the ankle as Carrick slid in on the Belarusian.
    • 12' This time Johnson gets a head on the Gigg corner, but only as far as Carrick. He exchanges passes with Rooney but then gives it away. The counter breaks down though as Rooney, operating as a kind of wing half right now, is back defending to bring it away.
    • 11' Birmingham fail to clear the corner and it's back with Giggs on the right, super hanging cross at the far post and Carr has to head behind again!
    • 10' A delay ensues as the referee has a word with Vidic and Ridgewell who are jostling like a couple of lads at the Roman Spa.
    • 10' Nani surges down the right and finds O'Shea on the overlap, who wins a corner off Murphy. United's third in nine minutes...
    • 9' Bentley gets an early touch but can't find Derbyshire with the pass, Vidic able to bring it clear and launch a counter...
    • 8' Another corner to United, won by Berbatov off Carr, Giggs to take from the left... A bit of head tennis in the Blues box until the ref blows for a foul by Nani on Bentley.
    • 7' Giggs tries an ambitious lofted pass that Johnson clears.
    • 6' Anderson tries a Laudrup-style scoop that doesn't come off. Now Nani drills a low cross in which hits Murphy and diverts into the arms of Foster.
    • 5' Berbatov from 12 yards must score but saved by the legs of Foster! That came about from a dreadful clearance from the keeper, Berbatov intercepting and Rooney flicking it back to him. The ball still lives for United and Carrick has a pop, sending a low drive wide.
    • 4' Nani is caught late by Ridgewell as he tried to play Rooney though. Nani lies on the turf in mock-agony, pointing to his perfectly normal ankle as if to say "ref! look wot he done!".
    • 4' Nani is almost released by Giggs but Carr intercepts and Foster, the former Manchester United keeper, lumps it upfield.
    • 3' Woeful marking by the visitors. They were set up zonally but the point of zonal marking is that you attack the darned ball when it enters your zone. These lads just stood around admiring the view. Very slow to react.
    • 2' Giggs swings it in, flicked on by O'Shea near post and BOOM. Berbatov nods it in at the far post, United lead.
    • 1' A scrappy opening is mostly played out around the centre circle until it goes back to O'Shea, who sends a long one down the right for Nani who wins a corner off Ridgewell.
    • 1' The first half is underway at Old Trafford.
    • - NB Rio Ferdinand has a groin injury.
    • 14:58 Birmingham manager Alex McLeish believes Manchester United can emulate Arsenal and go through the season unbeaten in the Premier League: "I think it's ominous, the fact that they've got to this stage unbeaten and their form is probably gathering momentum. They are probably looking better now than in the earlier part of the season when they had a lot of draws. It's amazing that they are unbeaten and I think that they can only get better."
    • 14:55 Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out any prospect of adding to his squad during this month's transfer window. "I won't be going into the transfer market during the present mid-winter window," Ferguson told United Review. "I thought at one time that I would like to bring in just one player, but that has not worked out."
    • 14:50 FACT: The club have never won in 13 Prem visits to the city of Manchester (11 defeats). They have only ever scored two goals in a total of 1170 minutes of Prem football in the city - Jiri Jarosik (2005) and Cameron Jerome (2010) - both scoring at Manchester City.
    • 14:45 FACT: This will be Sir Alex Ferguson’s 65th Prem match against one of his former players, He has won 47, drawn 12 and lost five of his previous 64 matches against them. He is unbeaten in all four Prem meetings with Alex McLeish, drawing each of the last two.
    • 14:40 Liam Ridgewell continues at centre-half in place of Scott Dann, who is out for the season with a hamstring injury. David Bentley makes his Birmingham debut after joining on loan from Spurs and, in a bit of a surprise, there are starts for Jordon Mutch and Matt Derbyshire, with Alex Hleb playing off the latter as Alex McLeish looks for a new route to goal: misfiring Cameron Jerome and Nikola Zigic are benched, as is Lee Bowyer.
    • 14:35 Sir Alex Ferguson resists the temptation to play the banned Rafael and claim that it's his twin Fabio, with John O'Shea returning at right-back and Chris Smalling getting a start at centre-half in place of Rio Ferdinand, who isn't even on the bench. Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney start together as United look for goals. Horse racing mogul and occasional footballer Michael Owen is on the bench.
    • 14:30 Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)
    • 14:30 TEAMS - Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Smalling, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney; Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Scholes, Fabio Da Silva, Evans, Obertan, Gibson /// Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Murphy, Bentley, Ferguson, Mutch, Fahey, Hleb, Derbyshire; Subs: Doyle, Bowyer, Larsson, Gardner, Jerome, Zigic, Jiranek
    • 14:25 FACT: They have met 13 times in the Premier League. Manchester United have won nine, Birmingham none and there have been four draws.
    • 14:20 FACT: Manchester United and Birmingham City have met 93 times in the league. Manchester United have won 42, Birmingham City 24 and there have been 27 draws.
    • 14:15 Welcome to our LIVE coverage of Manchester United's home clash against Birmingham; the top side against the struggling draw-specialists at Old Trafford from 3pm UK time.
  • Summary

    • 90+1 It breathes! Jerome has a pop which is batted out by his own man Derbyshire, with Gardner offside as he plants the rebound.
    • 81' Larsson with the corner but easy for VdS. Anderson comes forward and Owen is in the box, he wriggles away from Ridgewell and fires in a rising finish but just wide!
    • 77' Nani crosses to the far post, everyone misses it AND ROONEY but he skies the finish!
    • 76' Nani makes it five! He smacks in a vicious drive from 25 yards and makes up for his poor final ball. Cutting inside from the right, he shifts it on to his left and pings a low one inside the far post.
    • 71' A speculative through ball from Mutch is blocked by Vidic and United clear. Nani shoots and Foster parries, getting on to the loose ball before sniper Owen.
    • 70' Owen with a superb stepover to allow Rooney a one-two but Rooney overplays the return which spins out for a goal kick.
    • 69' JUST WIDE FROM BERBATOV! Wriggling inside from the right and playing a one-two with Nani, the Bulgarian wizard's low drive is just too far across the beaten Foster.
    • 63' Nani again wastes a great chance, firing well wide after being given the run of the Blues half.
    • 59' Bentley on the right with a low cross that Vidic makes a mess of clearing, Derbyshire is in and he hammers a vicious drive from an angle that Van der Sar gets a hand on AND SURELY FAHEY but he kicks air! What a miss! Open goal!
    • 53' 4-0! It's another hat-trick for Berbatov as he smacks it in off the underside of the bar! A long clearance from Van der Sar is controlled wonderfully by Rooney who deftly releases Giggs, his low cross smacked in at pace by the sliding Berbatov. Wow.
    • 52' Bentley drives a bouncingt low shot just wide after squeezing between Fabio and Anderson! Good effort.
    • 47' WHAT A MISS BY ROONEY! Unmarked at the far post after brilliant wingplay by Nani and he somehow heads it wide!
    • 45+1 Giggs swings it in from the left but headed awway by Hleb and Bentley with the pass, but Berbatov of all people with a slide tackle on Murphy and then a lay off to Rooney, he backheels it back to Berbatov, now Rooney in space on the right with a wicked low ball across the face of goal FOR GIGGS INTO THE ROOF OF THE NET! Niiiiiice. 3-0.
    • 40' Fahey crosses and it hits O'Shea around the midriff, Birmingham ask the question but no penalty! United carry on as they counter at pace, Giggs on the edge of the box smacks a low drive between the legs of Mutch and it beats Foster but skips just wide! Deflected, says the ref, so a corner!
    • 39' Anderson feeds Nani who takes it inside Murphy but his touch to O'Shea is short. United retain possession though and GIBSON WITH THE SHOT FROM RANGE but Foster is in the right place to parry and hold the loose ball!
    • 32' Stepover from Rooney to send Berbatov away and he hammers a low shot inches wide with Foster beaten! Yikes!
    • 31' Anderson with a touch to send Rooney on the charge as Blues back off, he slips it to Berbatov on the left side of the box, lovely first touch to take it inside of Johnson and set up the shot and he smacks a low drive past Foster and in. 2-0, unplayable when he fancies it this lad.
    • 29' Fahey sends Bentley down the left and he drills in a horrible ball that United's defence just watch drift wide to Carr! Any kind of touch from a Blues player and United were in trouble!
    • 25' Corner taken short to Hleb, he lays it off to Bentley who puts in a dangerous, nasty mid-height cross that Van der Sar flies out to parry and then Fahey has a pop that goes well wide! I'll give them that as a chance.
    • 16' Giggs curls it far post AND SMALLING MEETS IT WITH A POWER HEADER blocked by the manhood of Murphy and VIDIC ROLLS IT IN but no! The whistle goes for a push of sorts, I didn't see much but there were bodies everywhere!
    • 5' Berbatov from 12 yards must score but saved by the legs of Foster! That came about from a dreadful clearance from the keeper, Berbatov intercepting and Rooney flicking it back to him. The ball still lives for United and Carrick has a pop, sending a low drive wide.
    • 2' Giggs swings it in, flicked on by O'Shea near post and BOOM. Berbatov nods it in at the far post, United lead.
    • 14:30 TEAMS - Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Vidic, Smalling, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Anderson, Giggs, Berbatov, Rooney; Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Scholes, Fabio Da Silva, Evans, Obertan, Gibson /// Birmingham: Foster, Carr, Johnson, Ridgewell, Murphy, Bentley, Ferguson, Mutch, Fahey, Hleb, Derbyshire; Subs: Doyle, Bowyer, Larsson, Gardner, Jerome, Zigic, Jiranek

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Line-up

    Live Team Line-Up

    • Starting line-up

      • E. van der Sar
      • J. O'Shea
      • C. Smalling
      • N. Vidic
      • P. Evra Substitution Out (45′)
      • M. Carrick Substitution Out (25′)
      • Anderson
      • Nani Goal
      • R. Giggs Goal Substitution Out (55′)
      • W. Rooney
      • D. Berbatov Goals×3

      Subs

      • M. Owen Substitution In55′
      • P. Scholes
      • T. Kuszczak
      • G. Obertan
      • J. Evans
      • D. Gibson Substitution In25′
      • Fábio Substitution In45′
    • Starting line-up

      • B. Foster
      • S. Carr
      • R. Johnson
      • L. Ridgewell
      • D. Murphy
      • J. Mutch
      • B. Ferguson
      • D. Bentley Substitution Out (85′)
      • K. Fahey Substitution Out (65′)
      • A. Hleb Substitution Out (45′)
      • M. Derbyshire

      Subs

      • L. Bowyer
      • N. Žigic
      • C. Doyle
      • S. Larsson Substitution In65′
      • C. Jerome Substitution In45′
      • C. Gardner Substitution In85′
      • M. Jiránek
  • Rate Players

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    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
      - -
      Defenders
      - -
      - -
      - -
      Substitution Out45′ - -
      Midfielders
      Substitution Out25′ - -
      - -
      Goal - -
      Goal Substitution Out55′ - -
      Strikers
      - -
      Goals ×3 - -
      Subs
      Substitution In55′ - -
      Substitution In25′ - -
      Substitution In45′ - -
    • Player Y! Users Expert My Rating
      Goalkeeper
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      Defenders
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      Midfielders
      - -
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      Substitution Out85′ - -
      Substitution Out65′ - -
      Substitution Out45′ - -
      Strikers
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      Subs
      Substitution In65′ - -
      Substitution In45′ - -
      Substitution In85′ - -

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