Saturday, January 16, 2010

Mnachester United grind down Burnley by three

Manchester United kept up the pressure on leaders Chelsea as they ground down a gutsy Burnley side 3-0 at Old Trafford.
Goals in quick succession from Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney midway through the second-half put United in control before Mame Biram Diouf came off the bench to score his first United goal in stoppage time.
United dominated but Burnley had chances too as new boss Brian Laws refused to put out a team who were just going to sit back.
That led to an entertaining contest but United took control when Berbatov broke the deadlock in the 64th minute and Rooney then clinched the points five minutes later with a close range finish.
Sir Alex Ferguson then had the luxury to take off his two strikers soon after and while Burnley's Steven Thompson did head off the post before the end, United never looked in any danger of surrendering their lead once in front with Diouf's late header adding further gloss at the death.
However, United's fans still used the match as a chance to voice displeasure at the club's current owners with chants of "we want the Glazers out" ringing around the ground in the final moments.
The match was open from the start and United had countless half chances in the opening 45 minutes.
The returning Nani saved their best moment of the half till last as he flicked up Antonio Valencia's cross himself before firing a spectacular bicycle kick towards the corner of the net. Brian Jensen got down well though to push the ball away.

Rooney also had a couple of attempts and Berbatov flapped at another chance from eight yards out after Valencia's check back.
However, the best chance of the first-half actually feel to Burnley after just seven minutes but Steven Fletcher dragged his effort wide after being sent clear by David Nugent.
Fletcher was also forced off in the 36th minute after being on the wrong end of a nasty Valencia challenge with the Ecuadorian lucky to escape without at least a booking.
The second-half followed a similar pattern with Berbatov missing a great chance in the 57th minute when he superbly took a Valencia pass into his path before then scuffing a left foot shot off the post when it looked easier to score.
United nearly paid the price three minutes later when the excellent Chris Eagles, playing against his former club, slid in David Nugent after a superb run forward.
Nugent then outpaced Gary Neville and looked all set to score but he put the guilt-edged chance wide of the target.
Soon after Berbatov scored the opener as Rooney's clever ball allowed him to drop the shoulder on Michael Duff. From a tough angle the Bulgarian then fired on target and helped by a deflection off Duff it then flew past Jensen.
It was a Berbatov shot that led to the second too as Jensen could only push into the path of Rooney. The England striker took his time to find his feet before placing it into the corner of the net.
Diouf and Michael Owen then replaced the United front two and it was the young Senegalese man making just his second appearance that made much the bigger impact.
He sprung the offside trap in the final moments to get his head on the end of Valencia's chipped ball before Jensen, and he celebrated his first goal for United with a spectacular somersault.
The win means United stay just one point behind Chelsea although the Londoners have a game in hand.

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