Brave Rovers Fall Short at United
3 Points was on the agenda for both teams today, Man U needing the points to maintain their lead, whilst Rovers needing points to escape from the bottom 3. Changes galore for the Rovers outfit, with Allardyce reverting to a 4-5-1 formation, with Gael Givet, El Hadji Diouf and Roque Santa Cruz all starting.
As expected, Man U came out blazing. Early chances from Rooney, Ronaldo and Carrick all went wide of the goal. Rovers appeared to be contempt sitting back and playing the long ball out to Roque Santa Cruz. Excellent interventions from Gael Givet and Ryan Nelsen prevented Rooney and Berbatov pouncing on early chances, however an unlucky interception set up Man U's first goal.
A stunning pass by Nani split the Rovers Centre Backs, with Nelsen's outstreched leg only managing to hold the ball up for Rooney, who blasted the ball past Robinson, 1-0 Man U. Many would of thought, here we go, 3 points for Man U, but our lads stood up and fought.
It took ten minutes, but the Red Devil army were stunned. AN excellent inteception by Andre Oijer allowed him to dart upfield. Oijer turned creator, splitting the United Defence, finding the path of Roque Santa Cruz, who rounded Kuszack, finding the back of the net, ending Man U's clean sheet streak at home, as well as Rovers baren spell away from home, 1-1. The game then fizzed out until the last minute of the half. United were given a corner which should of been a goal kick. The cross was whipped in, Johnny Evans heading into the goal, however it was dissalowed for an apparent push. 1-1 Half TIme
With many expecting Man U to come out firing, it was Rovers who actually started to dominate, silencing the United faithful, and showing signs of a team that should not be in the basement. A dart down the flank by Gamst was followed by a whipped in delivery. Roque should of toe poked home but was looking for a class finish, allowing the defender to stretch out and make the clearance. Minutes later, Ronaldo did no good for his reputation, caught out diving by Referee Howard Webb, Yellow Card.
Rovers best chance of the half definately fell to the wrong man. A deep cross lobbed over the United Defence, falling into the path of Ryan Nelsen. The Admiral was making his 132nd appearance for the BLue and WHites, and had yet to find the net. With only the keeper to beat, Nelsen poked the ball wide of the keeper, into the post. El Hadji Diouf could only direct the rebound straight back at the keeper.
Rovers were devestated only minutes later. A poor foul by Keith Andrews gave Ronaldo the opportunity, and he took it, blasting the ball over and around the wall, into the top corner of the net, 2-1 Man U.
Rovers didnt back down though, with controversy striking minutes later. A delightful throughball by David Dunn found the path of Gamst Pedersen, who found himself past his marker, with only the keeper to beat. A poor first touch sent the ball to his right foot, with Rafael breathing over his shoulder, it appeared that Rafael made contact with Gamst, bringing him to the ground. Howard Webb waived play on. Replays showed contact was made, probably would of been awarded at the other end, but Gamst, seriously, your through, stay on your feet and blast the bloody thing in the net....
Berbatov then had a chance to seal the game, with Rooney chipping in a cross from the flank, however the Bulgarian headed over the goal. After a few nervy moments, and a late corner, Man U held out, 2-1.
What a find this lad has turned out to be. Played fantastically, kept tabs on strikers, worked superbly with Nelsen
Ryan Nelsen 7.5
Gael Givet 8
Steven Warnock 6.5
Andre Oijer 7
Vince Grella 6
Keith Andrews 6
David Dunn 7.5
Morten Gamst 5.5
El Hadji Diouf 8
Roque Santa Cruz 7
Really becomes a must win game. If we get the points, we are almost out of the basement, and Hull get dragged down into the fight....big 6 pointer