£30 million striker, Dimitar Berbatov, scored five for Manchester United in today’s 7-1 destruction of Blackburn at Old Trafford. This was Berbatov’s first Premier League goal in 538 minutes. Park and Nani scored the other United goals. Blackburn’s Congolese defender, Christopher Samba, scored a late consolation goal. The game marked the return to Old Trafford of Wayne Rooney after his absence due to numerous problems both on and off the field. Despite not scoring, Rooney was along with Nani an active provider. United replaced Arsenal at the top of the Premier League. A win at Newcastle on Sunday will see the London team regain top place on goal difference.
Berbatov is the fourth player to score five goals in a Premier League match. The other three are:
- Andy Cole – Manchester United vs Ipswich (March 1995)
- Alan Shearer – Newcastle vs Sheffield Wednesday (September 1999)
- Jermain Defoe – Tottenham vs Wigan (November 2009)
Manchester’s other United – FC United of Manchester – gained a heroic draw at League One leaders Brighton in the second round of the FA Cup. The team that was founded by United supporters disgruntled over the takeover by the Glaziers, are currently placed 20th in the Northern Premier League, 112 places below Brighton. FCUM took the lead five minutes before the break through Nicky Platt. FCUM where reduced to ten men when former Manchester United apprentice Scott McManus was sent off in 69th minute for violent conduct. Argentine veteran defender, Mauricio Taricco (previously with Ipswich and Tottenham), equalised for The Seagulls seven minutes before full-time. More drama was in store as Brighton where awarded a penalty four minutes into stoppage time. The spot kick from Elliot Bennett was saved by FCUM keeper Samuel Ashton, earning The Red Rebels a replay at Gigg Lane.