Wow, what a weekend it's been. What a weekend for Manchester United and in particular, Dimitar Berbatov. Sucks that I had to resort to a recorded version of the game and most of you already know what's happened, but that won't stop me from apologizing profusely with a post of epic proportions.
So let us begin.
United 7 - 1 Blackburn
30 seconds into the game, the commentators I was listening to were talking about how Dimitar Berbatov was off form and how his ten game goal drought was becoming more of a burden for him. About 55 seconds later, Rooney cushions a header down to the six yard box and Berbatov flicks it into the goal.
After the first goal, it was pure domination. Passes clicked, runs were clever, and Anderson didn't suck. For the first time this season, I felt that we'd hit the clutch and we're pulling into 5th gear.
Between goal numbers one and two, Rooney and Berbatov had this crazy extended 1-2 play going on. So really it was more of a 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2 before we lost the ball but wow, it was incredible to watch.
On the 23rd minute, Park plays a 1-2 with Rooney that starts at least 25 yards out and ends up with him sprinting inside the penalty box and deftly chipping Robinson. 2-0 United.
By this point, Blackburn were beginning to lose it and you could tell by their incredibly sloppy play and the way United scored their third. Nani was pressuring the left-back Chimbonda and this led him to pass it back to Robinson. Chimbonda's pass was:
a) too soft to reach Robinson and
b) aimed nowhere near Robinson
This meant that all Berbatov had to do was move forward, dribble a bit to the goal, and smash it past Robinson. 3-0 United, 2-0 Berbatov, the critics were silenced.
The first half winded down with some more chances for United including a missed header from Vidic that would've certainly made it 4-0 before the break.
We went into half time with the lead, and when the game started up again, the pessimistic commentators were wondering if United would keep pushing or sit back and rest. They had their answer in the 47th minute when Berbatov scored his second hat trick with what could be a contender for goal of the season. Starting a play with a backheel to Evra a couple of yards outside United's penalty box, he ran into space and got the ball back around the halfway line from Evra and swung out wide to Nani with the outside of his right foot. Nani does his thing and twists around some defenders and then slides it to the middle to an oncoming Berbatov. 4-0 United. Hat-trick number two for Berba.
A minute later, Evra has the ball in his office at left-back again, he passes it to the deep-lying Berbatov who one times it to Anderson. Anderson, beyond my comprehension, sweeps it with one touch into space for Nani who screws with Chimbonda and left-foots it across Robinson into the goal. 5-0 and we're not even done yet.
The next two Berbatov goals were more luck than skill, but hey we'll take them. His fourth was a blocked Park shot that ended up at his feet and then in the net. The other was his own cross that came back to him and boom, 7-0 nothing United.
Shame we couldn't keep a clean sheet, but hey it's 7-1, do you really care?
On the same matchday, Arsenal kept pace with us by beating Aston Villa 4-2 and City failed to beat Stoke and ended their game 1-1. In other funny news Liverpool lost 2-1 to Tottenham thanks to an injury time winner from Aaron Lennon.
The biggest rival news of the weekend however, was Chelsea's tie to Newcastle which moves United up to first place in the league. It was a match that Chelsea deserved, but I'm not complaining with the scoreline. In any case, this puts us United in a great, albeit difficult position. Although we are leading the pack, this means there is more pressure for us to stay there.
Where We Stand
The Massive Reaction
Well, well, well. What more can I say about this weekend's results? I guess we can start with the obvious. Dimitar Berbatov is a genius. It's difficult for him to maintain consistency, as we've seen over the 10 games before, but if Sir Alex is to be believed, then Rooney's return to form and fitness should do wonders for our attack. It certainly showed tonight with their insane link-up play that resulted in United fans all over the world drowning in a pool of their own drool.
Also a big talking point is Anderson. He who has disappointed so many times, was incredibly effective tonight, fighting for possession and making slick passes, especially the assist for Nani's goal which was pure gold. Have we been wrong all this time? No. Anderson has sucked in the past and there's no denying that. The Blackburn game however, was a sign that maybe things are starting to change for Anderson. Will we see a new Anderson come season's end? Only time will tell.
Another player who's form is picking up is Wayne Rooney. He had a spark about him that we missed so much this season and at the tail-end of last season. Although he didn't get on the scoresheet, you could see that he's enjoying his soccer again and I guarantee you he will score within the next two games.
Speaking of predictions, may I just say I nailed so many of them in my game preview? Berbatov or Rooney did score, but not both. Anderson and Carrick started and Nani assisted. The only thing that didn't happen was Gibson coming on, but hey, I'm pretty proud with myself.
Finally, in the grand scheme of things, life is going back to the way it should be with United on top and City screwing up. The weekend couldn't have ended better and the rest of the season is set to be epic.