Berbatov ends goal drought with 5 vs. Blackburn
Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov ended a 10-match goal
drought in style Saturday, sending five past Blackburn in a 7-1
Having not scored since a hat trick in September, the Bulgaria
striker became only the fourth player since the Premier League was
formed in 1992 to score five goals in a game.
”I can’t believe I scored five in a game but it happened,”
Berbatov said. ”I have scored that many before but it was a long
time ago back home in Bulgaria. Today I did it in the Premier
It was United’s 29th straight game without a loss, a stretch
dating back to April.
Berbatov opened the scoring for United after just 72 seconds and
added another in the 27th minute before netting a second-half hat
Nani and Park Ji-sung also found the net in United’s biggest win
since also beating AS Roma 7-1 in the Champions League in April
While the victory over Blackburn took United top of the
standings, Chelsea can reclaim the lead by beating Newcastle on
Berbatov’s last goals came against Liverpool on Sept. 19. His
first on Saturday came after poor Blackburn defending allowed Nani
to cross from the left, and Wayne Rooney flicked the ball on with a
header for Berbatov to convert from six yards.
Rooney was making just his second start since recovering from an
ankle injury, and United manager Alex Ferguson said the England
striker’s partnership up front with Berbatov was key to the
Bulgarian’s five goals.
”He and Wayne were fantastic today,” Ferguson said. ”They
were a constant threat. Their movement, passing and one-twos. It
was a top performance by both of them. They have an understanding
from the previous two years. It is very pleasing to get that.”
Rooney also had a hand in the second goal, combining with Park
in a delightful one-two before the South Korean international
advanced to score from 12 yards in the 23rd.
Berbatov then capitalized on a dreadful back-pass from Pascal
Chimbonda just five minutes later, scoring from 12 yards after the
defender’s blunder left him with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Berbatov was far from done, adding the third just two minutes
after the break after Nani broke in from the side and pulled the
ball back for the Bulgarian to convert from 12 yards.
Nani quickly made it 5-0 himself after a precise pass from
Anderson allowed him to cut inside Chimbonda and change feet before
scoring low into the far corner.
Then it was time for Berbatov again in the 62nd, who got his
fourth in the 62nd after Park’s shot was blocked by Christopher
Samba. Anderson then set up Berbatov for his fifth in the 69th
minute and the Bulgarian converted his own rebound after his
initial shot was blocked by Ryan Nelsen.
Berbatov came close to claiming a Premier League record sixth
goal in the final minute, when his close-range header drew a fine
save from Paul Robinson who tipped the ball onto the Blackburn
Blackburn’s consolation goal came in the 84th when Samba rose to
head in Josh Morris’ cross from six yards.
Berbatov now has 11 league goals from 12 starts this season, and
joined Andy Cole, Alan Shearer and Jermain Defoe as the only
players to have scored five goals in a Premier League game.
”To stand next to people like Cole and Shearer is a great
honor,” Berbatov said. ”As a striker, people do tend only to look
at the goals you score. I am more concerned with how I play but
today was all about goals for me.”