Dimitar Berbatov finally showed why Sir Alex paid 30M Pounds to acquire his services, as the United forward scored an incredible hat-trick earlier today in the match opposing the Red Devils to sworn rivals Liverpool, and in the process giving United the crucial 3 points.
Despite pressing Liverpool early on, United failed to create clear chances to score, but the opener eventually came on the 42nd minute, as Giggs’ corner kick was met superbly by Berbatov to head home, and that too despite being fouled by Torres in the first instance, and with Konchesky handling the ball on the goal-line, but not managing to keep it out in a Suarez fashion. 1-0 at half time, United deservely led.
The Bulgarian was yet again on the scoresheet on the 59th minute, and this time it was a masterpiece goal from the striker with two beautiful touches from Nani’s cross. First a knee control, and then a superb overhead kick which only he could execute, and Pepe Reina was left rooted on his line as the ball bounced in off the bar. But United may have cried victory too early from there on, as on the 64th minute Liverpool got a lifeline as Evans carelessly tackled Torres in the box, resulting in a penalty. Gerrard stepped up, and did not falter by wrong-footing Van Der Sar to give Liverpool some hope. And 6 minutes later he may be gave Old Trafford the greatest fright so far, as O’Shea got lucky not to be sent off for a reckless tackle on Torres just outside the box, and Captain Stevie drilled the freekick home having found a breach in United’s wall, and Van Der Sar not ideally placed on his line to intervene.
Liverpool from there on looked livelier and more prompt to grab a third, with United looking in complete disarray, and may be haunted by their previous games against Fulham and Everton where they were caught napping and conceded the draw in those 2 games. But on the 84th minute, Berbatov rose again to the occasion, and this time he headed in O’Shea’s cross past a helpless Reina to seal the win, and took the applause of the crowd minutes later as he was taken off, with Sir Alex reinforcing the midfield as Anderson played his first game since being injured, and Gibson also getting a run-out to patch up the midfield and provide more defensive options.
Questions will still be asked however on United’s defense, as they gave away a 2-goal cushion too easily, and the match could have easily ended in Liverpool’s favor had they been more inspired. May be time to give the defenders a good ‘hair-dryer’ treatment to stop once and for all such lack of defensive concentration.