Man United   1

Berbatov (68)

Middlesbrough   0

29 December 2008

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Man United
1Van der Sar
2Rafaelsub2
15Vidic
6Evans
22O'Shea
7Ronaldosub11
16Carrick
24Fletchersub18
7Parkyellow card
10Rooney
9Berbatovgoal
Subs:
29Kuszczak
2Nevillesub2
11Giggssub7
18Scholessub24yellow card
19Welbeck
28Gibson
34Possebon
Middlesbrough
22Turnbull
26Bates
5Riggott
31Wheater
18Pogatetz
11Aliadieresub11
20Arca
32O'Neil
19Downing
9Sanli
12Alves
Subs:
1Jones
33Taylor
11Emnessub11
4Huth
14Shawky
41Walker
33Porritt

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Edwin van der Sar – A night not to be a goalkeeper. Edwin’s hands were so rarely warmed by Middlesbrough assaults. Just the way we like it.

Rafael – Strong defensively when needed but his intent is always to press forward, and he provided attacking back-up – as if it was really needed – for Ronaldo.

Nemanja Vidic – Without Rio Ferdinand’s presence Vidic appeared an even taller, more commanding pillar of strength at the heart of United's defence.

Jonny Evans - An accomplished, steady display from the young defender, which made Rio's absence seem like much less of a problem.

John O’Shea – In truth, he had so little to do. Middlesbrough rarely had joy down United’s left side, but O’Shea continues to deputise well in the absence of Patrice Evra.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Constantly peppered the Boro goal in the first half but was a little better restrained by the visitors after the break.

Darren Fletcher – Steady throughout and full of running, making him the likely contender to be sacrificed when Sir Alex looked to bring Scholesy on.

Michael Carrick – Provided a solid base from which most of United’s attacking moves were founded at his feet.

Ji-sung Park – A threat in attack and unafraid of getting stuck in – he earned his first yellow card for United, though he also managed to lift the ball over the bar when the goal was at his mercy.

Wayne Rooney – Lively in the first half and linked up well with Berbatov. At the centre of everything United did.

Dimitar Berbatov – At his effortless finest, constantly

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