03/12/2008 21:54, Report by Gemma Thompson
United 5 Blackburn 3
called into action once more, tipping over a curling Brett Emerton shot following a well-worked short corner.
Nine minutes before the break United gained the advantage, but there was some debate as to who got the final touch on Giggs’ right wing free-kick. Tevez and Aaron Mokoena both dived to meet the inswinging centre with a combination of the two contriving to send the ball into the net. Tevez wheeled away to celebrate and claim his third goal of the campaign.
There was no question of the Argentine’s part in United’s second goal which arrived on 40 minutes. Nani collected possession on the left wing before turning and cutting inside. A one-two with Tevez was followed by a fine low finish under Robinson.
The Portuguese winger came within a whisker of doubling his tally seconds after the restart as United looked to put the tie beyond doubt. Tevez crossed from the right to Giggs who saw his effort blocked by a last-ditch challenge from Mokoena. Nani looked certain to score from the follow-up, but Robinson reacted brilliantly to deny him.
Two minutes later the visitors were thrown a lifeline by half-time substitute Benni McCarthy, who made an instant impact. Latching onto a hoofed clearance, the South African got away from the clutches of Gary Neville before lashing an unstoppable shot inside Foster’s near post.
Blackburn’s renewed optimism lasted all of three minutes. The increasingly influential Giggs slotted a through ball into Tevez’s path and he was subsequently bundled to the ground in the area by Andre Ooijer. Referee Alan Wiley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and the Argentine duly dusted himself down to fire into the same corner he favoured in the last round against QPR and, of course, Moscow.
He sealed his hat-trick in the simplest of fashions after a sublime move from the Reds. Anderson