Man United   2

Rooney (23), Ronaldo (60)

Blackburn   1

Santa Cruz (32)

21 February 2009 Old Trafford 75,000

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Man United
29Kuszczak
2Rafael
5Ferdinand
6Evanssub15
3Evra
7Ronaldoyellow cardgoal
18Scholessub11
16Carrick
17Nanisub32
10Rooneygoal
9Berbatovyellow card
Subs:
20Fabio
24Fletcher
1Foster
11Giggssub18
32Tevezsub17
15Vidicsub6
19Welbeck
Blackburn
1Robinson
13Ooijer
5Givetyellow card
17Nelsen
25Warnock
11Dioufsub22
8Andrewsyellow card
8Dunnsub5
11Grellasub17
12Gamst Pedersen
18Santa Cruzgoal
Subs:
13Khizanishvili
17McCarthysub11
15Mokoena
33Roberts
32Brown
22Treacysub11
5Tugaysub8

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Teams

21/02/2009 16:15, Report by Nick Coppack
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United 2 Blackburn 1

United went eight points clear at the top of the league after victory over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday evening.

As is customary of late, Sir Alex’s men won by the narrowest of margins, although for the first time since November the Reds conceded a league goal. United were made to work hard for the points but goals from Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo proved enough to seal an 11th consecutive win in all competitions.

Sir Alex made five changes to the side that beat Fulham 3-0 in midweek. Jonny Evans came in for Nemanja Vidic to get some more minutes under his belt before United’s trip to the San Siro on Tuesday (the Serbian is suspended for that match), although the youngster now looks unlikely to play in that match after limping off injured after 61 minutes. Elsewhere, Rafael replaced John O’Shea at right-back, Wayne Rooney was handed his first start in six weeks and Nani replaced Ji-sung Park on the left wing.

The biggest selection shock came in goal, where Edwin van der Sar was rested in the league for the first time since the end of October. The Dutchman, who has sent goalkeeping records tumbling in recent weeks, was replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak.

The Polish stopper had precious little to do early on. Instead, it was Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson who had most cause for concern in the opening minutes. Paul Scholes, fresh from one of his best performances in a United shirt three days earlier, shot narrowly wide in the third minute after finding space in midfield to run at the visitors' defence. Sixty seconds later, Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross curled just beyond the far post.

Scholes blasted wide once more on 12 minutes when a half-cleared corner fell to him on the edge of the box. Moments earlier, Rooney would have succeeded in playing Michael Carrick in on goal had a Blackburn defender not intervened with a last-ditch sliding tackle. More

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