31/10/2009 18:15, Report by Steve Bartram
United 2 Blackburn 0
a lone furrow manfully, but without any success. El-Hadji Diouf had the closest semblance of a chance for the visitors, but John O'Shea superbly slid in to deny the Senegalese wide-man a shooting chance.
As the half wore on, United increasingly found answers to the questions posed by the visitors' steadfast defence. Berbatov was denied a shot by Gael Givet's challenge, then Robinson tipped the Bulgarian's downward header over the crossbar.
The visiting goalkeeper then produced an impressive save to turn Berbatov's 25-yarder round the post, but only a linesman's flag could deny the Bulgarian an opening goal on 39 minutes. The assistant correctly deemed that Nani's pass had found Rooney just ahead of play, rendering Berbatov's subsequent tap-in irrelevant.
The second half began with United predictably on top, and Berbatov broke the deadlock just as a mood of frustration was gripping the home support. Evra was allowed space to advance and shoot and, although his effort was heading off-target, Berbatov needed only an expert left-footed touch to control it, then an even better touch with his right to arrow the volley inside Robinson's post.
Obertan was introduced at the expense of Nani, but the young French winger twice suffered from rushes of blood when he could have marked his league debut with a maiden goal. Firstly, he fired tamely at Robinson after latching onto Anderson's pass, then he dragged his shot wide with the goal gaping.
The Frenchman's blushes were spared with three