|1||Van der Sar|
Ian Holloway's side produced a monumental effort but the Reds made a mockery of talk of fines for fielding a weakened line-up by completing a 4-2 victory after Park Ji-sung's opener was overturned by Charlie Adam and Gary Taylor-Fletcher. Anderson levelled and an Ian Evatt own goal put the Reds in front again. Michael Owen grabbed the fourth with a typically clinical finish.
In the very first minute, Paul Scholes lost possession and Adam worked his way past Jonny Evans to cross perfectly for Keith Southern, only for the midfielder to get his side-foot finish all wrong with the goal gaping.
After the early reminder of what this match meant to the visitors, United mustered a decent attempt when Rafael’s left-foot volley forced Matthew Gilks into a save but another dangerous Adam centre almost picked out Taylor-Fletcher soon afterwards.
The end-to-end opening continued with Dimitar Berbatov collecting a Darren Fletcher pass and turning Evatt with ease, only to see his shot pushed away by Gilks. The Bulgarian was heavily involved in the first goal as his prodded through ball was misjudged by Evatt and Park got goal side of the defender before expertly lofting his finish over Gilks and into the net.
The Seasiders looked to be on the ropes but Adam served notice of his threat with a cheeky long-range attempt that flew over the bar. United still looked to be in control and Berbatov spurned a chance to double the lead when firing against Gilks’ legs after more defensive hesitancy.