Barclays Premier League
Saturday 23 April 2011
MANCHESTER UNITED 1
United: van der Sar; Fabio, Ferdinand, Evans, O’Shea (Evra, 57); Valencia, Gibson (Giggs, 74), Anderson, Nani (Owen, 63); Hernandez, Rooney. Subs not used: Kuszczak, Brown, Rafael, Carrick.
Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Coleman (Gueye, 75), Neville, Osman, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov (Cahill, 46); Beckford (Anichebe, 46). Subs not used: Mucha, Skodran, Mustafi, Duffy, Vellios.
Bouncing back from a midweek Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, the Reds produced a display full of the quick passing and incisive movement that had led to the Treble in the previous year. The champions raced into a three-goal lead by the half-hour mark and never looked in danger from that point on.
A trademark David Beckham free-kick, after a foul on Andy Cole set Sir Alex Ferguson's men on course for victory, and when Francis Benali deflected the ball into his own net following a great surge down the left from Phil Neville, United were in firm control. Shortly afterwards, Roy Keane found Beckham in space on the right and he played a rapier-like ball to Solskjaer. The Norwegian's majestic control and volley into the besieged Southampton net sent the travelling support into raptures and even though the Saints eventually responded with a splendid solo effort from Latvian international Marian Pahars, the result was by then academic. United were champions again, this time with four games to spare.