from time. Rovers refused to relinquish the lead this time, leaving Reds fans anticipating a three-point deficit following City’s game with Sunderland on New Year’s Day – not the case, however, as the Black Cats ran out 1-0 winners at the Stadium of Light.
Unfortunately, early December meant the final Champions League group games – and the death knell for United’s 2011/12 campaign. Away in Basel, Sir Alex’s men had enough chances to get the required draw, but were on the back foot once Marco Streller struck on nine minutes. And, adding injury to insult, skipper Nemanja Vidic was stretchered off with a season-ending injury.
The month also ended on a low note when a battling Crystal Palace side pulled off a shock extra-time win in the Carling Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford to knock United out of the competition, while the Reds' disappointment was further compounded by nasty injuries to Fabio, Rafael and Berbatov.
Goal of the month - Carrick v QPR
This belter sees off Wazza’s 30-yarder and Berba’s cute effort at Fulham. After intercepting the ball in his own half, Carrick drove upfield as the QPR rearguard backpedalled, then let fly precisely past Radek Cerny.
Player of the month - Dimitar Berbatov
Ahead of Fulham, Berbatov’s 2011/12 league campaign read: one start, no goals. Ten days and three games later, he’d scored six – with a hat-trick against Wigan – in a goal blitz full of his trademark talent and tricks.
Quote of the month
“The thing that improves your confidence is when the whole team is playing well, and we’ve been doing that lately” Antonio Valencia .