FOOTBALL NEWS

31/12/2011 15:04, Report by Adam Marshall
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Ratings v Blackburn

he recovered from a heavy challenge.

Rafael: Started in the heart of midfield but looked more at home at right-back after the break. One mishit pass still found Ji-sung Park, much to everybody's amusement, but some of his stirring work in the second half was outstanding. It was his run that led to Berbatov pulling one back, his header that released Valencia for the equaliser, and he had another slalom that created an opening for the Bulgarian.

Ji-sung Park: Approached his task with his usual vigour and tried hard in a new partnership with Rafael in the first half. After putting so much into the win against Wigan, he could have been excused for tiring late on but he still got in some timely tackles and interceptions and attempted to keep the Reds moving forward. His best moment was a cross from the left that was headed away by Hanley at full stretch with Nani waiting to pounce.

Danny Welbeck: An early change of pace impressed the crowd and he had a shot headed away by Chris Samba. Worked hard but the ball never fell for him around the penalty area and most of his best stuff came out on the flanks and in a deeper position.

Javier Hernandez: Endured a largely frustrating first half before being replaced as he was starved of service. Got in the way of a Phil Jones shot following a corner before lashing a decent attempt wide from outside the area. Linked the play when dropping into midfield but was crying out for a chance inside the box.

Dimitar Berbatov: After conceding the penalty for hauling Samba down, he made amends with a double strike to continue his fine form in front of goal. A diving header and sweetly-struck clinical finish gave United real hope of going top but, alas, it wasn't to be. A much bigger influence after the interval than he had been in the first period and he didn't deserve to be on the losing side.

Subs:
Anderson (for Hernandez, 46):
A raking pass wide showed his intention to get involved and he

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