An efficient performance saw United runnning out as 1-0 winners at Ewood Park, a stadium where the Reds haven’t won since 1998.
In the first half, Rovers’ attacks were toothless but United, lining up in what looked like 4-5-1 with Giggs in the middle and Rooney on the wing, did not have too many chances themselves. First Ronaldo, then Saha had a penalty claim turned down, Rooney failed to beat Friedel to times (his first one, from a narrow angle was a really spectacular shot) and between these two chances he couldn’t find a ball only two yards out…
Rovers started the second half in a much more confident manner, yet it was Ronaldo who could have opened the scoring but after two fine tricks he fired over the bar.
United’s next really serious chance ended with a goal, as O’Shea crossed the ball from the edge of the area, Giggs volleyed it back to Saha from the far post and the Frenchman tucked the ball into the net in spectacular fashion.
Blackburn failed to respond to it, and though only van der Sar’s fine, finger-tip clearance denied Benny McCarthy, they never looked like scoring. United were threatening at times after taking the lead, but the lads concentrated on preserving it – and they did it succesfully, thus claiming a deserved win.
Van der Sar 7
He was absolutely commanding and made a spectacular save following Pedersen’s cross fifteeen minutes from time.
G. Neville 6
He had a decent half but nothing overly impressive. His crosses from the right weren’t effective enough though he kept Bentley quiet.
He managed to subdue Pedersen and contributed to our attacking play.
He was brilliant, dynamic runs and magnificent dribbles were all there to see.
Usual effective passing, his defensive work was suprisingly decent.
Those spectacular, 40-yard passes were now absent but he was working unaspiringly throughout the game.
His assist was fantastic and he posed a threat to the defence every time he touched the ball.
He was deployed on the left in the first-half and had three good chances to give United the lead. A good game, but had better ones.
Well-taken goal, immense amount of running, held up the ball well, his dribbles and trick worked more often than not.
Crossed the ball to Giggs before the first goal, a good performance at right-back. He’s surely not a midfielder, everyone can see it now…