English Premiership

United break Blackpool hearts

2011-05-22 19:22
Michael Owen (File)

Manchester - Premier League champions Manchester United sent Blackpool straight back down to the Championship with a 4-2 win at Old Trafford here on Sunday.

Blackpool led 2-1 with half an hour remaining but three goals in 18 minutes saw them return to the second tier of English football 12 months to the day they won the play-off final to win promotion.

United face Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League final at Barcelona at Wembley on Saturday and there had been intense speculation over what sort of team Sir Alex Ferguson would field against Blackpool.

But United manager Ferguson opted for a stronger line-up than many pundits had predicted.

Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who will retire after the Barcelona game, was handed the captain's armband on his Old Trafford farewell while there were also starts for Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Park Ji-Sung and Darren Fletcher who are all expected to feature at Wembley.

Meanwhile the substitutes bench included Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia as Ferguson made a total of nine changes to the side that started the 1-1 draw at Blackburn eight days earlier which sealed a record 19th English title.

Blackpool started the day in the relegation zone on goal difference but they could afford to lose and still stay up if their struggling rivals lost by a bigger margin.

Despite their position, they have established a reputation as an attacking side and it took them fewer than 30 seconds to carve out a glorious opportunity when Charlie Adam picked out Keith Southern with a low cross.

But Southern somehow stabbed it wide with the goal at his mercy before Gary Taylor-Fletcher failed to get contact on another cross by Adam.

United responded through Rafael da Silva, the Brazilian full-back forcing a save from Matthew Gilks with a 20-yard volley before the Blackpool keeper denied Dimitar Berbatov in the eighth minute.

It was only a matter of time before the hosts broke the deadlock, Park displaying excellent composure to clip the ball over Gilks after muscling his way past Ian Evatt following Berbatov's flick.

Blackpool were living dangerously and they were fortunate not to concede a 31st minute penalty when Park was sent sprawling under a challenge by Adam.

But Adam recovered from that slice of fortune to haul his side back into the game as Blackpool showed tremendous character to equalise five minutes before half-time.

Vidic was wrongly adjudged to have fouled Taylor-Fletcher just outside the area, but Adam made the most of the opportunity as he bent the free-kick around the wall and into the net to make it 1-1.

Ferguson reacted by replacing Rafael at the start of the second half with Chris Smalling but Blackpool almost took the lead in the 48th minute through another Adam free-kick, van der Sar this time equal to his fierce effort.

Taylor-Fletcher, against all-odds, made it 2-1 to Blackpool after connecting with David Vaughan's 57th minute cross before Anderson levelled five minutes later with a first-time shot which curled beyond Gilks.

It was downhill all the way for Blackpool after that.

Ian Evatt deflected Smalling's cross beyond his own keeper before substitute Michael Owen ensured United headed for Wembley on a high after a typical finish made it 4-2.

Read more on:    epl  |  michael owen


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Wallabies win, Boks to face Wales
Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
17 October 2015
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool, White Hart Lane 13:45
Manchester City v Bournemouth, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 16:00
Crystal Palace v West Ham United, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Aston Villa, Stamford Bridge 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Arsenal, Vicarage Road 18:30
18 October 2015
Newcastle United v Norwich City, St. James' Park 17:00
19 October 2015
Swansea City v Stoke City, Liberty Stadium 21:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.