English Premiership

United in controversial draw

2010-12-29 07:50
Dimitar Berbatov (File)

Birmingham - Lee Bowyer's controversial late equaliser saw Birmingham City deny Premiership leaders Manchester United victory in a 1-1 draw at St Andrews on Tuesday.

It seemed Dimitar Berbatov's 14th league goal of the season had given United, who started this late kick-off match a point behind second-placed Manchester City, victory.

But instead of leading their local rivals by two points, United now top the table on goal difference alone following Bowyer's 89th minute leveller that took the Blues out of the relegation zone.

However, it appeared Birmingham substitute Nikola Zigic may have handled in the build-up to Bowyer's goal, with the midfielder possibly offside as well.

Nevertheless, United are still unbeaten in the league this season and have two games in hand over Manchester City.

Their position is all the more impressive given Wayne Rooney has not scored in open play since a goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League at the end of March.

It is a statistic with which the England striker has become uncomfortably familiar and his search for that elusive goal was not helped by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to start him out wide on the left on Tuesday.

Rooney's struggles could not be more of a contrast with Berbatov's form.

The Bulgarian's seemingly casual attitude has often been a source of irritation at Old Trafford.

But there is always the chance he will burst into life with devastating effect and he did so just before the hour mark at St Andrews.

His rolled back heel pass to Darron Gibson was sublime while his first touch and finish low beyond former United keeper Ben Foster, after the return, was of the highest class.

His fleeting genius emerged again moments later when he struck the base of Foster's right-hand post from the edge of the area with Foster beaten.

Ferguson obviously felt Rooney could expose the ageing limbs of Stephen Carr and on a couple of occasions in the opening exchanges he cut inside and tested Foster with low shots.

Questions are still being asked whether Ferguson was too hasty in allowing England international Foster to leave in pre-season and one save, when his fingertips prevented Ryan Giggs's swirling cross from finding the far corner was a reminder of what United had lost.

Of the few chances Birmingham did create, Cameron Jerome wasted an excellent one inside the first five minutes, with a poor header from Sebastian Larsson's cross. It was one of the few occasions Alex McLeish's five-man midfield were able to make their numerical advantage pay in the opening 45 minutes.

Within eight minutes of the re-start Birmingham should have opened the scoring. Larsson's cross produced an ungainly shot from Jerome which screwed to Craig Gardner eight yards out.

But the former Aston Villa midfielder's connection with his volley was not ideal and United keeper Edwin van der Sar made a comfortable save.

Read more on:    epl

Shaw feeling the heat

2014-10-02 09:31


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
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Stand up paddler rides over shark!

This stand up paddler had no idea that a great white shark was directly beneath him when he went gliding out to shore.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
04 October 2014
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 16:00
Leicester City v Burnley, King Power Stadium 16:00
Swansea City v Newcastle United, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Stoke City, Stadium of Light 16:00
Hull City v Crystal Palace, The KC Stadium 16:00
Aston Villa v Manchester City, Villa Park 18:30
05 October 2014
Manchester United v Everton, Old Trafford 13:00
Chelsea v Arsenal, Stamford Bridge 15:05
Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton, White Hart Lane 15:05
West Ham United v Queens Park Rangers, Boleyn Ground 17:15
18 October 2014
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 13:45
Arsenal v Hull City, Emirates Stadium 16:00
Everton v Aston Villa, Goodison Park 16:00
Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Selhurst Park 16:00
Newcastle United v Leicester City, St. James' Park 16:00
Southampton v Sunderland, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v West Ham United, Turf Moor 16:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who is the best new player in the English Premiership this season?

Love 2 Meet

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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