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It didn’t start greatly though for United and within ten minutes Newcastle United had taken the lead following an error from Edwin Van Der Sar. The last goal to be scored against Edwin Van Der Sar in the Premier League was on November 8th at the Emirates Stadium in the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal – and the big Dutch keeper will want to forget this one Peter Lovenkrands touched home an easy chance after Van Der Sar had fumbled a routine shot from Jonas Gutierrez.
It didn’t take long for United to get back into the game with a sublime Wayne Rooney strike on the twenty minute mark. After some good work between John O’shea and Ji-Sung Park gave the Irishman some space to man over – he ushered the ball towards Rooney who spun away from his marker with an excellent touch with his left foot. He the proceeded to smash the ball past the oncoming Harper.
Van Der Sar looked uncomfortable for most of the half – most noticeably from a corner in which he failed to clear. Van Der Sar’s weak punch fell to Martins to shot wide. At the other end Nemanja Vidic missed a glorious opportunity to take the lead from a corner when he headed over. United then had two chances in quick succession – when Rooney mis kicked under some pressure whilst Park a couple of minutes later after some good work from Evra down the left flank. Parks shot actually rebounded off Wayne Rooney.
There was controversy right on the stroke of half time when Steven Taylor smashed Critstiano Ronaldo to the ground – which both competed for a 50/50 ball. The Newcastle defender was rightfully booked, whilst United captain Rio Ferdinand also picked up a booking for his protest at half time.
United started off the second half well with Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra linking up well on a number of occasions. I have rarely seen a full back as good as Evra going forward who is also world class in defence. His stamina, drive and crossing have helped United no end this season and looks at home at left full back as much as Denis Irwin did for all those years.
United took the lead on fifty five minutes after a ball from deep from Wayne Rooney was poorly intercepted by Ryan Taylor who managed to chest the ball into the path of Ji-Sung Park – who then poked the ball past the out rushing Harper for Berbatov to poke home. The man they compare to Eric Cantona did exactly what the Frenchman did thirteen years earlier and take the lead against – what has to be said a much weaker Newcaslte side.
Van Der Sar continued to look nervy with poor kicking whilst Martins continued to look dangerous – with the football as well as his elbows. Earlier in the game the Nigerian striker elbowed Nemanja Vidic in the face, which resulted in the Serbian defender having to go off for treatment. Martin also had a weak penalty appeal turned down midway through the half.
Wayne Rooney was superb all night and it is a delight for any United fan to watch him play. His creativity and determination will be extremely welcomed for upcoming Champions League match against Internazionale. Rooney’s brilliance was there for all to see when he broke superbly after some good work by Berbatov and found Ronaldo who laid off a decent pass for Berbatov to strike at Harper – who saved well.
United will be pleased with the three points and where well worth their win. Fulham are next up in the FA Cup on Saturday, followed by the 2nd leg against Inter Milan and then a home match against Liverpool on the 14th March. If United get three wins in the next three games – it will be a massive step towards an amazing quintuplet – something the manager has played down.