x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Goal-shy Manchester United draw at Blackburn

United's title challenge is hanging by the slenderest of threads after they fail to beat Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Dimitar Berbatov was disappointing in front of goal for United.
Dimitar Berbatov was disappointing in front of goal for United.

Manchester United's title challenge is hanging by the slenderest of threads after they failed to beat Blackburn at Ewood Park. Sir Alex Ferguson's men are now a point behind Chelsea having played a game more, with only four matches remaining. Although they dominated the game, the Red Devils were less than convincing and Antonio Valencia had their best two chances before the break, but was twice denied by the Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson. After half-time, with United so desperate for the points, the former England No 1 had surprisingly little to do. The first Valencia chance was created by Federico Macheda, making his first Premier League start of the season.

Valencia charged on to the young Italian's neat pass with purpose and let fly with a powerful effort that was heading for the bottom corner until Paul Robinson made a fine low save. Dimitar Berbatov was the architect of the second, in another disappointing afternoon for the Bulgarian who rarely threatened. Valencia eagerly latched on to his pass but again Robinson denied him, this time at close quarters. Ferguson sacrificed Ryan Giggs at half time for Darron Gibson, who was prepared to try his luck from distance but rarely found his shots on target.

Berbatov's unhappy afternoon continued when he failed to test Robinson, having been set up by Gary Neville and then fired wide after a long throw from the full-back bounced straight through the Blackburn defence. It was almost an epitaph for his entire United career, and when Neville's late scuffed effort rolled wide, the vast travelling support knew their season was destined to end in disappointment. In the earlier kick-off, Wolverhampton Wanderers were held to a 0-0 draw against Stoke City at Molinuex. * PA Sport