Blackpool were brilliant in the first half. Charlie Adam who Ian Holloway is hanging onto for dear life even as Liverpool furiously shake their hips at him was unstoppable. A pair of corner kicks and Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell made fools of the Utd defense to put Blackpool up two. They showed no signs of stopping while running Man Utd ragged. It was all very exhilarating.
But Utd needs one moment. And it happened minutes into the second half as Rafael barges into Luke Varney in full view of Peter Walton. It was a PK whichever way you cut it. For some inexplicable reason Walton does not give it. One loses track of the times decisions have favoured Utd. Would it have made a difference? You just knew the worm was turning. Darren Fletcher squares the ball as the Blackpool defense in disarray allows Dimitar Berbatov to steal the ball home. It was the Bulgarian’s 19th goal.
Ryan Giggs. Can we say genius till our mouths run dry? The second goal was exquisite. Giggs floating a perfect drop on a dime pass to Chicharito controlling it with one touch and then sweeping the ball into goal. This is Utd – Wayne Rooney shuts off but up comes a cohort of new heroes. The languid Berbatov, the quick witted Chicharito. Unfortunately for Blackpool they were not finished. Berbatov scored his 20th goal finishing off a Scholes pass after another disjointed defensive effort allowed them acres of space.
10 minutes of extra time was added due to Rafael’s injury but it was not enough for a Blackpool to stage their own comeback. Man Utd’s only wrinkle was Rafael’s concussion which forced him out of the game.
Utd’s unbeaten streak may eventually be halted but it will prove a blip in their march to their 19th league title. They are inexorable. We’ve seen it far too many times.