Saturday, 14 May 2011

A controversial Wayne Rooney penalty was enough to secure Manchester United's record-breaking 19th league title.

Blackburn   1 - 1   Man Utd

Man Utd striker Wayne Rooney (second left) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his penalty in the 1-1 draw at Blackburn
Rooney (second left) put away his penalty in emphatic fashion
The point clinched a 12th Barclays Premier League title for manager Sir Alex Ferguson on an afternoon of high drama at Blackburn Rovers - 25 years after the fiery Scot declared he wanted to knock Liverpool off their perch.
United had to come from behind to write another chapter in their history books after another typically uncertain away league performance in a season in which they achieved only five victories on the road.
They looked to be heading for defeat until Rovers keeper Paul Robinson was ruled to have brought down Javier Hernandez and the visitors were awarded a penalty.
The point took United beyond nearest rivals Chelsea and edged the Old Trafford club ahead of Liverpool, who won the last of their 18 league titles in 1990.
The United players were joined by Ferguson on the pitch for the post-match celebrations while Blackburn's fate will not be sealed until the final day of the season next Sunday when they visit relegation rivals Wolves.
There was a sense of irony that United needed a penalty to make sure of their latest title - the spot-kick decision coming just 24 hours after Ferguson was charged by the FA for praising referee Howard Webb ahead of last weekend's showdown against Chelsea.
Blackburn had taken a first-half lead through Brett Emerton after a mix-up in the United defence involving stand-in goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak who almost allowed Jason Roberts to take advantage of his carelessness.
Kuszczak, who is certain to leave the club in the summer because he wants regular first-team football, looked shaky for most of the afternoon and he was at fault when he failed to gather a harmless-looking cross from Emerton.
He could only touch the ball out to the right where Martin Olsson was on hand to fire it back across goal to Emerton who clinically dispatched it into the bottom corner of the net.
The goal rocked United and for a 10-minute spell Blackburn sensed another goal was possible.
United held firm and Hernandez forced Robinson into a neat save when he turned and fire a low shot which the Blackburn keeper did well to push away for a corner.

Blackburn were incensed and replays suggested Robinson did not pull out of the challenge before making contact with Hernandez.
Rooney kept his cool to fire home from the spot and from that moment on there was no doubt that Manchester United were heading for the title.
Nani should have made the title safe but wasted a glorious close-range effort. In the end, it didn't matter as United closed the game out with ease.
The full-time whistle sealed another landmark moment of success for Ferguson, who now has the luxury of being able to rest players in the final game of the season at home to Blackpool with his thoughts now turning to the Champions League final against Barcelona in two weeks' time at Wembley.

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