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Manchester United 7 Blackburn 1: Can Dimitar Berbatov keep up the wow factor?
Published : 29 Nov 2010 00:28:50
Dimitar Berbatov is assured of a place in Barclays Premier League folklore after scoring five times on Saturday. The question is: When will we see him again? Prior to Manchester United's 7-1 demolition of Blackburn at Old Trafford, only Andy Cole, Alan Shearer and Jermain Defoe had scored five times in a Premier League game, so Berbatov is in good company. Gimme five: Dimitar Berbatov walks off with the matchball after his stunning display However, his spectacular contribution will not mean much in the long-term if we have to wait two months for his next goal and indeed his next meaningful performance for Sir Alex Ferguson's team. The statistics tell us that Berbatov has scored 11 League goals this season, one fewer than he managed last season. Goal crazy: Berbatov celebrates the first of five However, eight of those have come in two games - he scored a hat-trick at home to Liverpool in September - and only one has come away from home. It may seem churlish to continue to ask questions of the Bulgarianin the wake of a display that warmed all of those who saw it. Berbatov's efforts on Saturday were impressive in every way. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that he did not manage to score during Wayne Rooney's absence. In other words, when United have needed their No 9 the most he has not really been there. Such has been the nature of Berbatov's football that he was dropped from the squad for a home game against Wigan on November 20. The message, therefore, is clear. Consistency, rather than the occasional spectacular afternoon, is what United need. But suggestions that Berbatov does not care about his football are wrong. The former Tottenham forward has admitted to worrying about his game and Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce said: 'He gets criticised unfairly because he looks laid back and looks as though he doesn't care. But that's not necessarily the case. I had a player at Bolton called Nicolas Anelka who everyone thought was sulky. But when I worked with him I realised that was wrong. He wasn't like that at all. 'Perhaps it's the same with Berbatov.I think he is a great player and he has proved that against us. We couldn't cope with him.' OnSaturday he scored his goals without fuss. A couple were handed to him on a plate by Allardyce's surprisingly compliant Blackburn team but somewere worth watching again and again. Certainly, United found some momentum. It remains to be seen if they can use it to bring about a prolonged spell of form. Midfielder Michael Carrick said: 'We have set high standards in the past and that's what keeps us going, to see if we can live up to those standards. This was one of those days. It's not possible to do what we did every week, but that's what we strive towards.' FA Cup third round draw: Manchester United host Liverpool in pick of gamesFergie admits Van der Sar is retiring - and paves way for £15m De Gea bidBlack-burned! Allardyce says sorry to fans after 7-1 mauling at Old TraffordMANCHESTER UNITED FC