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Berbatov treble gives United victory
19 Sep 2010 - 17:55:51
Man-of-the-match Dimitar Berbatov scored a stunning hat-trick as Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-2 at Old Trafford, despite throwing away a two-goal lead.
The home side started the brighter and soon had the Reds on the back foot, with Jamie Carragher lucky to escape conceding a penalty as he pulled the shirt of Nemanja Vidic as a corner came in from the right.
Fifteen minutes in Nani passed up a shooting chance and then when the ball fell to him again, he sliced his shot wide of the far post from ten yards out.
Ten minutes later Glen Johnson lashed a left-foot shot just wide following a short corner, but still it was the home side who were calling most of the shots.
Three minutes before the interval United broke the deadlock, as Ryan Giggs lifted a corner in from the left and Berbatov headed home at the near post, registering his fifth goal in six games this season.
At the beginning of the second half United came close to adding a second goal, as Pepe Reina just snuffed out the threat of Berbatov, before Nani rattled the woodwork with a fierce drive from a tight angle.
On the hour mark it was 2-0 as Berbatov scored a superlative second of the game, taking down a Nani cross before hooking an overhead kick high over the stranded Reina and in off the underside of the bar.
Within four minutes Liverpool had a goal back as Fernando Torres was brought down in the box by Jonny Evans and Steven Gerrard calmly slotted home the resulting penalty kick.
Unbelievably it was 2-2 20 minutes from time, as Gerrard curled home a 20-yard free-kick after John O' Shea had been penalised for hauling down Torres.
However, Berbatov was to have the final say, as he headed home an O'Shea cross six minutes from time to complete his hat-trick and earn United a thrilling 3-2 victory.