“I am not a man, I am Berbatov.”
Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool: Observations
In the midst of a Mancunian drizzle, Dimitar Berbatov shone so bright that he had put others in the shade; and in the process, silencing the last of his doubters with a monumental, inspirational performance – one that could never to be forgotten simply because of the manner and audacity in which he scored the second of his three goals. Class is permanent, and the Bulgarian was always ‘class’.
For all the horrors that the Old Trafford crowd witnessed today, where United had briefly collapsed and thrown away a 2-0 lead, it was all made up for when Berbatov had nabbed his third, and United’s third, for what was ultimately the winner in this classic encounter between two of the greatest teams in the country. Liverpool were poor, and if it wasn’t for a couple of careless and needless challenges, this would have otherwise been described as a walk in the park. United’s defence was again under scrutiny for both goals, once again throwing away a two goal lead in the space of eight days.
But if it had ended level, it certainly wouldn’t have done justice to Manchester United nor Berbatov. Lazy? Languid? Definitely not, for Berbatov was covering distances only matched by that of the Popemobile, dropping deep and getting far more involved. Mentions must also go to Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea, both of whom providing excellent assists for the Bulgarian’s second and third.
Wayne Rooney cut a frustrated figure on a few occasions; this was no means a typical Rooney performance and he looked jaded, but Berbatov’s presence meant that United need not worry. His second goal was exquisite, and with United 2-0 up and cruising, they had to keep a level head but that just didn’t happen. A penalty followed, which Gerrard dispatched and he did so again with a free kick minutes later. Had United thrown away a game again? No, not with Berbatov in this form. He headed past Reina to make it 3-2 and of course, win the game. He’s now scored six goals in five league games, impressive if you ask me.
Fittingly, there was an instance where Berbatov lifted his collar, and although I don’t like comparisons, there was something Cantona-esque about his game. His acrobatic finish on the hour mark would have definitely been given the thumbs up if Eric was watching. Somewhere, Berbatov is dressed in a long coat in front of a fireplace smoking a cigar whilst continuously repeating the words “I am not a man, I am Berbatov…”
And if the victory wasn’t sweet enough, Ryan Babel’s tweet (click here) rounded off a spectacular day. Discuss the game by leaving a comment.