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Barclays Premier League

Ewood Park (ATT 26,532) 2nd April 2012 - Kick off 20:00 Ref: H Webb

Blackburn Blackburn Rovers vs Manchester United Man Utd

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Man Utd 2

A Valencia (81)
A Young (86)

Sky Sports 1 HD

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 9:52 pm, April 2nd 2012

  1. Thanks for tuning in this evening guys, stay with Sky Sports for the full report.

  2. That's it! United win 2-0 after two late goals and go five points clear at the top.

  3. 90+3

    We're closing on the final whistle and it looks like it's all over for Rovers...

  4. 90+2

    Welbeck tries to find Young with a dubious pass and fails. It's sloppy but probably won't make much difference as we near the final whistle.

  5. 90+1

    Blackburn make a last-ditch effort as Olsson tries to plant a cross into the box but it's cut out by Rooney. Three extra minutes are added.

  6. 90

    We're into the final minute of regular time and the United fans are going mad. Fergie is looking at his watch on the touchline.

  7. 89

    Yakubu slides in looking to capitalise on a sloppy pass from Ferdinand but Evans is there to diffuse the threat.

  8. 87

    Surely that's put a United win beyond doubt? If the scoreline stays this way the visitors will go five points clear at the top.

  9. Valencia plays creator this time as he picks out Young on the edge of the box, who unleashes a special piece of skill to just tuck the ball inside the post.

  10. 85

    GOAL! ASHLEY YOUNG FOR UNITED!

  11. 84

    United are sitting comfortably on the ball now and in no hurry to relinquish it as the minutes trickle down.

  12. What a goal from the winger! After drilling in cross after cross he finally gets the job done himself from the right of goal with a skilful strike, beating Robinson at the far post. Mancini could be wrong after all!

  13. 82

    GOAL! VALENCIA FINALLY BREAKS THE DEADLOCK! 1-0 TO UNITED!

  14. 81

    It's still goalless at Ewood Park. Roberto Mancini predicted this one would be a draw - is he going to be proven right?

  15. 80

    Yakubu tries an acrobatic overhead kick from close range but can't get it on target, much to the visitors' relief.

  16. 80

    Scholes makes way for Ashley Young.

  17. 79

    Hoilett gets the better of Ferdinand and skips down the right but is held up by the United defence.

  18. 78

    There's a break in United's attack as Ferdinand makes a crucial tackle to deny Yakubu as he tries to drive home from close range.

  19. 77

    Another corner for United but Valencia's ball is steered away by N'Zonzi. Robinson storms out to make a great save after Rooney tries to pile home a Giggs pass.

  20. 76

    Evra sees a gap and charges all the way through it until he's held up by Hanley in the area. Valencia tries to find Rooney with a cross seconds later and the hard-working backline are called on again.

  21. 75

    Rafael does well to barge Olsson off the ball on the left of the United goal to ease a sudden spell of pressure from Blackburn.

  22. 74

    Giggs fires a long, searching pass into the area but Hanley deals with it before it can find Rooney.

  23. 72

    Pedersen goes down after catching a ball flush in the face but he's soon back on his feet.

  24. 71

    Hoilett hacks the ball away and United are awarded a free-kick from a strong position but Rooney's feinted effort doesn't catch Blackburn out.

  25. 70

    Just 20 minutes to go and it's still goalless. United get forward again as Valencia hammers in another cross but Lowe is there to clear.

  26. 69

    Another corner flies just over the head of Rooney after a flick-on from Carrick and the ball goes back to Robinson.

  27. 68

    Giggs plants a cross into the box but Evans can only knock it across the face of goal as United press Rovers' resistance again.

  28. 67

    Evra does well to weave his way into the Blackburn box on the left but can only win a corner for the visitors.

  29. 66

    Rovers win a throw in the middle of the park, which is latched onto by Pedersen, but he knocks it behind.

  30. 64

    Another change for United as Jones comes off and Ryan Giggs makes an appearance.

  31. 63

    A Pedersen goal is ruled out after N'Zonzi appears to let the ball go behind, much to the home crowd's annoyance.

  32. 62

    De Gea palms away Pedersen's kick and Ferdinand blasts it clear before the Rovers players can do any damage.

  33. 61

    United make their first change as Danny Welbeck comes on for Hernandez.

  34. 61

    Scholes is furious after he looks to win the ball fairly from Yakubu but the referee's whistle blows for a Rovers' free-kick.

  35. 60

    The Rovers striker tries another shot after Pedersen feeds him in the box but it flies over the woodwork.

  36. 59

    Yakubu tries his luck with a shot after Carrick loses the ball with a dodgy pass but he fires it wide.

  37. 58

    Valencia wins two more corners in quick succession. Hernandez thinks he's offside in the aftermath of the second and refrains from taking a shot but no flag is up.

  38. 57

    The winger wins a corner and steps up to take it. The ball falls back out to Rafael, who tries a long range shot, but Robinson has it covered.

  39. 56

    United try to build from deep inside their own half, with Rooney charging forward and picking out Valencia on the right.

  40. 55

    Rooney steps up to take it from 20 yards. Robinson travels across goal to palm out the kick with a comfortable save.

  41. 54

    Scholes is taken down yards outside the box by Hanley and the Rovers man earns a booking for his troubles. Free-kick United.

  42. 53

    Scholes gets forward on the prowl for United in midfield and Valencia picks up the ball from Jones, trying another cross but to no avail.

  43. 52

    Evra plants a cross into the box from the other wing but it's dealt with by the Rovers' backline. Rooney tries a shot from long range but it sails over.

  44. 51

    Valencia and Rooney pair up on the edge of the box, hunting for a way through. A cross from the former is just touched away by Dann at the key moment.

  45. 50

    A cross into the box meets the head of Dann but he can't get his nodded effort on target as a chance goes begging.

  46. 49

    Yakubu wins a throw for Blackburn down the right after his attempted cross rebounds out. Pedersen launches it in but Jones heads it away.

  47. 48

    De Gea boots the ball away from the United goal but it goes out for a Rovers throw, which Orr takes. Yakubu slips and an N'Zonzi pass sails over his head.

  48. 47

    Chicharito looks to have suffered a head knock after a collision and there's a lull in play, but he gets to his feet.

  49. 46

    We're back underway at Ewood Park, with Rooney getting the first touch. N'Zonzi can't keep the ball in and United earn a throw.

  50. Thanks again for all your feedback. Hoping for some goals in this half!

  51. Got something to say on the opening half? Get in touch on Twitter @SkySportsRachG or email rachel.griffiths@bskyb.com.

  52. The whistle blows just as Rovers start to hit their stride after a quiet first half. It's 0-0 at Ewood Park.

  53. 45+1

    Marcus Olsson tries a super shot on the half-volley from the edge of the box and De Gea is forced to palm it over. The keeper makes another save seconds later, tipping over Hanley's header from close range.

  54. 45

    Junior Hoilett skips up the pitch and tries a shot which is blocked by Ferdinand as Rovers win a throw out on the left.

  55. 44

    The visitors are still looking for a way through in these dying minutes as Rooney tries to find Hernandez but can't open up the home defence.

  56. 43

    United win a throw inside the Blackburn half, which Evra takes, and it's knocked straight out for another.

  57. 42

    Carrick wins United a corner after Dann knocks it behind then keeps Valencia's effort in. There's calls for a handball from Dann's block but nothing is given.

  58. 41

    It's a wasted free-kick for Blackburn as United quickly snatch back possession. Rafael fires a cross into the box but it's hoofed away by the Rovers' defence.

  59. 40

    Valencia gets the first booking of the game after charging down Martin Olsson on the attack.

  60. 39

    Carrick tries to pick out Rooney with a searching pass but Orr stops it reaching the striker inside the area.

  61. 38

    Rafael tries to latch onto the ball in the Rovers box but can't keep hold of it as it rolls back to Robinson.

  62. 38

    The whistle blows after N'Zonzi needlessly shoves Jones waiting for Robinson's kick and United are back in possession.

  63. 37

    Evra is called up for a foul on Pedersen down the left and the ball goes back to the hosts, with Robinson taking the kick.

  64. 36

    10 minutes plus stoppage time to go in this half and United are in control but are yet to break the deadlock. Comfortable on the ball, the visitors exchange passes in midfield.

  65. 35

    Valencia fires in a wonderful cross and finds the head of Jones in the area but the youngster can't keep his header down and nods it off-target.

  66. 34

    Rovers earn another throw, this time inside their own half, and it's lofted back to Robinson, who hoofs upfield to Pedersen.

  67. 33

    Back on the ball, Valencia drives a cross into the box from the right but Hanley heads it clear.

  68. 32

    Blackburn win a throw inside the United half which Pedersen steps up to take. Olsson tries a tame shot but it's dealt with by the visitors' defence.

  69. 31

    Valencia's corner finds Evans, who produces a one-two with Evra before trying a shot, which Robinson stoops to collect.

  70. 30

    Yakubu catches an elbow to the face from Jones but it doesn't look malicious. Back on the ball, Evra gets forward again down the left and wins a corner.

  71. 29

    Valencia shows great skill to burst away from N'Zonzi but Hanley is there to close him down with a crucial tackle in the box.

  72. 28

    Evra and Pedersen tussle down the left and the Rovers man comes off best, winning the ball for the hosts.

  73. 27

    Hoilett manages to stay on the ball and hold off Scholes as Blackburn attempt to build something just outside the United box.

  74. 26

    Carrick rises to meet a Scott Dann ball before it can reach Yakubu. Rooney tries to find Chicharito on the edge of the box but Hanley and Dann are there to intervene.

  75. 25

    Rovers enjoy some rare possession but a long pass overshoots Yakubu, waiting in the box, and the ball rolls behind for a De Gea kick.

  76. 24

    Scholes tries to find Valencia out on the right with a long pass but the flag goes up for the first time this evening.

  77. 23

    Ferdinand gets forward and tries to pick out Rooney with a pass from the centre line but wrong-foots the striker and it rolls back to Robinson.

  78. 22

    Carrick gifts the ball to the hosts inside the Blackburn half after a few tight passes with his fellow midfielders.

  79. 21

    Hoilett tries to find a way past Ferdinand in the United box but the ball flies back out to Pedersen and the Red Devils' backline deal with his cross.

  80. 20

    The visitors have had 65% of the ball so far but it's still goalless at Ewood Park. Evra and Orr battle on the edge of the box.

  81. 19

    Evra takes a quick throw in the middle of the park, picking out Carrick as United continue to dominate possession.

  82. 18

    Hoilett showing a glimpse of the threat he poses there after evading Carrick in midfield.

  83. 17

    De Gea is forced to make a stretched save after Hoilett suddenly breaks from a Yakubu pass and drives a shot towards goal from long range.

  84. 16

    Valencia puts another cross in the box meant for Rooney, who climbs to meet it, but the Rovers defence hold firm.

  85. 15

    Olsson wins a throw for Rovers inside their own end after the ball goes out off Valencia to ease the pressure.

  86. 14

    The visitors trade passes in midfield, looking for a way through, with Rooney eventually breaking and feeding Jones.

  87. 13

    United are running the show as they press in these early minutes. The Red Devils are handed a free-kick in their own half after a dodgy challenge on Jones.

  88. 12

    Carrick weaves through the Rovers defence and tries a shot from the edge of the box but it sails over the woodwork.

  89. 11

    Rooney has another go with a shot from range but fires it straight into Hanley. Hernandez thinks he's scored from close range but Robinson just manages to keep it out after it comes off the post.

  90. 10

    Hernandez storms towards goal trying to chase down a long pass from Evans but it overshoots him and goes straight to the waiting Robinson.

  91. 9

    Dann meets a long pass in the United half but can't keep it in and Rafael takes the resulting throw for the visitors.

  92. 8

    Jones slides a cross into the box from the right and Rooney has a swing at it but can't make contact under pressure from the Rovers' defence.

  93. 7

    Chicharito goes down after a tussle with the Rovers defender but gets to his feet seconds later, limping a bit.

  94. 6

    A superb diagonal pass from Rooney is dealt with poorly by Hanley and Hernandez latches onto it but can't apply the finish.

  95. 5

    Rovers win a throw in the United half and it's taken quickly but goes out for a Red Devils throw on the opposite side, which Evra takes.

  96. 4

    Dann lofts a long pass upfield and Yakubu flicks it on to Hoilett, but De Gea charges out to safely collect.

  97. 3

    Valencia tries to pick out Hernandez in the area, splitting the Olsson brothers, but can't quite find the Mexican with a weak pass.

  98. 2

    Ferdinand barges Yakubu off the ball as he threatens to break after Hoilett gets away from Michael Carrick in midfield. Jones hoofs a teasing ball into the box but there's no-one there to greet it.

  99. 1

    It's the home side that get us rolling at Ewood Park but Jonny Evans wins the ball with a header. Scholes looks for a way through on the edge of the Rovers box.

  100. The teams are out at Ewood Park and it's almost time for kick-off. Enjoy the first half guys!

  101. Not long until we get underway at Ewood Park. Thanks for all your feedback, keep it coming at half-time.

  102. At the other end of the table, Blackburn are clear of the drop zone on goal difference only after their defeat at Bolton dragged them back into the mire.

  103. United visit Ewood Park in fine form having won their last six on the bounce. Their bid for a 20th league title was handed a boost on Saturday when Manchester City slipped up at home to Sunderland, taking just a point in a 3-3 draw.

  104. Cathal Donnelly from Dublin reckons the Little Pea will justify Fergie's decision to start him - "As a United fan I'd be worried about this game because of the result against Rovers earlier this year and our record against them, but due to our recent form, notably Evans and De Gea, the return of Scholes, and our constant determination in the closing stages of every campaign, I predict a 2-1 for United tonight, with my favorite player Chicarito getting a brace tonight, and Hoilett getting Rovers goal."

  105. I can only assume Adam Gillis is an optimistic Blackburn fan - "6-1 Blackburn with Yakubu getting 5."

  106. Loads of feedback pouring in this evening and plenty of you picking holes in the team selections.

  107. Our friends at Sky Bet tell us Rovers are 7/1 to cause another upset on home soil, while a draw is at 7/2 and Manchester United are 2/5.

  108. Blackburn have already shocked the Red Devils once this season when they claimed a surprise win at Old Trafford on New Years Eve and the relegation candidates will be out to do the double tonight. Anyone fancy their chances?

  109. Rovers boss Steve Kean has recalled Bradley Orr in his one change, with Mauro Formica missing from the side that lost at Bolton at the weekend.

  110. Sir Alex Ferguson has made three changes to his starting XI as United look to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League. Phil Jones returns against his old club, while Paul Scholes and Javier Hernandez also start.

  111. On refereeing duties this evening is Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

  112. Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Jones, Valencia, Hernandez, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Giggs, Smalling, Park, Young, Welbeck, Pogba.

  113. Blackburn: Robinson, Lowe, Dann, Grant Hanley, Martin Olsson, Orr, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Marcus Olsson, Hoilett, Yakubu. Subs: Bunn, Dunn, Modeste, Formica, Petrovic, Rochina, Henley.

  114. Here are the teams for you...

  115. Got something to say ahead of kick-off at 8pm? Get in touch on Twitter @SkySportsRachG or email rachel.griffiths@bskyb.com.

  116. Good evening all and welcome to our live coverage of Blackburn v Manchester United at Ewood Park.

Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 9 23
2 Southampton 9 19
3 Manchester City 9 17
4 West Ham United 9 16
5 Arsenal 9 14
6 Swansea City 9 14
7 Liverpool 9 14
8 Manchester United 9 13
9 Everton 9 12
10 Hull City 9 11
11 Tottenham Hotspur 9 11
12 Stoke City 9 11
13 West Bromwich Albion 9 10
14 Newcastle United 9 10
15 Aston Villa 9 10
16 Crystal Palace 9 9
17 Leicester City 9 9
18 Sunderland 9 8
19 Queens Park Rangers 9 7
20 Burnley 9 4