Blackburn 0 United 2
Manchester United left it late last night to finally crush the brave resistance of a plucky Blackburn Rovers side, with it needing two late goals to secure all three points at a packed Ewood Park.
In what can loosely be termed a derby fixture, Sir Alex Ferguson would have been over the moon to take the three points and establish a five point gap between United and second placed Manchester City.
With the season fast approaching a conclusion, Sir Alex is perfectly aware that United now have the advantage, even more so with a home fixture against struggling Queens Park Rangers to be played before Manchester City next play. If three points can be secured, against Queens Park Rangers, then the gap will be stretched to a massive eight points.
But it wasn`t all plain-sailing at Ewood Park as Blackburn, on a good run of recent form, defended resolutely and carved out some chances, from set-pieces, of their own. But, in doing so, they found David De Gea in imperious form with the Spanish keeper producing world class saves to deny Junior Hoillet. Marcus Olsson and Grant Hanley
In fact it looked, as we headed into the last ten minutes of the game that United`s attempts to open up that gap, at the top, were to be thwarted. But Antonio Valencia had other ideas.
Valencia, who had been a thorn in Blackburn`s side all game, collected the ball, in the eighty-first minute, from Rafael, darted into the penalty area and with many expected a pass, he instead chose to deliver a cross-cum-shot, with the outside of his boot, that totally deceived Paul Robinson to put United 1-0 up.
Five minutes later it was game, set and match to United when Ashley Young made it 2-0. This time the goal came after an exquisite move that involved something in the region of thirty-eight passes before Young turned and unleashed a curling shot that, at first, looked to be going wide before nestling in the bottom corner of the net.
With the game safe the 7,000 travelling supporters in the Darwen End were serenading Sir Alex Ferguson with a chant of:-
"Fergie give us a wave."
The gaffer though did more than that, he stood up and punched the air in triumph. The title, many United supporters believe, is now ours to throw away!