Berbatov hat-trick gets Man Utd out of jail

Manchester United had a Dimitar Berbatov hat-trick to thank for a thrilling 3-2 victory over bitter local rivals Liverpool.

Whilst Berbatov was doing the business at one end his defensive colleagues were handing Liverpool an unexpected lifeline at the other.

United were leading 2-0 but allowed two quick second half goals from Steven Gerrard to bring them level, only for Berbatov to spare Sir Alex Ferguson’s blushes with a headed winner six minutes from time.

The Bulgarian had given the host’s a half-time lead and then doubled their advantage with an acrobatic second.

At this stage United looked to be coasting until Gerrard scored from the penalty spot after Jonny Evans had hauled down Fernando Torres.

Liverpool took belief from this goal and moments later a badly organised defensive wall allowed Gerrard to restore parity direct from a free kick.

United rallied and the Bulgarian claimed the match ball when he rose to head home John O’Shea’s cross.

Man Utd scorers: Berbatov 42, 59, 84
Liverpool scorers: Gerrard pen 64, 70

Referee: Howard Webb

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 75,213

01 Van der Sar
03 Evra
15 Vidic
22 O'Shea (yellow card)
23 Evans (yellow card)
11 Giggs (Macheda 82)
17 Nani (Gibson 88)
18 Scholes (yellow card)
24 Fletcher
09 Berbatov (Anderson 88)
10 Rooney (yellow card)

29 Kuszczak,
06 Brown,
12 Smalling,
08 Anderson,
28 Gibson,
07 Owen,
27 Macheda

25 Reina
02 G Johnson
03 Konchesky (Agger 81)
23 Carragher
37 Skrtel
04 Raul Meireles (Jovanovic 79)
08 Gerrard
10 Cole
17 Maxi (Ngog 62 yellow card)
28 C Poulsen
09 Torres

01 Jones,
05 Agger,
16 Kyrgiakos,
21 Lucas,
14 Jovanovic,
19 Babel,
24 Ngog

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