It was a huge day for the Blackpool Football Club, unfortunately things didn’t start the way they planned when Park Ji-Sung received a nice little through ball from Dimitar Berbatov with the South Korean midfielder beating Ian Evatt to the punch before playing a toe poked shot past Matthew Gilks for the opening goal of the match.
However, Charlie Adam gave plenty of hope to the Seasiders when five minutes before half-time the Scotland international whipped a free-kick through an open gap in the United wall, beating Edwin van der Sar and seeing his ball go in off the upright to get the visitors back out of the drop zone.
And things got better for Ian Holloway and his men when Jason Puncheon played a deft backheel into the path of David Vaughan who found Gary Taylor-Fletcher in the six-yard box and the former Huddersfield Town man scored with a cheeky flick from the front post which evaded van der Sar and popped in off the far upright just before the hour-mark.
Just as the travelling Tangerines fans got ready to party, the champions hit back when Park found Anderson in the area from the left and the Brazilian curled his shot past Gilks to make it 2-2 in the 63rd minute.
Then disaster struck for Blackpool when Chris Smalling crossed low into the area in the 74th minute where defender Ian Evatt guided it into the back of his own net which provided disastrous consequences for the club.
Down the other end, Evatt tried to redeem himself but was denied by van der Sar who made a brave save with just over 10 minutes remaining but it was all academic when Michael Owen struck in the 81st minute, consigning Blackpool to the Championship after a positive but fruitless season in the top flight.
Sir Alex Ferguson would see this as a nice little tune up for the Champions League final next weekend but would be looking to tighten things up at the back after conceding twice against a bottom three team.
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: Mike Dean
Yellow cards: MANU - Darren Fletcher 34’, Michael Owen 69’
BLA - David Vaughan 77’
Edwin van der Sar (gk) – Rafael (Smalling 63’), Nemanja Vidic (Rooney 84’), Jonathan Evans, Patrice Evra – Darren Fletcher, Paul Scholes, Anderson, Park Ji-Sung (Owen 63’) – Dimitar Berbatov, Nani
Matthew Gilks (gk) – Neal Eardley, Ian Evatt, Alex Baptiste, Stephen Crainey – David Vaughan, Charlie Adam, Keith Southern (Ormerod 87’) – Jason Puncheon (Varney 76’), DJ Campbell, Gary Taylor-Fletcher (Phillips 76’)
Subs - Richard Kingson (gk), Luke Varney (76’), Matthew Phillips (76’), Brett Ormerod (87’), James Beattie, Craig Cathcart, Eliot Grandin