Sunday, May 22, 2011

Manchester Utd rally sends Blackpool down

Blackpool were relegated from the Barclays Premier League after throwing away a second-half lead to go down 4-2 against Manchester United.

Charlie Adam and Gary Taylor-Fletcher had scored either side of the break to put the Seasiders in front after Park Ji-sung's first-half strike.

At that point, Ian Holloway's men were clear of trouble, only for Anderson to level and Ian Evatt to turn Chris Smalling's cross into his own net before Michael Owen kicked them back into the Championship.

Blackpool should have got off to a dream start when Adam pulled the ball back invitingly into the path of Keith Southern, but the midfielder side-footed wide.

Taylor-Fletcher then came close to turning home a low Adam cross moments later in an amazingly open start. But disaster struck for Blackpool after 21 minutes when Dimitar Berbatov slipped a pass beyond their defence, which Park chipped over the onrushing Matthew Gilks.

Gilks then denied Berbatov before referee Mike Dean turned down a United penalty claim when the ball broke to Park, who was bundled over by Adam.

Nemanja Vidic fouled Taylor-Fletcher on the edge of the area and Adam sent the visiting fans into ecstasy with the free-kick, which flashed into the United net off the base of a post.

Blackpool were in delirium when Jason Puncheon fed David Vaughan on the right edge of the penalty area and his cross was flicked into the net by Taylor-Fletcher. But United were soon level when Anderson fed Park and was on hand to turn home the Korean's cross.

Adam fired over at the other end, but it was starting to become worryingly one-sided for the visitors and when Smalling crossed into a crowded penalty area, Evatt stuck out his foot and turned the ball past Gilks.

The visitors came close to an equaliser when Evatt found himself clean through, only to be denied by Van der Sar's brave block before Anderson sent substitute Owen through to finish them off.


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