Sunday, January 24, 2010

Manchester United 4-0 Hull City



Wayne Rooney scored four times to send Manchester United top of the Barclays Premier League.

Rooney put United in front after just seven minutes. And, after coming through some worrying moments in the second period, two goals in three minutes from the England star completed his fourth United hat-trick before he added another for good measure in stoppage time.

Boaz Myhill's heroics earned the Tigers a draw at Tottenham Hotspur last week and the Wales international raced out of his penalty area to ensure Rooney did not get on the end of Michael Owen's pass.

There was to be no clean sheet for Myhill this week though as, after Hull had only half-cleared Nani's corner, Park Ji-sung invited Paul Scholes to shoot from long range with an excellent lay-off.

Myhill could not hold Scholes' venomous 30-yard effort and, after taking one touch to control the rebound, Rooney fired home his 17th goal of the season with his second.

Nani tried his luck from a similar distance to Scholes but could not keep his shot down.

Darren Fletcher curled over an excellent cross for Park but, under pressure from Garcia, the South Korean glanced his header wide.

Ferdinand turned a Nani corner into the side-netting before Geovanni drove his free-kick into the United wall after Scholes had sent Craig Fagan flying.

Edwin van der Sar was then called upon to turn an angled Nick Barmby effort wide after Jonny Evans' intended header towards his goalkeeper had been totally misdirected.

Rooney turned onto Nani's cross but his shot flew over after cannoning off McShane.

Nani went down under Geovanni's tackle after a neat bit of skill had taken him into the Hull box, although referee Steve Bennett was probably correct not to give a penalty.


head wide
Andy Dawson then denied Owen after Rooney had supplied the inspired through ball.

Ferdinand faed to test Myhill with a header from the corner but United were playing with a fluidity that has been lacking on so many occasions this season.

Myhill turned away Owen's acrobatic volley then, after Rooney had released Nani, Zayatte was forced to concede a corner to prevent Owen tapping into an empty net.

Rooney curled a free-kick narrowly wide against a background of almost constant noise. Zayatte was having a busy afternoon and found time to head wide on a rare Hull attack.

The pressure was soon at the other end again, with Rooney off target once more as he turned onto a chance Scholes had inadvertently set up for the England man.

A cleverly disguised Nani pass left Owen with a clear sight of goal again but McShane's last-ditch tackle prevented him from rolling home United's second.

United dominated possession at the start of the second period but there was a brief delay as Fagan cannoned into Bob Pollock, the assistant referee.

The official was flattened by the Hull man and for a while it looked quite serious. Thankfully, after treatment by the United medical team, Pollock was able to continue.

Nani completely missed his kick as he tried to clear Hunt's corner at the near post. Van der Sar took a clean catch though, setting in motion a United counter-attack that brought a couple of corners but nothing threatening for Myhill.

Rooney took over corner duties but his overhit effort suggested he would be better off trying to add to his goal tally.

Bernard Mendy replaced Nick Barmby after 57 minutes as United continued to try and find their earlier fluency.


low cross
Nani's low cross flashed across goal, with neither Owen nor Rooney able to make contact with despairing lunges.

Rafael Da Silva almost played Van der Sar into trouble with an underhit back-pass, then Patrice Evra made a fine blocked tackle to halt Mendy's run at the expense of a corner, which Anthony Gardner turned disappointingly wide.

Rooney's long-range effort beat Myhill and the keeper's right-hand post.

Owen glanced Nani's free-kick wide before Garcia was replaced by Kamel Ghilas for Hull.

Owen and Scholes were replaced by Dimitar Berbatov and Darron Gibson with 17 minutes remaining.

Mendy cut in from the by-line and blazed over before Ghilas latched onto McShane's cross and watched his scuffed effort roll agonisingly wide of the far post.

It was a reminder of just how precarious United's lead was, although nerves would have been settled if Gibson had spotted Rooney on his own and played a pass to the striker rather than chipping onto the roof of Myhill's net from 40 yards after Nani had sprung the offside trap.

United's second finally arrived seven minutes from time after Myhill had fumbled a Nani free-kick onto his own bar and then laid team-mate Andy Dawson out as he tried to atone for his error.

The hosts continued, as is their right, and when Rooney was eventually set up, he blasted his shot over the prone Dawson.

Rooney was not finished and after Nani crossed superbly from the right, allowing the striker to complete his hat-trick with a close-range header, he rounded off his own impressive afternoon with a solo effort in stoppage time.

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