You just knew it was coming, didn’t you?
Anyone watching the last 25-30 minutes of the Blackburn-Manchester United game today just knew that the Red Devils were going to pull some magic out of the hat. Brad Friedel made several outstanding saves to keep Rovers ahead, but they only delayed the inevitable.
United were huffing and puffing, and unlike the Big Bad Wolf, were able to blow the house down. Blackburn were inviting pressure onto themselves, settling to sit 9 men behind the ball and hoofing it up to Jason Roberts to escape danger. That was probably the worst thing Mark Hughes’ team could do, because Manchester United were eventually going to find a way to break down the defense and score. Much like the “prevent” defense in football here, the only thing Blackburn did was “prevent” themselves from winning by playing so deep.
It happened on a late corner kick, but Carlos Tévez’s redirection of a Paul Scholes header (which, by the way, looked to be going in) found the back of the net and left Friedel standing helpless on his line.
The Argentine striker’s goal levelled the match at 1-1, where it would finish, and gave United a hugely significant point in the standings. United now are ahead of second place Chelsea by three points heading into the two clubs’ massive showdown at Stamford Bridge next weekend. Even if Chelsea was to win that game, and all the impetus will be on them to do so, they’ll still be behind United on goal differential.
In short, you could argue that Tevez’s 13th goal of the season clinched what would be the the second consecutive league title for Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad. A draw would seem to be the most likely result in West London next week, but even with a loss, United would still be on top. Their last two games — home to West Ham, @ Wigan — should be six points gained and that would be enough to win the league no matter what Chelsea does in their remaining schedule.