The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly as Manchester United Stay the Best in the World
Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship (UWCC) saw another defence today as champions Manchester United took on Sam Allardyce's Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford.
Blackburn went into this match going through a spell of patchy form. They have been hard to beat lately, but had been recording too many draws, and remained in the relegation zone.
Manchester United, on the other hand, had recently gone five points clear at the top of the table and were unbeaten in 25. Perhaps even more impressively, they hadn't conceded a league goal since November 8.
That run ended, but the unbeaten record didn't as United moved eight points clear with a hard-fought 2-1 win.
It was a case of the good, the bad, and the ugly, but they came in reverse order.
"The ugly" came after just 23 minutes as Wayne Rooney (sorry Wayne, I had to make it work!) capitalised on a misunderstanding between Ryan Nelson and Paul Robinson. He finished from point-blank range with typical ease.
This came after Patrice Evra had come within a whisker of giving United an earlier lead with a shot that whistled narrowly wide of the post.
Blackburn kept battling, however, and Roque Santa Cruz became the first player to score past United in the league this year after rounding Thomas Kusczak and rolling it in to the empty net.
Then came "the bad" as we saw the type of behaviour that makes people doubt Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's best. First he kicked out at David Dunn, not the first time he has done so this season, and he swiftly followed that with a blatant dive which referee Howard Webb rightly showed him the yellow card for.
United's Jonny Evans then had a seemingly perfectly good goal disallowed for a supposed push.
As the second-half wore on, Blackburn started piling the pressure on the league leaders, and fired a warning shot when Ryan Nelson hit the post.
However, "the good" was the deciding factor this time as Ronaldo fired in a sublime free-kick, the type of which helped him be named the world's best. From an acute angle, the power and swerve on his free-kick beat Paul Robinson, and United held on, despite a strong penalty claim for Morten Gamst-Pedersen late on.
The result means that United still have a 100 percent record in the UWCC.
Of the 51 voters in the poll, 98 percent of people said that Blackburn wouldn't be able to beat United to claim the UWCC title so well done again to the vast majority of you!
Manchester United's run
West Ham 0-1 Manchester United (Manchester United become new champions)
Manchester United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers
(Click here to see the complete history of Barney Corkhill's Unofficial World Club Championship)
Manchester United's next title defence comes on Tuesday as they take on Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in the Champions League. Could Inter Milan become the first non-English team to become the best in the world?!
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