Leeds vs Manchester United: Introducing Berbanbauer, Berbatov the Defender

Lindsay EanetCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United reacts during the FA Community Shield match sponsored by McDonald's between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 7, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Dimitar Berbatov made a name for himself as a prolific goal-scorer, but during last night's Carling Cup match, in which Manchester United defeated Leeds United 3-0, Berbatov proved he has more talent to offer... as a defender.

Although he was slated as part of the attacking four last night, Berba demonstrated creativity and made some key saves deep into United territory. He first showed his prowess as a centre-back after saving the ball from Tom Lees' header in a precarious Leeds corner, and helping diffuse the follow-up.

Though he set a passing pattern in motion that led to Michael Owen's first goal of the evening, by the end of the match he was joining CB Michael Carrick as a full-on defender, and became a key factor in United maintaining possession throughout the match. 

It was an unusual back four indeed—Berbatov and Carrick alongside Fábio and Valencia—but hey, it worked.

Do you think we'll see Berbatov return to the United first team as a defender? He may have trouble breaking into the position, especially with Sir Alex favoring the young players in league competition, but maybe the back four could use a boost from Berbatov.

Stranger things have happened. 

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