Nigeria’s Yakubu brace helps Blackburn to stun Man United, spoils Ferguson's party

Reuters, Saturday 31 Dec 2011

Manchester United wasted the chance to start the new year at the top of the Premier League when they were stunned 3-2 by strugglers Blackburn Rovers on Saturday to spoil manager Alex Ferguson's 70th birthday

Yakubu celebrates after scoring

Blackburn, who started the day bottom of the table, had taken an unlikely 2-0 lead early in the second half thanks to a Yakubu double before the injury-ravaged champions drew level through two Dimitar Berbatov goals.         

United had needed a point to ensure they would finish the year in top spot with leaders Manchester City not playing until Sunday but Grant Hanley's 80th-minute winner for Blackburn stopped them in their tracks.

Defeat leaves United with 45 points from 19 games, behind City on goal difference. Roberto Mancini's side can go three points clear with a victory at Sunderland.

Third-placed Tottenham Hotspur travel to Swansea City later on Saturday, with fourth-placed Chelsea hosting Aston Villa and sixth-placed Arsenal at home to Queens Park Rangers. 

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