Man United Level With City After Late Controversial Goal

St Andrews Ground Birmingham City v Manchester United Premier League 28/12/2010 Craig Gardener (Birmingham) and Anderson (Manchester United) scuffle Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Birmingham score a later 89th minute equaliser but that isn't enough to stop Man United from going top of the Premier League table.

Darron Gibson came in to replace Ji-Sung Park was the only change to the team who beat Sunderland 2-0 on Sunday. Luis Nani missed out after failing to recover from a hip problem.

The first effort of the game fell to Birmingham's Cameron Jerome who headed a cross from Craig Gardner over the cross bar. That was followed by three strikes by Wayne Rooney, the first was from 25 yards out but the ball flew just wide of the goal. Four minutes later Rooney's low strike was saved by Ben Foster, the third effort was from around 30 yards out but flew well wide.

That was followed by Ryan Giggs drawing a fine finger tip save from former Man United keeper Ben Foster after his miss-hit cross from the right hit the post. A reckless challenge from Lee Bowyer could have seriously hurt Darron Gibson but luckily for the United midfielder, he walked away uninjured.

Birmingham slowly brought themselves back into the game but it wasn't a great first half from United. Apart from a miss-hit shot from Giggs and a few strikes from Rooney, that was about it attacking wise.

Second half and the first opportunity of the half fell to Birmingham again, United fell asleep at a corner, fortunately Gardner's volley was straight at Edwin Van Der Sar.

Berbatov gave United the lead in the 59th minute. Berbatov's brilliant flick fell to Gibson, who passed the ball back to the Bulgarian whose fine finish flew past Foster. Man United almost had a second minutes later but Berbatov's low strike hit the post.

With under 10 minutes remaining, Nemanja Vidic also brought a fantastic save out of Foster after the keeper had to tip his header from a corner over the bar.

Birmingham scored a late goal in controversial style, not only did Nikola Zigic handle the ball into the path of Lee Bowyer but Bowyer was offside before sticking the ball past Van Der Sar.

The game finished 1-1 but Man United are top of the table after having a better goal difference than Manchester City and have two games in hand.

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