Berbatov gives Man U 1-0 win over Middlesbrough | sports | Hindustan Times
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Berbatov gives Man U 1-0 win over Middlesbrough

Dimitar Berbatov scored on Monday to give Manchester United a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough to boost its title defense.

sports Updated: Dec 30, 2008 10:35 IST

Dimitar Berbatov scored on Monday to give Manchester United a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough to boost its title defense.

The Red Devils remain seven points adrift of leader Liverpool, but with two games in hand.

On a frustrating night at Old Trafford, Berbatov took until the 69th minute to break the deadlock.

The Bulgaria striker volleyed home from close range after Michael Carrick's cross had bounced back off defender David Wheater. Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Park Ji-sung had all squandered chances against the stubborn visitors before Berbatov's winner.

Park could have extended United's lead, but somehow managed to shoot over from three yards (meters).

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said that his side's wastefulness in front of goal is becoming a worry. "We have missed a lot of chances. That is a big concern," Ferguson said after the match, the second in a row in which United has ground out a 1-0 win over inferior opponents after beating Stoke by the same scoreline on Friday.

"(Wins like this) are just as important," Ferguson said. "Three points are the name of the game. But I have to say how well Middlesbrough played tonight."

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate said he could draw a lot of positives from the performance despite losing. "We looked bright, our attitude was fantastic and there was a lot of healthy performances. I'm not displeased," Southgate said. "Only one team has taken a point from here so there's no disgrace in that."