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Seven goal thriller goes United's way

sports Updated: Sep 20, 2009 21:04 IST

AP
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Michael Owen struck six minutes into stoppage time to give Manchester United a dramatic 4-3 victory over Manchester City on Sunday, halting the crosstown rival's perfect start to the Premier League season.

City had fought back three times and Craig Bellamy's goal in the 90th minute looked to have clinched a point until Owen, a free offseason recruit, struck the winner.

United had thrown away the lead three times after blunders at the back, the last coming when Rio Ferdinand gifted the ball to Bellamy for his second goal of the game.

"All the goals were mistakes which is disappointing," said United midfielder Darren Fletcher, who headed in two goals. While Wayne Rooney had got United off to the best possible start with a goal inside two minutes, goalkeeper Ben Foster committed the first calamity to allow City striker Carlos Tevez, returning to Old Trafford following his offseason move from United, to set up Gareth Barry's equalizer.

Fletcher headed United briefly back in front at the start of the second half, but Tevez provided the ball for Bellamy to make it 2-2. Bellamy was on target again after Fletcher nodded in another in the 80th minute, but Owen chose the perfect time to score his first goal for United at Old Trafford and vindicate manager Alex Ferguson's gamble on the 29-year-old forward.

After four successive wins, it was the first time City had dropped points since $200 million was spent strengthening the squad over the offseason.