Yakubu double helps Rovers stun United
Blackburn Rovers wrecked Sir Alex Ferguson's 70th birthday celebrations by securing a stunning 3-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford to move off the foot of the Premier League.
Defender Grant Hanley bundled in an 80th-minute winner after United goalkeeper David de Gea made a hash of his punched clearance from Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner. The goal settled a bizarre encounter that had seen Rovers surge into a 2-0 lead via a Yakubu brace, before Dimitar Berbatov struck twice to level it for the Red Devils.
The defeat ruined United's hopes of finishing 2011 on top of the league, and handed rivals Manchester City the opportunity to open up a three-point lead with a win at Sunderland on Sunday. The win was only Blackburn's third of the season and their first victory away from home.
Rovers grabbed a shock lead on 16 minutes, when Yakubu stroked home from the penalty spot after Berbatov had hauled down Christopher Samba to concede a foul.
United dominated the remainder of the half but struggled to find a way through some resolute Rovers defending.
A central midfield comprising Rafael Da Silva and Park Ji Sung failed to ask serious questions of the Blackburn defence, while United badly missed the attacking thrust of the rested Wayne Rooney.
And on 51 minutes United were left reeling when Yakubu bulldozed through some feeble defending to drive in his second for 2-0.
The hosts responded almost immediately, however, sweeping forward from the restart and pulling a goal back through Berbatov, who headed in Rafael's angled shot.
On 62 minutes, the Bulgarian levelled a pulsating encounter, sweeping in from close range after a fine run and cross from Antonio Valencia.
It seemed as if United were poised to go and claim the victory, but de Gea's blunder gifted a precious victory to Steve Kean's side.