On this day: Cristiano Ronaldo brace downs Blackburn Rovers

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Manchester United defeated Blackburn Rovers six years ago today.

After a slow start to the 2007-08 campaign that had seen them collect just two points from a possible nine, Manchester United had moved themselves up towards the top end of the Premier League table by the time Blackburn Rovers visited Old Trafford six years ago today.

Nevertheless, despite United's good form, they were up against a Blackburn side who had picked up positive results on the road up until that point.

They were unbeaten from their five away matches - a run which included a victory over Tottenham Hotspur, as well as draws with Chelsea and Everton.

So, when visiting defender Christopher Samba crashed a headed effort against the crossbar in the opening exchanges, it seemed that Rovers were determined not to just sit back.

However, their game plan was undone in the space of two first-half minutes by Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored his 25th and 26th goal of the year for club and country.

In the 35th minute he rose highest inside the penalty area to convert a corner from Ryan Giggs and then 60 seconds later he added a second when his shot from a Carlos Tevez cross beat a diving Brad Friedel.

Any chance that Blackburn had of forcing their way back into the contest was all but eradicated just eight minutes after the restart when David Dunn was handed his marching orders.

He was booked during the opening 45 minutes for a trip on Tevez and a similar offence on Louis Saha saw the midfielder receive his second yellow card.

Ronaldo had a chance to score his first hat-trick in United colours in the closing stages, but he was denied by Friedel, who also denied Rio Ferdinand from close range.

MAN UNITED: Van der Sar; Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Anderson, Hargreaves (Carrick 77), Giggs; Tevez, Saha (Nani 68)

BLACKBURN: Friedel; Emerton, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock; Bentley, Dunn, Mokoena, Pedersen; Santa Cruz (Derbyshire 78), McCarthy

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger prior to kick-off against Crystal Palace on October 26, 2013
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