BLACKPOOL did themselves proud against Manchester United at a packed Bloomfield Road, but ultimately it all ended in
The Seasiders raced to a two-goal lead courtesy of headers from Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell.
But in what could be Charlie Adam’s last game for the club, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Reds scored three second half goals to spoil Pool’s party.
The evening started superbly. Cathcart struck on 15 minutes, sending a powerful header into the roof of the net from Adam’s wicked right wing corner.
The stadium erupted. Most Blackpool fans turned up just hoping to see their team score, let alone get a result.
Nemanja Vidic almost headed past Edwin Van Der Sar, then Elliot Grandin blasted over after being teed up by Luke Varney.
Incredibly it really was one-way traffic and it got even better moments before the break, a second goal arriving from another Adam corner from the right.
The Scot’s delivery was helped on, inadvertently, by Nani and DJ Campbell rose at the back post to cleverly steer a header from six yards into the top corner.
Unfortunately United got the hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex at half time and were much improved after the break.
Ryan Giggs helped - he came on for Gibson during the interval. But United were still struggling to get back in it 20 minutes into the half. Then Wayne Rooney was substituted, Hernandez came on - and suddenly the visitors looked a different side.
Moments after Hernandez had missed a great chance - Kingson saving after the Mexican had been sent clear by Paul Scholes - Dimitar Berbatov started the comeback.
The Bulgarian volleyed in from close range on 72 minutes after Darren Fletcher had latched onto Nani’s pass and crossed from the right.
Three minutes later it was all square. Patrice Evra out the ball on a plate for Hernandez and he made no mistake, sliding the ball past Kingson.
A crying shame for the Seasiders - 2-0 to 2-2 in the blink of an eye. That’s United for you.
But it got even worse.
Three minutes from the end, Berbatov strolled through on the left side of the penalty area and planted a shot past Kingson.
Defeat but certainly no shame. A great night, and an excellent performance, just a pity about the score.
BLACKPOOL: Kingson, Eardley, Cathcart, Evatt, Baptiste, Vaughan, Adam, Grandin, Taylor-Fletcher (Harewood 74), Campbell,
Varney (Phillips 68). Subs: Rachubka, Southern, Sylvestre, Edwards, Ormerod
MANCHESTER UNITED: Van Der Sar, Rafael (Anderson 80), Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Gibson (Giggs 45), Scholes, Nani,
Rooney (Hernandez 66), Berbatov. Subs: Owen, Da Silva, Evans, Lindergaard
REF: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)