ROBBIE BLAKE scored Burnley’s first ever Premier League goal — and it cost him Ryan Giggs’ shirt.
Robbie Blake won’t have connected many better times during his playing days than for this winner vs champs Man Utd in August 2009Action Images – Reuters
Ryan Giggs had promised Blake his top – unless Burnley wonRex
Clarets’ players mob Blake after his momentous strike 14 years agoGetty – Contributor
And his match-winning moment of magic prevented him from getting Giggs’ shirt at full-time.
Blake reckons United players will not want to swap shirts tonight either — as he predicts ‘genius’ Vincent Kompany will oversee another Burnley victory.
Blake, 47, said: “To play United in the club’s first Premier League home game is what dreams are made of — and the atmosphere was amazing.
“In the tunnel before the game, I was asking Ryan Giggs if I could have his shirt at full-time and he said I could have it, provided they didn’t lose.
“All the so-called experts had been saying they had no idea where our first point would come from and they didn’t see how we would score goals, so to listen to all that baloney and then silence them was amazing.
“Our boss Owen Coyle had instilled belief in us, so we thought we were capable of doing it.”
Blake, now manager of Isthmian League Premier Division side Bognor Regis Town, will never tire of watching replays of his wonder strike — but does not rate it as his best ever.
He said: “Stephen Jordan put in a deep cross and Patrice Evra headed back into my path. I’d taken a gamble with the position I took up and it fell nicely for me.
“I struck it perfectly and I can remember feeling quite numb when it went past Ben Foster and into the net. I caught it so sweetly but I have scored better goals.
“This one is very special and one that gets shown quite frequently, given it is a big moment in the club’s history.”
The Clarets battle United on Saturday night looking for their first win since returning to the top flight, after getting a point at Nottingham Forest.
Erik ten Hag’s wounded United have suffered three straight defeats — conceding 11 goals —– and Blake thinks things will go from bad to worse for them at Turf Moor.
He said: “United have the better players but Burnley will play better football and win.
“Vincent Kompany is a genius and they are very well drilled. I expect Burnley to have a real good go at United, as they are fragile.
“I don’t really know what United are all about. Ten Hag has spent a lot of money and I don’t see any progression.
“United can’t afford another bad weekend but it’s going to be very tough for them at Turf Moor.”