It is really difficult to add to anything that has already been said about yesterday’s 144th Manchester League Derby, but once again Stretford’s finest from just outside our glorious City have sneaked the edge on the Blues.
And it is difficult to understand why. For the second time this season, United were on offer and for the second time this season City couldn’t make them pay. The reasons lie at each end of the match.
Spanish genius David Silva couldn’t deliver a goal from a gilt-edged opportunity in the fourth minute, indeed this was probably the best chance of the entire match, but when it was needed and it looked like a lost cause, Rooney provided a ridiculous goal that neutrals will enjoy watching forever. End of story really!
As the game got under way it was clear that the quality that City has in midfield was much better than the navvies employed in red shirts. When the going got tough for them out came the steel toe caps and chopper Scholes received his customary yellow card. Fletcher was just as bad and even Giggs appeared in Marriner’s note book.
United were clearly shaken by the fact that their additional player Howard Webb was plying his trade in a different location and it took them a while to get going, but they never really took over the game and Nani’s goal, more a result of Wimbledon-style football than anything else, was against the run of play.
City struggled to get Tevez into the game with Vidic and Smalling keeping more than a watchful eye on him. Kompany was doing likewise at the other end with Rooney not getting a sniff. His frustration was starting to take hold when he produced, against the run of play again, a piece of true class that had reds and blues alike thinking about Denis Law. And it is really awkward to talk about any modern footballer in the same breath.
As much as I detest things red, my hat has to go off for that goal. Once City levelled the score from a crisp strike from Dzeko which clipped David Silva, Old Trafford became a funeral parlour and even the most loyal Milton Keynes-er was poised for City to win. Nobody in the stadium was quite prepared for the manner in which this game was to be won.
Immediately the fun and games offered by the ‘Poznan’ was superceded by the supercilious songs that the green and gold morons persist in chanting. The adrenaline valve released, they had got away with it.
So from two matches that should have yielded six points, we attained a measly 0-0 draw at home.
If you look across the two line-ups you ask yourself who would you want at Eastlands from Old Trafford. There is a maybe against Vidic, but I for one would not like to see any of the rest in a sky blue shirt.
So what makes teams go to Old Traford, lose 1-0 and think they’ve done well. Why is a team of relatively poor and some ageing performers so far clear at the top of the league? That is down to someone who never kicks a ball in anger these days…Ferguson. He has instilled a never-say-die attitude amongst footballers who would be lucky to get a game for Everton and has made them Champions-elect. They could have waved the white flag in November when Chelsea looked the most likely candidates, but they didn’t. Results didn’t go their way, but they were strong at home and at least didn’t lose away. That Roberto, is what these men in sky blue have to learn. It is not about losing at Villa and Wolves, drawing at Birmingham home and away and those disgraceful matches against Blackburn and Everton. It is about whacking those teams and getting something from those around us.
Now once again Spuds are breathing down our necks, Chelsea have hit the seam again, last week excluded, and a Champions League spot which was a foregone conclusion a month ago could be looking shaky. If we play every away match like yesterday we will win more or less every week. So what are we waiting for? Let’s do it!
Plaudits for yesterday go to Kompany who was fantastic, Silva for never stopping and this time SWP whose cross for once did not cannon off Evra.
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