Man Utd 2 – 1 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS

13 Feb

Well at least it wasn’t as deflating as losing to a last-minute winner. If it was any other player, any other team, any other situation, I would have appreciated the ball flying into the top corner. But this was Wayne Rooney, Manchester United and the Manchester derby, so I can’t bring myself to praise it too highly. Let’s just say that it was a goal worthy of winning any game. Whether they deserved to win is certainly questionable, but I honestly believe we can take so many positives from this game.

Never before in my lifetime have we gone to Old Trafford, under such tense circumstances, and made such a positive impression. After criticism of our approach in the return game at Eastlands, we played an attacking brand of football, keeping possession in midfield and using the creative brilliance of David Silva to conjure up something. Yes we lost, despite deserving at least a share of the spoils, but after the heartbreak of last season, this was a performance from which we can take great pride.

The individual performances of Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Touré and Silva were superb, but it was the team spirit and the ability to face up to United on their own patch and control large parts of the game which were the most pleasing aspects. We have often come away from Old Trafford without a point, despairing at the gulf in quality between the sides, but on Saturday, the only difference was a once in a lifetime goal, scored by a player who had hitherto been totally ineffective. And if we take nothing else away from the match, we should be confident that the gap is closing and that as Mike Summerbee so eloquently put it on Sky, United will be looking over their shoulder.

Their first goal, although it will go under the radar, was a clinical move. Joleon Lescott should have done better with his clearing header, but Ryan Giggs’s vision, along with Nani’s first touch, were exquisite. The experienced Welshman’s first time pass to Nani left Pablo Zabaleta slightly unsure of his position, and as the fullback tried to allow the ball to run, Nani stole in front, controlled the ball expertly and fired home against the run of play.

That goal came late in the first half, a half dominated by City yet we couldn’t apply the finishing touch to our good work. The otherwise excellent David Silva was the main culprit, poking wide from close range after three minutes, but it was a half full of vim and vigour, with the impish Spaniard combining with the power of Yaya Touré to dictate the play. United came back strongly in the last five minutes of the first half, but we deserved the equaliser that came not long after the break.

Another overlap from the effervescent Richards allowed SWP, a substitute for the disappointing Aleks Kolarov, some time and space to pick his cross, and although  it was slightly behind his target, fellow sub Edin Džeko managed to squeeze in a shot, which deflected off Silva and past Van Der Sar. We continued to press but with Carlos Tévez almost trying too hard to impress on his return to his former club, we lacked a clinical touch.

And then came that goal. Credit where credit’s due, it was world-class. But, as stated at the start of this blog, the fact that it was Rooney and in such circumstances make it hard to take. United fans may call us bitter, but I would love to see their reaction if Carlos Tévez had scored the goal in opposite context. It was a great finish, but I’ll leave others to do the fawning.

Fortunately for City, we have another game on Tuesday which offers us the perfect chance to get back to winning ways. The title is out of our reach, although no-one seriously expected it. We must now focus on attaining a Champions League place and we can start by taking the positives from this defeat. Believe you me, despite the loss, there were plenty.

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9 Responses to “Man Utd 2 – 1 MAN CITY – MY THOUGHTS”

  1. Spurs 13/02/2011 at 6:13 pm #

    Looks like its Spurs v City again for champs league spot!

  2. CanTheyScore 13/02/2011 at 6:31 pm #

    The one thing I didn’t understand about Summerbee’s rant (I think he made himself look a bit stupid generally) is the way he said United would NOW be looking over our shoulder- we’ve been looking over our shoulders since the start of last season!

    And 4th Spot is Chelsea v Spurs! Chelsea have got to play United twice, and they haven’t been great against the top teams (4 points from 4 games- shown on my blog)

  3. CanTheyScore 13/02/2011 at 6:31 pm #

    & Nice Article!

  4. Bring Bellamy back 13/02/2011 at 7:14 pm #

    I am not sure these are the Kind of forums for messages like this, but i just want to say that we acquitted ourselves so well yesterday with Silva, Kompany and Barry getting top marks. And it broke my heart to see our fans who braved the horrendous old Trafford atmosphere standing there once again disappointed. But i feel that this had to happen as it seems that we are fated to be stung like this again and again. But our time is coming! As i said we played well and with an emotional intent that our detractors say is beyond our players. Rooney is a player of genius and he settled things with a moment of brilliance-yes. But beyond that we were hardly torn apart. Now i just hope for a shot at them in the FA cup final. Where we can once again win in red and black for a hero and for everyone else around the world who has ever had this club in their hearts.
    I would also like to commend Tevez for playing in this game as surely he and his family are under a lot of strain at the moment. I don’t know or care about the money/transfer situation but in my book that kind of dedication and professionalism makes you a legend.
    Thank you.

  5. Ricky 13/02/2011 at 7:44 pm #

    Good article as ever.

    When watching the seemingly endless replays from an infinate number of angles of the first goal, I was quite amused to listen to the commentary and their commending of Rooney for making such a great run. Now, after watching all of these replays, what I gathered was:

    1) It was route 1, effectively a set piece from there which, as we all know, City have struggled to defend against.
    2) Funnily enough, “Wazza” (in AK’s words – I’d prefer Wazzock) was only involved at one time …. when he lost out in an aerial battle to Lescott.
    3) Zabaleta is not a left back. Boateng and Kolarov are more accustomed to playing in the position at international level and, in my opinion, if Boateng is not playing right back or centre back (as seems increasingly unlikely at the moment, depending on Richard’s various injuries) then, as Long as Kolarov is playing in midfield, the only sensible option is Boateng at left back.
    4) This is the last picking I can do for the goal. For the goal, instead of diving immediately, Hart seemed to take an eternity to set himself, almost pressing forward, before diving to his left.

    Does Silva’s bottom get our goal or does Džeko?

    Then came Mancini at his best. As soon as we scored, it seemed that we went into our shells and reverted to pretty passing along the back four and, if we were lucky, to a defensive midfielder.

    Was it any wonder then, that united found a way to score? Not at all. And, although it pains me to admit it, what a goal. I couldn’t help being in awe of it – partially due to the goal itself and partially due to the fact that it bagged me 9 points. Shame about the ugly git that scored it.

    • Bring Bellamy back 13/02/2011 at 7:59 pm #

      Have to say i am thinking you are being a bit harsh. I was furious at our defensive display in the first leg but i thought the team were far more extreverted on sat than i would have expected. We passed the ball sublimely at times and took the game to them when we had to. Alright maybe Dzecko could have started but it was only natural that the game would begin cautiously with a midfield battle.
      My biggest problem was Philips being brought on. To me it seemed inane and desperate for a team whith such a supposedly deep squad. Nothing against Philips just that the last time he played i think was at the start of the january window and throwing him on like that seemed too risky even despite Johnson’s injury.

  6. avenell 14/02/2011 at 12:29 pm #

    Hi. I wondered if you can help me.
    I have been asked to print up some stag night t-shirts in light blue for a man city 1961 team theme.
    Would you know which numbers these players would be wearing?
    Trautman no1 I assume
    Kennedy.
    Cheetham
    Leivers
    Wagstaff
    Ewing
    Baker
    Doring poss Dobing or Dobbing
    Betis.

    I would be very grateful if you could assist
    cheers.

  7. Siamack 14/02/2011 at 2:31 pm #

    These are the sort of losses that I call “bad day in the office”. However; in the light of previous results against Aston Villa and Birmingham city. I have started to doubt seriously our position in top four. Unless we start winning the remaining games with a possibility of only one to 2 losses, we will not make it top 4

  8. JOHN GUIDETTI IS MY HERO!!! 15/02/2011 at 11:28 am #

    Just cant believe you think Yaya played well?? He needs to get much fitter. If he played well, Kolarov gets Man of the Match

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