Not a single save did City goalkeeper Joe Hart have to make tonight. The first ten minutes of tonights match was just like the last derby at Old Trafford and in a smaller way, like the Champions League final against Barcelona at Wembley last May. United came out very aggresive but were contained efficiently by a well marshalled City defence, lead by the ever improving Vincent Kompany.The main difference being that while United weren’t outclassed tonight, the correct team won.
Vincent Kompany heads City into the lead in first half injury time
Unlike last October, I never felt that United were under any pressure but I also felt from about twenty minutes in that if City scored, United would be fucked. United for all the aggresion and attacking intent looked well taken care of in the final third of the pitch. United won numerous corners but as per usual this season, never looked anywhere near scoring from one, or even the corner beating the first man. Every red who know’s their stuff knows that there’s a lot of work need doing on the team this summer, amongst many other things the signing of a player who can take a fucking corner would be nice. In injury time of a first half that resembled a game of chess, for once, Chris Smalling went to sleep and allowed himself to be hustled out of his marking position by Vincent Kompany. To say it was schoolboy defending would be unfair on schoolboys. I like Smalling and every player makes mistakes but to allow a player of Kompany’s heading ability a free header from six yards was a cardinal sin.
Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini all smiles before the match
There was a lot of nervous anticipation in town tonight before the match. All the usual faces who you normally see at away matches were gracing (amongst others) pubs like the White Lion, Walkabout and Vera Duckworths Old Grapes pub with their presence. Having found the White Liion too packed, the walkabout with a one in-one out policy we went to the Grapes to watch the match via an Albanian TV link and a pub full of boisterous and lively reds. I only wish the lads and lasses in the Grapes tonight were out in the Commonwealth stadium supporting the lads rather than what we had in there. If any red is reading this, who went to the match please leave me a comment and let me know what the atmosphere was like in the United section as I still don’t know a soul who got a ticket for tonights match.
City fans show homage to Francis Lee and their relief that Edin Dzeko isn’t playing
In a toothless second half performance, I knew in my guts after about fifty minutes that barring a miracle, United weren’t gonna score. Rooney was playing too deep, Nani was being well taken care of and Ji Sung Park’s lack of match fitness was painfully obvious. Bringing on Welbeck, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young was too little too late. This season we’ve all seen United scratch good points from hopeless positions but tonight, United come across the best domestic side they’ve come across this season. City fans, if not their players, will now think they’ve got a hand on the title. If they don’t win it, it’ll be through a collapse that only they are capable of but one thing is for sure, if City win the title from here-on-in, they’ll have deserved it and United will only have themselves to blame.