Game in a sentence

Robin Van Persie salvages three points for Manchester United in an enthralling fixture at Etihad.

Observations

  • Lineup changes for both squads saw Balotelli, Nastasic, Cleverley and Valencia draw the start. The United players among that quartet had excellent games.
  • As usual we were told the temperature was on boil early — in a rare event, the commentators accurately surmised what was going on. Five minutes on, Rio Ferdinand’s challenge on Kun Aguero drew the ire of Balotelli. Wayne Rooney lodged two rough challenges that may have drawn a yellow in different circumstances.
  • City dominated play early, as United looked as though they were content sitting back. David Silva was active early, providing a great ball to Clichy who found Balotelli in the box. The Italian enigma should’ve done better.
  • However it was United who opened the scoring, completely against the run of play at that. An excellent counter attack (shameless plug) led by Ashley Young and RVP led to Wayne Rooney streaking across the top of the box. His low, right footed strike left Joe Hart flat footed. Was Rooney’s placement intentional? It was, though the strike was hardly clean.
  • It got worse for Mancini. Captain Vincent Kompany was forced out by injury, leading to the introduction of everyone’s favourite shady car salesman, one Kolo Toure.
  • Once again, United’s positive play was accompanied by RVP dropping deep.
  • Rooney made the lead two in the 29 minute, becoming the youngest player to score 150 goals in EPL history. Toure and Nastatic were nowhere to be seen on the play — a running theme in the first half.
  • What adjustments would Mancini make in the second half was the question. After an untimely back heel Balotelli was banished to the bench in favour of Tevez. Once again Mancini and Balo comported themselves with the class of two high school freshmen.
  • In a span of five minutes the game would be turned on its head. Ashley Young looked to have made it 3-0 only to be ruled offside on the play. Replays indicate Martin Atkinson’s assistant got it wrong. They got a lot of things wrong on this day.
  • One minute later Yaya Toure cut the lead to one after a mad scramble in the United box that saw David De Gea make two wonderful saves before succumbing to the pressure. City loves the final 30.
  • In some cases ‘letting the boys play’ is a welcome development. In this one it wasn’t. A Smalling hand ball, Toure’s take down on Patrice Evra in the box and refusing to play an advantage on Rooney’s yellow were the hallmarks of an atrocious officiating effort.
  • Kudos to Carlos Tevez for refusing to go down in the box in the 67th minute. It was nice to see.
  • Super-sub (a part of me dies every time I write that) Edin Dzeko replaced Yaya in the 84th minute. Two minutes later City would equalize. A poor clearance from Evra landed on the boot of Pablo Zabaleta. The defender’s strike was superb. 2-2.
  • And then things got crazy. A lazy foul by Gael Clichy Tevez on Rafael set up a United free kick in dangerous territory. Confusion between Silva and Tevez resulted in the latter leaving his place in the wall. RVP’s free kick as deflected by Nasri — doing his best to get out of the way — and went past Hart’s outstretched right hand. This is why they signed him. Somewhere in London Arsene poured himself a drink.
  • The ensuing celebration saw Rio Ferdinand get hit with a coin and a Manchester City supporter charge after him only to be stopped by Hart.

  • This is why we can’t have nice things. The coins on the ground in the gif above indicate this wasn’t a one time occurance (Rooney complained about a similar incident earlier in the game).
  • United open a six point lead at the top. Mancini will face legitimate questions regarding his team selection. Tevez-Aguero is the partnership he must run with. Meanwhile Alex Ferguson out manages his opposition for the 3,475th time.

Three stars

1. Wayne Rooney

2. Robin Van Persie

3. Patrice Evra

Comments (21)

  1. but where are the stupid articles about SAF being sacked?????
    Glory Glory Man United

  2. What a match. I was gutted when City tied it, but United pull it out. Far too early to say it is a title decider, but that is a massive win in a crucial “6 pointer”. Curious to see what kind of sanctions City will face for their fan behaviour. Multiple objects/coins thrown onto the pitch during the match including one that injured Ferdinand, and a fan in what could have been an attack on an opposing player (good on Hart for protecting his England teammate). Far more than a club fine and a stadium ban for the fan should come from this. But whatever – 6 pts clear.

  3. Actually, I believe it’s the 3,476th* time, you should check your stats

  4. No one gives a fck about the premier league winner. None of the top three teams in the premier league would finish in the top two or even three in Germany, Spain, and Italy. How far down the premier league has crashed…quite sad really. Watching this “super sunday” game is like watching two koala bears fight over a eucalyptus leaf…silly, but kinda cute =)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8oLu7znwQ0

    The bottom one has ballz.

    • Go back to China! You can’t cut it in the EPL anymore. Glory, glory Man United.

    • lmao top two or three in italy? give me a break

    • Your analysis is as non-existent as your intelligence. In terms of overall leagues, yes I believe Spain and Germany are superior. But to have the audacity to suggest that the top teams in England cannot compete in Europe (on their day) is a shame. Maybe you should change your name to some other non epl player because for someone named Drogba, you have no love or respect for the english game. Go take your trash analysis to Fox soccer. There’s no place for it here.

  5. Being a Utd fan is giving my heart a workout, but man it makes for some great last minute cheers. Lovin’ these late winners – way more this season than your usual United last gasp winners.

  6. In a way I am glad for you United supporters – after all, if the club goes a couple seasons without a trophy you’re all going to be off supporting…. whoever. Barcelona, maybe? I mean, for the 0.5% that don’t already.

    So a big win like this goes a long way toward keeping you from having to buy new kits and scarves and whatnot. But just remember. 8 points clear wasn’t good enough with 6 to play. So 6 with 22 is anything but “rest on the laurels” territory.

    • i think your mixing us up with chelsea and man city supporters

    • That’s what I think too ^

    • are you trying to be funny marc? i hope so. your comment is hilarious. that’s what chelski and $ity fans do. where were the$ity fans in the last decade when their team sucked royally? now suddenly, after a single title win, they think city are the greatest thing since sliced bread. what a bunch of knuckleheads. talk smack after chelski or $ity win 19 titles. i see that you don’t have the stones to say who you support. judging by your post you support $ity. too bad for you.GGMU!!!

  7. Geez this article doesn’t look like it was written by a Utd supporter…. Mind leaving the bias and being a bit more objective next time?

    • actually Devang is well-known for being a whingy anti-united Arsenal fanboy. Get your bias accusations right.

      • That’s twice I’ve been called a United supporter this weekend. Thanks for clearing that up Scope. (always wanted to be called a fanboy)

  8. what would you have changed? the scoreline? can’t do that.

  9. Why isn’t anyone talking about United’s weak midfield right now?

    • Because that “weak midfield” just went to the home of the premier league champions and won.

  10. Also interesting to note that, unlike city, United can actually continue to play well and win big matches without their best defender and club captain.

  11. shows what this “writer” knows. it was tevez that fouled Rafael leading to the game winner by RVP.

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