This was a big game for Manchester United. 2 back to back losses in the premier league, last encounter with the blue half of the city – embarrassing. Scores had to be settled and United players made it clear. They wanted only one thing – REVENGE.
PREMATCH HOO HAA
Manchester United: Lindegaard; Smalling, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani; Welbeck, Rooney (Subs: De Gea, Evans, Rafael, Scholes, Anderson, Hernandez, Park)
Manchester City: Pantilimon, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, A. Johnson, de Jong, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Aguero (Subs: Hart, Clichy, Zabaleta, Savic, Hargreaves, Razak, Suarez)
Manchester United line up read good for a premier league fixture. City charted the best available for the day. But neither was the buzz of the eve.. Paul Scholes returning from retirement! Who ‘d have imagined but yet again, it puts things in perspective – United look desperate recalling a player from retirement to fill the void that he himself created. No funds to get a worthy playmaker? Hmmm.. bothersome indeed.
Quietly on the other side of the bench list was someone else returning – Hargreaves; no comments on that.
United seemed to shape into a 4-4-1-1 / 4-5-1 formation with Welbeck leading the line and Rooney opting to help the midfield pairing of Giggs and Carrick. City went in with the usual formation, though with Barry suspended, Toure away, Milner shared centre midfield with De Jong while Silva and Johnson moved the flanks. Nasri accompanied Aguero up front.
City started brighter playing good possession but were taken aback when United broke at 10′ with Rooney releasing Valencia on the wing. Valencia crossed early to find a dashing in Rooney who found the far corner with the cross bar’s assist. Moments later, Kompany found himself in a pickle when United were trying to break. A two footed scissor move on a 50-50 ball saw Nani take evasive action, however Chris Foy deemed it dangerous and sent him off.
Clearly the Turning point of the game, city down to ten men found it harder and harder to find Aguero or Nasri and every flowing red move seemed to inevitably lead to a goal. One such move involving some Nani’s guile lead to a spectactular swiveling volley goal by Danny who’s been working his socks off. He further went on to draw another foul in the box which ended up in a penalty. Rooney stepped up to convert but had to do it in the second attempt when the keepers save found him again to head it home for his second.
At 3-0 at HT, it seemed it was only a matter of HOW MANY now..
Double substitution at half time saw Mancini bringing in defensive reinforcements. City did not panic. They decided to play the waiting game and play counter attacking football. Richards won a free kick off Evra at the edge of the box in the 2nd min. Kolarov stepped up, sent a curler, the wall remained rooted and for a fraction of a second, so did Lindergaard, and that was good enough for him to find the corner of the united goal and all of a sudden it was game on.
The ginger Pele arrived at 60′; started sorting his radar around, but got caught out from a short pass and Aguero made the most of a Lindergaard fumble and Etihad woke up at 2-3. United rang in a few changes – defensive midfielders ran in to cover.. to protect the lead.
Remainder of the game was all ball possession and two controversial penalty decisions at either end of the ground, neither given.
- Ferdinand – I havent seem him play at his best in a long long time. Short of pace, seems to struggle one on one and some of his passing was criminal
- Jones – wonder if he is carrying an injury, his passes seem speculative, apart from one decent run and a couple of good crosses, he is far from how he started the season
- Lindergaard – Fumble, save, fumble, save. Not exactly a fancy pattern
My Pick of The Game
Danny Welbeck – works his socks off, creates chances, forms a lovely partnership with Rooney and today the best player for his work for the 65 odd min he was on.