The noisy neighbors earned themselves the respect they’ve been yearning for; at last. There would have been no better way for the citizens of Manchester to claim full authority over the city and the league table than the thrashing of Manchester United in Old Trafford by 6 goals to 1. It was like how Micah Richards described it: “It’s what dreams are made of.”
The two teams took the field with Manchester City leading United by two points. Pundits, fans, and the world were expecting a tight game (although I disagreed earlier and mentioned it will be humiliating for either side). What happened on the field was totally amusing. Manchester City held their nerves and were organized in the back trying to take charge of the game gradually. Judging Mancini’s starting lineup, the inclusion of Milner instead of De Jong raised some questions about the Italian’s intentions. De Jong was also spotted frustrated sitting on the bench. Yet, with the display that Milner put on the day Mancini was hailed as a genius. He opted for a more attacking formation with Milner rather than a defensive one with De Jong.
Manchester City’s growing confidence into the game was directly translated into their first chance and first goal. Silva, City’s messiah, cut United’s right flank and provided a ball back to the edge of the area where Balotelli threaded a pinpoint sidefoot into De Gea’s net. The first half ended 1-0 for the citizens and both teams’ dressing rooms were filled with mixed emotions. Then came Evans red card at the beginning of the second half and Manchester United were doomed.
Manchester United held their nerves for the first 15 minutes of the second half after the Evans incident but couldn’t hold on more. Balotelli scored the second and Aguero the third. Fletcher reduced the damage on minute 81 but City scored 3 more goals in the dying minutes of the game; thanks to a Dzeko brace and a Silva trademark. (You can find here a minute by minute report on the match)
Now, what really happened in the Manchesteer Derby? What went wrong? Is Manchester City that powerful? Is money triumphing over history? Well, here are the thoughts and comments:
- A “derby” has no rules – hold your horses and don’t start celebrating Manchester City’s league title yet
- Balotelli has proven to be an opportunist with capabilities of being a great – he jumped into the front line when Tevez was done
- Ferdinand is way past his best – Capello is proving right
- Anderson is not a Scholes – and certainly not a Keane
- Evra should concentrate more on captaining the team and defending his flank better – and forget about the media outburst and racism claims
- Mancini is growing up – even his quotes are maturing “United are still one yard above us and we can only change this if we win the title”
- Sir Alex may change his mind and spend some money in January – he admitted “It was a bad day, our worst ever day”
- Manchester City fans may now start attending upcoming games with passion – no need for phone messages to beg them to attend (check the audio in this link)
- Manchester United still need that missing piece in the middle – if they were thinking of “glory glory…” by the end of May 2012
- Money can buy titles and build teams – ask Chelsea and question Wenger
- England has a real chance in Euro 2012 – Capello is the luckiest coach to finally see players like Richards and Milner flourishing just in time
- The English Premier League proves once more it is the best in the world – Arsenal vs Manchester? Need more to say?
I can go on and on with thoughts and lose myself into useless analysis because what has been done is done. Manchester is now a City not United. The only match I want to watch in the coming days is that of Aldershot Town F.C. in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 against Manchester United. I know that Sir Alex will field his “B-Team” for such an encounter but I want to see the anger of the United players translated into another feast of football and goals.