Monday, 14 February 2011

The Plot Thickens.....

The build up was fierce, the hopes and fears were equally great, and the Manchester derby didn't disappoint.
The newly-rich sky blue side of the city have made no mistake about their aspirations and desires about over-hauling their Red Devil counterparts, and this was to many a chance for them to concrete their ever growing profile by beating their rivals on their own patch.
City started the brighter of the two and for the majority of the opening exchanges they were the dominant side as the Old Trafford cauldron heated up nicely.
Chances were few and far between but City were playing the better flowing football, and United had trouble getting going. This was then the stage for someone to step up and ignite the touchpaper and kick the game into life......enter Nani. The Portuguese magician conjured up a assured finish from a flick on from Rooney as United went into the lead just before half time. This followed some scorching efforts from Nani which showed he was in the mood.
After the break the action was slow once again to get going, City bought on Wright-Phillips and suddenly they were on the front foot, forcing a string of corners which failed to bear any fruit for the visitors.
Milner picked up a knock and was swapped with Edin Dzeko. This change also put City back into control, and just minutes after his introduction he played the role of supplier all-be it with a slice of luck that not many teams enjoy at Old Trafford.
Wright-Phillips flew down the wing and delivered a low cross for Dzeko who connected forcefully with the centre and his strike headed for Van Der Sar's goal. What the United stopper didn't anticipate was the strike hitting Silva's back and eluding him as it nestled in the net putting City level.
Both sides now seemingly in search of a winner, Berbatov was introduced by Sir Alex and he added a much needed air of calm within the ranks of the home side.
The game was being played at a frantic pace and was end to end, and it was down to a previously out-of-sorts Wayne Rooney to deliver the decisive blow.
His touch had been pretty lax in the previous 77minutes and he had not had much influence on the game until Nani put a cross into the box and 75,000 fans who had packed out Old Trafford holding their breathe as Rooney left the floor facing away from goal, he rose elegantly and as the ball connected with his foot, there was an air of inevitability about where the ball was ending up.
The ball flew off of his foot and passed a stunned Hart and the crowd reacted, part gob-smacked and part jubilation as their side went ahead once again.
City rallied but the Untied back line stood firm and held on to gain a huge three points in the title race.
Arsenal kept the pressure on with a win at home to United's conqueror's Wolves but on this showing, once again I cannot see anyone else being crowned Champions come May.
Spurs go to Italy to face A.C Milan in the champions league this week without their influential winger Gareth Bale, I think a big ask to get a victory out there but I expect them to score and an away goal will be crucial for the London club to progress to the next stage.
Arsenal host the world's best club at the Emirates, Barcelona was held to a draw in their league game at the weekend but unfortunately for Arsenal fans I can't see them bettering Barcelona over two games.....
Only time will tell........

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