3 United 1
January 14th 2006 att 47,192
City's recent indifferent form many would have thought City would have been in
for yet another defeat but City-United derby games are a different matter so an
air of hopeful optimism hung around the City of Manchester Stadium among the City
supporters. United had a strong team out only Scholes being a absentee, while
City had a strong attacking bench with Fowler, Musampa Sibierski and Lee Croft
all being subs. Nice to see the Stadium almost full and there was plenty of atmosphere
and thankfully no Munich chants
newest signing, Albert Riera here warming up, made his debut. He came from Espanyol
an surprisingly is the first Spaniard to play for City
and Vassell returned as strikers and Sun moved to right back and Jordan was at
whose recent form has been a revelation was soon in action putting Giggs under
anywhere Jihai Sun whose energy and enthusiasm are first rate was in action early
too heading clear from Van Nistelrooy
gave their new signing Evra from Monaco his debut but the Frenchman soon realized
he was going to be in for a torrid time.
danger man was undoubtedly Rooney who was soon running at the City defence.
7 minutes City had the first shot on goal but Andy Cole's effort lacked power
and direction and was saved easily
was soon to find out that Jordan was not going to let him dazzle him with his
practices one of his ballet jumps
back to his best form heads clear
under pressure from Barton and Riera
goes to block a Rooney pass
der Sar leaps to catch a City free kick
had a narrow escape after 19 minutes when a Rooney cross went across the City
goal with Van Nistelrooy failing to connect.
City clear the ball through Riera the referee spots an offense by Rooney who is
then talked too by Steve Bennett who had replaced Mr Halsey
its Cole's turn for a chat with Mr Bennett after a clash with the United keeper
were beginning to win the battle of midfield and the United goal came under more
was settling in well in midfield with some fine touches.
just over the half hour City went ahead. A cross from Barton was only partially
cleared and Stephen Ireland just stroked the ball forward and Trevor Sinclair
evaded Silvestrie and crashed the ball past Van de Sar. United appealed vainly
for offside presumably for the original cross.
earlier in the week Trevor Sinclair had said that scoring in the 'Derby' for City
is better than sex. Well Trevor after that great effort you will no doubt be getting
a double amount of emails flogging Viagra!
City faithful went mad with joy. Scoring first in the 'Derby' is so important
Cole was giving Silvestrie a hard time
dear, Trevor Sinclair has pinched one of Rooney's toys!
missed a good chance after 35 minutes after he had broken through following a
bad error by Barton in midfield, David James saving well with his feet. A minute
later James was in action again catching a centre.
James punches clear from Van Nistelrooy
38 minutes City went further ahead. A long clearance by James found the head of
Sinclair. The ball came to Cole who nudged it forward to Vassell just onside.
glided the ball past the United keeper and it was 2 nil for the home side . The
whole stadium, except for a small section, rocked with glee.
and Vassell continued to cause problems for the United defence.
unmarked Ronaldo heads well wide.
Andy Cole shot is tipped over by the United keeper
before half time Rooney is booked by the referee for swearing at him. I heard
from a colleague who had seen close-ups on the TV and had lip-read the comments
that he was lucky to stay on.
it was Fletchers turn to act like a spoilt child
-always in the thick of the action clashes with Silvestrie
and Rooney now reinforced by Smith in midfield ( on for Evra) tried desperately
to get back in the game
65 minutes United had another blow. Ronaldo,who moments earlier had been fouled
by Jordan but only got a throw in, lost his cool. He dived in at Cole studs high
right infront of the referee who had no option but to send him off. Emotion had
got the better of him and his lack of control was a further blow to the visitors.
United senior players could not believe that one of their players had been sent
off. I noticed that Rooney kept out of it.
Ronaldo heads for the tunnel and no doubt some words of wisdom from his manager.
A few minutes later Manager Ferguson takes off Fletcher and brings on Saha.
Sun tussles with Saha.
Onuoha had come on for the injured Dunne after 60 minutes but fitted it well with
skipper Distin in the centre of defence
the 75th minute United got a goal back. It came from a brilliant turn and shot
from Van Nistelrooy who whipped the ball through Sun's legs past an unsighted
then made 2 changes bringing on Fowler for Cole and Musampa for Riera. Fowler
was soon in action almost breaking through. It needed a last ditch tackle to stop
the ref is not suggesting that Sir Alec Ferguson has gone nuts - no Sinclair has
sustained a cut head!
United, now down to ten men , pushed everybody forward but left themselves open
to counter attacks
well bandaged Sinclair was soon back on. He wasn't going to miss a minute of this
enjoying his first bit of action for a while causes the United keeper some anxiety.
and James put a stop to Van Nistelrooy's effort
back to his best, blocks a Saha effort
clashes with Alan Smith.......
and gets booked for his trouble.
the 4 minutes extra time started City broke away with United well stretched. Vassell
might have scored himself...
took the ball towards the left wing and passed to Robbie Fowler who cracked the
ball first time with his left foot past Van der Sar to clinch the game at 3-1.
ran towards the United supporters celebrating - not a good idea and the stewards
had a job controlling the visiting fans who had seen their side well beaten.
wonderful result for the City fans and one could almost imagine the Manchester
Evening News Balloon floating above the pitch!
It was a fine City team display
with everybody playing a part. Star man was Trevor Sinclair who has had bad luck
with injuries but has come back to great form. He has never been shy in showing
his love for the club and his efforts today were well rewarded. Less spectacular
but equally important was the hard work and creativity of young Stephen Ireland.
Vassell was back to his best as was the defence with Jordan surely now to keep
his place at left back. It was a cracking game with City having the run of the
ball for once. Finally a word about the referee. I thought he handled a difficult
game well. In the early stages he let the game run when others would have been
blowing up every minutes and giving out yellow cards like confetti.
7: Sun 6.5, Dunne 7.5 ( Onuoha 6.5), Distin 7.5, Jordan 7.5: Sinclair 9, Barton
6.5, Ireland 7, Riera 6.5 (Musampa 6.5): Cole 7.5 ( Fowler 7) , Vassell 8