City continued their dismal form of winning only once in 27 games at Old Trafford yesterday as they were sunk by a wonder goal by United’s golden boy, Wayne Rooney. The odds favored City heavily and the fact that Rio Ferdinand missed out further diminished utd’s hopes. As predicted the game was dominated, atleast most of it, by City. The team in blue dictated proceedings as United tried to play their trade on the counter.
City had most of the opening chances. The first real chance of the game came to David Silva. He tried to roll the ball to the far corner but rolled it few inches wide of the mark. He exchanged passes with Tevez, who was playing as a lone striker for City, inside the United penalty area and had only the goal keeper to beat. But the finish was not up to the mark.
Berbatov was benched by Sir Alex Ferguson and Rooney was given the job of playing a sa lone striker for United. But since City had most of the ball, United couldn’t put their talisman to much use. Yaya Toure played in his usual role for City. But he failed to take part in most of the proceedings as he used to do in other games. He had one shout for a penalty though. Silva played a lovely reverse pass, as [Yaya] Toure escaped the United defenders on the right flank and penetrated beyond the United defensive line and delivered a powerful cross. But his cross was apparently blocked by Chris Smalling, who had come in for Ferdinand, with his hands. But the referee, Andre Mariner, dismissed the penalty claim deeming that Smalling could not have don’t anything to avoid the coming together of the hand and the ball. Moreover his hands were not out stretched.
As United finally started to pose a threat, Darren Fletcher headed straight at City keeper Hart from Ryan Giggs’ cross – and the seemingly ageless Old Trafford veteran was instrumental when they took the lead four minutes before the interval. One long ball from Van der Sar, which Rooney flicked on to Giggs. A neat pass from the Welshman and Nani was in, his first touch taking him away from Pablo Zabaleta before he steadied himself, then beat Hart with clinical ease. And United were in front, much to the delight an relief of the United Faithful and dismay to the Blues fans who were earlier welcomed to “the Best Club in the World” by the Old Trafford announcers.
Roberto Mancini had to change something and he brought off Aleksander Kolarov and James Milner and brought in Shaun Wright-Philips and Edin Dzeko. This move brought some change as they were involved in the equalizer.
Wright-Philips’ cross came to Dzeko and his shot was deflected off the back of Silva and went straight into the goal. Van Der Sar could not do anything since he was wrong footed. City were back in contention and seemed to be the side with the momentum as they dominated the game.Sir Alex brought in Berbatov for Anderson, but the Bulgarian couldn’t make any impact. Then came the moment of Brilliance from Wayne Rooney. Nani delivered a curling cross from the right flank. Wayne Rooney acrobatically delivered an overhead kick that flew into the top corner. Hart was rooted to the spot and he could do nothing about that strike. The beauty in the shot is that, the cross was slightly deflected off Pablo Zabaleta and Rooney had to adjust his foot in the last moment to perfectly hit the ball. Sir Alex later praised him saying, “That goal is good enough to win any game” . Mancini, after the game, admitted that the Title will be difficult to win after this result.
As a Chelsea fan, I would have loved a draw. But Rooney’s quality was sublime and his goal deserved a win.
Rest of the Results:
- Arsenal 2-0 Wolves
- Birmingham 1-0 Stoke
- Blackburn 0-0 Newcastle
- Blackpool 1-1 Aston Villa
- Liverpool 1-1 Wigan
- Man Utd 2-1 Man City
- Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham
- West Brom 3-3 West Ham