Tag Archives: Manchester United

Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United: Blue Moon rises to the top of the table

Vincent Kompany’s header settles titanic derby to hand title advantage to Mancini’s men

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany scores & celebrates

Manchester City's Vincent Kompany scores & celebrates

The blue moon has risen. The new order is upon us.

And as the Achilles Heel that Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to acknowledge all season brought about United’s downfall and City’s triumph last night, there could be no Old Trafford complaints.

Fergie’s faith in David De Gea has been steadfast but when it mattered more than ever, the Spaniard capsized United’s title ship.

Deep into first half stoppage time as David Silva prepared to deliver a corner, De Gea was so obsessed with Carlos Tevez that, when Vincent Kompany lost marker Chris Smalling, the Spanish keeper was powerless to prevent the City skipper scoring the one goal that surpassed, in meaning, all six City claimed in October.

Driven on by the remarkable Yaya Toure, the side that was written off by most, including Roberto Mancini just a few weeks ago, are now just two games, 13 days, from ending the 34-year wait and being crowned the best in the country.

Of course, it is not done and dusted yet. Not by a long chalk.

Yet United did not have a shot worthy of the name. Only the most red-eyed of watchers could deny City deserved their victory, are rightly top of the pile, justifiably masters of their own destiny.

It was always likely to be nervous and twitchy but while Ferguson’s selection of Park Ji-Sung in a five-man midfield, with Rooney alone up front, might have ceded the advantage, City initially struggled to take it.

A dodgy punch by Joe Hart from Nani’s deflected cross inside 70 seconds only added to the palpable tension, City relieved that Michael Carrick’s drive thumped into Kompany.

Slowly, though, City were able to get Samir Nasri, Silva, Sergio Aguero and Tevez into the game, sniping runs that asked more serious questions of Rio Ferdinand and Co and Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry took more of a grip.

Not that either keeper was really tested in the opening spell, the highlights of which were a sliding Ferdinand clearance after Tevez briefly escaped down the right and Kompany’s soft booking for making contact with Rooney after the ball had gone.

City’s first shot took 25 minutes to come, Rooney’s attempted clearance ballooning high into the air with Joleon Lescott flicking back into the danger area but Aguero blazing high and wide of David De Gea’s goal.

Rooney was starting to get irritated as City, Nasri to the fore, threatened.

Aguero, twisting inside the box, could not find sufficient purchase on his shot after Nasri teased the ball in from the right before Pablo Zabaleta, who walked through Patrice Evra, swung a weak left foot as the ball was set to fall onto Aguero’s right.

Rooney retrieved Nani’s deep cross but there was nobody there to apply the finishing touch before Park smashed a clever short-corner move miles too high.

And then, in stoppage time, the red line was breached.

Nasri’s cross was turned behind. Silva swung in the corner, De Gea stayed on his line and with Chris Smalling caught under the ball, Kompany’s header ripped into the back of the net to send the Etihad into meltdown.

United, struggling all game down their left as Nasri and Zabaleta linked, needed to change things.

But while Hart fumbled a speculative Nani shot, City were more poised in possession, more potent in attack.

Nasri, fed by Barry, turned to shoot wide before Ferguson acted, though sending Danny Welbeck on for Park before the hour seemed an admission of a tactical and strategic error.

At least, for the first time, Rooney had company against Kompany yet United lacked any precision in their final ball and City remained in charge, De Gea kicking away Toure’s left-wing cross.

Mancini hooked Tevez, sending on Nigel De Jong to reinforce midfield, another bulwark against a late siege although Toure, a force of nature, was twice so close after trademark runs and 25-yarders that fizzed past the frame of the goal.

De Jong’s foul on Welbeck saw Fergie and Mancini going toe to toe, hammer and tongs, with fourth official Mike Jones intervening between the pair before each was dragged away.

City kept coming, De Gea foiling Gael Clichy, Nasri denied as he tried to walk the ball in.

Not even five minutes of “Fergie time” could alter this one. City are within touching distance of glory.

A Manchester City fan enjoys the pre match atmosphere with a Manchester United fan prior to the Barclays Premier League match

A Manchester City fan enjoys the pre match atmosphere with a Manchester United fan prior to the Barclays Premier League match

Vincent Kompany (C) scores the first goal for Manchester City

Vincent Kompany (C) scores the first goal for Manchester City

Man City's Vincent Kompany scores their first goal

Man City's Vincent Kompany scores their first goal

Diego Maradona watches the action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United

Diego Maradona watches the action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United

Wayne Rooney lies on the floor holding his ankle

Wayne Rooney lies on the floor holding his ankle

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[mirror.co.uk]

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The Madchester derby! Watch the Top 20 moments from great City vs United clashes

From beautiful goals to horrific tackles, re-live the best moments from past Manchester derbies in our video special

20 amazing Manchester derby moments

20 amazing Manchester derby moments

All eyes will be on Old Trafford this weekend for the Manchester derby, with City looking to consolidate their position above cross-town rivals United at the top of the Premier League table.

The atmosphere will be electric, and the players usually deliver on the pitch, too. Here’s our rundown of the top 20 Manchester derby moments…

20) September 14 1985 was a bad day for the Blue half of Manchester. A suspiciously large number of United fans managed to grab tickets in the City end – you can see them being led to safety in this clip – and Billy McNeill’s newly-promoted side were hammered on the way back down.

19) The events of the final Maine Road meeting of the sides, on 9/11/2002, are commemorated in the splendid poem which begins: “Derby day, the scores were level. Then the Goat was fed by Neville”

18) Newly promoted to the Premier League officials list, George-out-of-George-And-Mildred lookalike Alan Wiley made a name for himself in a 1995 FA Cup derby when, with City deservedly leading 1-0 just before halftime, he turned the game with possibly the worst refereeing decision ever seen at Old Trafford. Which, to be fair, is saying something.

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[mirror.co.uk]


Squeaky bum time: Lose to City and blow the title, warns Fergie

United boss admits arch-rivals will probably go on to win the Premier League title if they beat his side at the Etihad Stadium on Monday

Red faced: Manchester United let a two goal lead against Everton slip to allow City back in the title race

Red faced: Manchester United let a two goal lead against Everton slip to allow City back in the title race

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his players: “Lose to City and you have blown the title.”

The Manchester United boss has left his men in no doubt about the dire ­consequences that defeat in tomorrow night’s epic derby at the Etihad Stadium.

United lead City by three points, but Roberto Mancini’s men will go back to the summit courtesy of their superior goal difference if they win the 163rd meeting of the teams.

City have a tough run-in – with a trip to Champions League-chasing Newcastle followed by the visit of relegation-threatened QPR – while United entertain Swansea before finishing the campaign at Sunderland.

But Ferguson warned: “If City win they would probably go on to win it from there.

“Even though they’ve got to go to Newcastle I think they would have a great chance.

“If we won we’d be strong favourites. Even with a draw we’d be favourites. No doubt about that.

“Two games to go, one at home and one away, we’d have to be happy with that.

“One thing, though, we won’t be going to City just looking to make sure we don’t lose.”

United squandered the chance to maintain their five-point lead at the top last week when Everton fought back from 4-2 down to force a draw with two goals in the closing minutes.

Ferguson has shouldered his share of the blame in allowing City to blow the title race wide open by winning at Wolves.

UEFA president Michel Platini is planning to jet into Manchester to watch a game that has captured the imagination of the world.

Ferguson said: “Given the chances we created against Everton and the quality of our performance, we should have won comfortably.

“Maybe I should have brought on a couple of defenders just to see it off.

“I mean, there was only seven minutes to go and we were winning 4-2. Bloody hell, there you go.”

He added: “I always thought City would be our big challengers this year, particularly after the early-season programme they had.

“I mean, they didn’t really play anyone at the start of the season, and they got off to a flyer because of it.

“We had Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham in the first four or five games. We had a really tough start and because City had some good results that projected them forward.

“I always expected them to be there at the end after that.”

United came from 2-0 down to beat City in the Community Shield.

But the champions were humbled 6-1 at Old Trafford in October – equalling the biggest-ever scoreline in a Manchester derby.

Ferguson exacted some revenge by knocking the Blues out of the FA Cup, winning 3-2 at the Etihad in January, but only after the home side had come back from three goals down after having skipper Vincent Kompany sent off.

Ferguson said: “It doesn’t matter what has happened for the rest of the season.

“They’re undefeated at home and we have the best away record. It doesn’t matter. This is a one-off fame.

“The City crowd will be up for it. We expect them to be. But that’s not unusual for us.

“We’ve been to Anfield, the Emirates, places like that. The atmosphere will be just the same.

“I have to trust my players. We have enough experience, enough pace and enough good footballers with determination.

“We’ll be all right in that respect. A game of this nature can be decided by anything – and you only hope it isn’t decided by a bad decision.”

He added: “There is a focus on this game so it’s important that it is good. We’re representing the city all over the world.

“There’s 203 countries going to watch it. Even Michel Platini is coming to watch.

“That creates a certain occasion and we want to represent ourselves in the right way.

“It’s difficult to know how City will approach it.

“My feeling is that he will be cautious. It doesn’t matter, all I know is that we want to do well.”

[mirror.co.uk]


Flying the Dream: aboard Boeing’s brand new ‘jet lag-busting’ 787 Dreamliner

Nigel Thompson joins a demo flight aboard the Boeing’s revolutionary aircraft, which can fly 9,400 miles in one go

Thomson and First Choice will be the first UK airlines to take delivery of the Dreamliner in May 2013

Thomson and First Choice will be the first UK airlines to take delivery of the Dreamliner in May 2013

Manchester United’s iconic Old Trafford football stadium is called the Theatre of Dreams.

So it seemed highly appropriate that I got a glimpse of the Red Devils’ home from a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a 500ft wing-waggling flypast at the city’s airport this week.

This revolutionary new “greener”, “jet lag-busting” passenger plane is seen as the greatest advance in aviation since Concorde and this week was on the UK leg of a world tour, which took in Heathrow, Manchester and Gatwick airports.

I joined the Boeing crew and a team from Thomson Airways – which will be the first in Britain to take delivery of a 787 – at Manchester for a plane tour and two-hour test flight.

It’s a very fine looking jet with elegant, sweeping lines and distinctive flexible wings which rise up to 10ft at the tips on take-off, though it’s perhaps not as awesome close up as the mighty Airbus A380 double decker superjumbo.

But it’s inside that’s going to impress Thomson and First Choice passengers from May 2013 – swiftly followed by fliers travelling with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

Holidaymakers heading from Manchester, Gatwick, East Midlands and Glasgow to Cancun, Mexico, and Sanford, Florida, on Thomson Airways will have the first opportunity to fly on the new jets.

It will offer travellers noticeable improvements, including:

● Moister air for less chance of dehydration and headaches;
● Cleaner air that’s had irritants such as perfume and alcohol removed;
● Lower cabin pressure, which is less tiring;
● Bigger windows and dynamic LED lighting;
● Wider aisles and higher ceilings; and
● A smoother, quieter journey.

While you can hardly avoid your body being say five times zones adrift from UK time if you’re in Florida, these are all factors which should combine to help to alleviate the effects of jetlag when you get off the plane.

The Dreamliner is made largely of carbon/polymer resin and consequently is lighter than similar sized aircraft and uses 20% less fuel, hence its “green” tag.

It also offers a tremendous range, up to 9,400 miles, which brings the realistic and tantalising prospect of direct flights to destinations such as Bali, Hawaii and even Perth.

You read that right – Australia in one go. Amazing.

Stretch out: Legroom will be 33-34" in Thomson economy, more than on MOST leisure flights

Stretch out: Legroom will be 33-34" in Thomson economy, more than on MOST leisure flights

Hi-tech: You can plug in your smartphone aboard the Dreamliner

Hi-tech: You can plug in your smartphone aboard the Dreamliner

Nigel in the cockpit: Luckily the Dreamliner was still stationary in Manchester Airport

Nigel in the cockpit: Luckily the Dreamliner was still stationary in Manchester Airport

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[mirror.co.uk]


Don’t blow title now! Giggs issues rallying cry after United’s shock defeat at Wigan ©

Manchester United‘s shock defeat at Wigan has prompted Ryan Giggs to issue a rallying cry to his Old Trafford team-mates, urging them to not blow their big chance of a 20th top-flight title.

United were left stunned by Shaun Maloney’s 50th minute winner at the DW Stadium which – allied with City’s 4-0 drubbing of West Bromwich – has pushed the door ajar on the Barclays Premier League race once again.

Roberto Mancini claims his team – who now trail the leaders by just five points – have blown their chances, but Giggs is warning his fellow United stars they must build another unbeaten run, starting with the weekend clash against Aston Villa.

Unbelievable: United believe they were victims of some poor decisions

Unbelievable: United believe they were victims of some poor decisions

‘We didn’t perform,’ he told MUTV. ‘For a start, our normal passing game wasn’t as fluent and we kept giving the ball away.

‘Obviously, you’ve got to give credit to Wigan – they put us under a lot of pressure, especially early on and credit to them as well.

‘They worked hard but that’s something we come up against quite a bit (being closed down) so it’s not an excuse not to be able to handle that.

‘We just didn’t keep the ball like Manchester United usually do. I think we only had one or two shots on goal and that’s also disappointing so we have to look at the game and work on it and get ready for Sunday.’

United front: Maloney bagged the winner for ecstatic Wigan (below)

United front: Maloney bagged the winner for ecstatic Wigan (below)

It was United’s first defeat since January, ended an eight-match winning streak and failed to beat Wigan for the first time in 15 meetings.

And with Manchester City winning, their lead at the top of the Premier League was cut to five points with five games remaining.

‘A couple of months ago City were something like five to one on and we were well behind them in terms of goal difference and points,” said Ferguson.

Red alert: The United boss was not happy about his team's performance

Red alert: The United boss was not happy about his team's performance

‘We have to take some credit that we have got ourselves back into the race.

‘But Wigan were the better team. They are very underrated and we were completely dominated in the first half. We were second to every ball and only had one shot at goal.

It was one of these off nights you get. We have been on a great run and it has put us in a position where we can win the league, so we have to get over the disappointment of tonight.’

dailymail.co.uk™©


It’s all over! Crestfallen Mancini concedes title ‘will be difficult’ after defeat leaves City EIGHT points behind rivals United ©

By SIMON MILHAM
PUBLISHED: 17:51 GMT, 8 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:15 GMT, 8 April 2012

Roberto Mancini has all but waved the white flag in the Premier League title race after his Manchester City side choked at The Emirates.

With Manchester United beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday lunchtime, City fell eight points behind their rivals and needed to win at Arsenal.

But they failed to react and fell to a stunning Mikel Arteta strike three minutes from time. They also had mercurial striker Mario Balotelli sent off shortly afterwards for a second bookable offense in the 1-0 defeat.

We need a miracle: Mancini (left) knows that United have flown and the title race is all but over

We need a miracle: Mancini (left) knows that United have flown and the title race is all but over

Mancini beforehand that the title would head to United ‘If we lose against Arsenal and they beat QPR’.

And Arteta’s wonder strike seemingly fulfilled the prophesy, even if pure mathematics say otherwise.

He knows that the trophy will almost certainly be adorned with the red ribbons of United.

Mancini’s body language afterwards spoke volumes, even if he was loathe to openly admit the fact.

In truth, he was convincing no-one that the title race is still alive, not even himself, and after four seasons of massive spending – two under Mancini’s leadership – City’s owners are sure to ask the Italian some searching questions.

Mancini said: ‘No, it’s not mathematically (over), but it’s clear now that it’s very difficult. We have a game in three days and we will try to win. Never say never in football.

No lads, it’s eight points: Mancini (left) and Balotelli (right) are left counting the cost at Arsenal

He added on Sky Sports 1: ‘In life until it’s over you should do your best. In the end if we don’t win it’s probably because they (United) did better than us.

‘It’s clearly difficult (to lift the players) but we play in three days and this is good. We are a professional team, with professional players. It’s important we start to win and finish the championship well.’

That's the spirit: A young Manchester City fan with a positive perspective

That's the spirit: A young Manchester City fan with a positive perspective

Tears before bed time: But this young City supporter finds it too hard to take

Tears before bed time: But this young City supporter finds it too hard to take

A miserably day for City was made complete by Balotelli’s late red card.

The Italian was deservedly sent off in the final minute after referee Martin Atkinson and assistant Peter Kirkup somehow failed to spot his first-half knee-high tackle on Alex Song, and he could now face a lengthy ban.

Mancini said of that first-half challenge: ‘From the bench I didn’t see the first tackle but it was a bad tackle.’


Mario misery: Balotelli reacts before receiving a red card from referee Martin Atkinson

When asked if the authorities should take a look retrospectively, he said: ‘I hope (so),’ and admitted the striker deserved a lengthy ban.

Mancini added of his controversial countryman: ‘I defend him always because Mario is a good guy, but if he doesn’t change in the future he can lose all his talent.

Art attack: Mikel Arteta thumps home what could be the final nail in City's coffin

Art attack: Mikel Arteta thumps home what could be the final nail in City's coffin

‘If he doesn’t understand this, after two years I can’t do anything. I hope for him that he can improve, that he can understand that he can’t continue like this, for his future, for his talent. I’m very sorry for him for this.’

Taking the Mik: Arteta celebrates Arsenal's late winner

Taking the Mik: Arteta celebrates Arsenal's late winner

More…
* Mancini admits bad boy Balotelli should have been shown red for horror tackle on Song
* He’s just like Daley! QPR chief rages at Young ‘dive’ as Hughes confirms club will appeal Derry red
* Manchester United 2 QPR 0: Rooney’s dubious penalty fires Reds closer to title
* Arsenal 1 Manchester City 0: Balotelli sees red as Arteta super strike dents title charge
* All the latest Manchester United FC news, features and opinion
* All the latest Manchester City FC news, features and opinion

Source : dailymail.co.uk


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