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United triumph but City take heart

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Phil McNulty | 00:45 UK time, Thursday, 28 January 2010

At Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson paid Manchester City the biggest of back-handed compliments by claiming the Carling Cup semi-final derby could be one of the great Old Trafford occasions, fit to rank alongside meetings with giants such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Juventus.

It was the clearest indication of the extent to which the so-called "noisy neighbours" have got up Manchester United and Ferguson's nose that he afforded such status and importance to a competition he never regards as a top priority.

The evidence was everywhere, from the combative call-to-arms in the match programme, the powerful United line-up and the obvious willingness to risk an extended ban for Rio Ferdinand on his Football Association charge to ensure his availablity to face City.

Ferguson got his glory night all right as Wayne Rooney inflicted fresh stoppage-time suffering on City at the conclusion of a thunderous encounter to send United to Wembley - putting the Eastlands upstarts in their place in the process. And it meant so much, something that should flatter City amid their heartbreak.

The notion of Ferguson mentioning the Carling Cup, the dear old derided Carling Cup, in the same breath as nights of conquest against Europe's elite would have been just cause to suggest the old master had mislaid the plot not so long ago.

Rooney nets the winner for Manchester UnitedRooney celebrates after netting the winner for Manchester United

But the sub-plots surrounding this semi-final stacked up so high that victory here will have given Ferguson as much, if not more, pleasure than victory in the final against Aston Villa next month.

If Old Trafford's stadium announcer told City's 9,000 travelling fans that United are "the current holders of the Carling Cup" once before kick-off he told them a dozen times. Rarely has the tournament been spoken about with such pride and gusto in these parts.

City did too much talking after their first-leg win. Somewhere along the line, some people forgot there was a second leg - and stoking Manchester United's fires with some ill-advised verbals was not the smartest move.

Carlos Tevez's attack on Gary Neville may have played to the gallery but was counter-productive. Lost in translation? The best way to avoid being lost in translation is to remember silence is golden, especially when there is the huge possibility of your targets having the last word.

And then there is Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook. Accident-prone in close proximity to a microphone, he told supporters in a New York pub known as "The Mad Hatter" that it was "not if but when we are at Wembley, having beaten Man United yet again".

Roberto Mancini pinched a line from an Oasis classic before the game when he told City "Don't Look Back In Anger". He might have been tempted to ask Cook to sing a few lines of another Oasis number "My Big Mouth", especially when Darren Fletcher revealed his New York oratory got a big mention in the United dressing room before kick-off.

With all these factors in place, plus an increased police presence after trouble at the first leg, the stage was set for Old Trafford to play host to a night to remember. All football life, good and bad, was here from the blockbusting action on the pitch to the anti-Glazer protests off it and the disgraceful incident when Manchester City's Craig Bellamy was floored by a coin in the second half.

It is actually a tribute to City's progress that they now register so significantly on United's radar - but Ferguson, Manchester's great dictator, is in no mood to hand over his power base just yet.

And just in case anyone wondered just how much this meant to Ferguson and United, how desperately they wanted to claw back that 2-1 first-leg deficit, you only had to watch and listen to the sheer ecstasy that covered Old Trafford like a giant cloak when Rooney's decisive header hit the back of the as we entered the second minute of three minutes of stoppage time.

For all the faults of their outspoken build-up, City's players stated an eloquent case on the pitch for at least the first 50 minutes as they survived in comfort and created the better chances.

Mancini had his side bursting with discipline and energy, containing United and keeping Rooney quiet - at least as quiet as any team can keep him these days. They were the equal of the home side in the first half.

Manchester United may be a club with divisions as debate rages around the current owners, but it was the unity of purpose and resolve on the pitch that enabled them to see off this formidable City challenge.

One of United's old reliables, Paul Scholes, looked reinvigorated by the sight of City and pulled a finish from the memory bank to put his team ahead on the night. When Michael Carrick added a second, the game looked up.

We should have know better given this fixture's storylining. And we should have known it would be the contentious figure of Tevez who would threaten a twist with a stunning flick, literally taken off Ferdinand's forehead and flashed past Edwin van der Sar.

Rooney let City off the hook once with a bad miss, but, when they fatally knocked off at that late corner, he gave them no second chances. United's revenge was sweet and taken with relish.

Ferguson swamped Rooney in superlatives after the game. It made the idea that United would actually ponder a sale to Real Madrid even more laughable - as if the Glazers could contemplate such a deal on a night when the green and gold protest scarves were out in astonishing numbers.

He also gave a performance that suggested Jorge Valdano, the great old mouthpiece of Real Madrid, may be a touch removed from the realities of the modern game when he claims Rooney might struggle in Spain. This is a player who would excel anywhere, any time, at any club.

A banner at Old Trafford labelled Rooney "The White Pele" - and the original would not have been uneasy at the comparison on recent evidence. Rooney may just remember that this was a tag applied to Colin Harvey, his great Everton mentor who brilliantly shaped his formative years, when he played at Goodison Park.

Mancini cut a subdued figure after the game, regretting the loss of attention at that fateful 92nd-minute corner that damaged City so badly, but he can draw comfort from the fact United now take them so seriously. Their days of natural deference are over.

United, however, still hold sway in this city. Empires carefully assembled over more than 20 years are not dismantled in months with a few waves of the game's mightiest chequebook.

Manchester City are shaping up as a major force but this defeat says world domination will have to wait - a message written in every fibre of Ferguson's body as he strode down the tunnel in triumph at the conclusion of a magnificent evening.

The final insult for City's devastated supporters was to have to listen to United's Wembley rendition of "Que Sera, Sera" (Whatever Will Be Will Be) at deafening volume as their rivals cavorted in unabashed joy. Whatever will be will be indeed - it was familiar conclusion and the finale of their worst nightmares.

You can follow me throughout this season at twitter.com/philmcnulty and join me on Facebook.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Phil

    Good article this one. I am a City Fan who is still hurting from last night, You would think I am used to it by now ;-) coming second best to them.

    It is nice to see that we are talked about in this article as a kind of work-in-progress side that are trying to close the gap. I do not expect the "world domination" as you put it as the money does not guarantee the success that so many journalists/media members expect.

    Chelsea have not been consistant since their wealth and they have signed some of Europe's elite players along the way.

    I dislkie Utd for obvious reasons, but I have to respect that this team as they have the one thing that money cannot buy.. A WINNING MENTALITY.

    That showed last night once they got the first goal. It was just a matter of time before they finished the tie off. Our goal maybe would have got us into extra time (i had hoped) but I could not see us winning it from that point.

    I am proud of my City team though, Losing by 1 goal over two legs to a Utd team with the most in-form player in the PL (Rooney).

    This is all valuable experience for us goiung forward (the first Semi final I have witnessed City in, in my lifertime (born in 1983!))

    There is still the FA Cup and 4th place which is ours for the taking if we apply ourselves correctly.

    CTID !

  • Comment number 2.

    Good article Phil, bet you never expected me to say that.

    As a neutral I really enjoyed both games and think Utd going through was more than a fair result, they should of won the first leg comfortably. City have a long way to go if they want to match Utd, Chelsea have had their millions for some years now and even they are still yet to come close in stature. Lets hope Rooney can maintain his excellent form, he is by far the best striker in the Premier League this season and works hard in all other areas of the game too, our best chance of success in the World Cup.

  • Comment number 3.

    Oh and Garry Cook is an idiot too with nothing more than a big mouth. He was a complete nobody until the money came along, now he can't resist mouthing off in the media. Makes Peter Kenyon look like a very pleasant man.

  • Comment number 4.

    Remember when United got closer and closer to the all powerful Juventus in the 90's and then finally overtook them, I see it happening with City, enjoy this while it lasts!

    Proud of the blues, gives us heart to go and win the FA cup!

  • Comment number 5.

    The opening paragraph is a bit misleading. Alex Ferguson was asked by an interviewer "Where does this game rank alongside meetings with giants such as Inter Milan, Barcelona and Juventus?" and replied "Well, it's a derby, so it's always a big game..."

    Faced with a leading question like that, he came up with just about the most negative reply possible, short of breaking all the rules of interview courtesy and saying "Don't ask stupid questions." He unquestionably took the game very seriously, since he fielded a full-strength team, but he certainly never compared it to the Champions League. And rightly so.

  • Comment number 6.

    RoqAdeTevinho 10
    ============================
    Sopt on. Though city played really well last night, Kompany was immense at the back. As a united fan, just wanted to apologise for the thugs who rained missiles down on bellamy. i dont like him personally, but no one deserves that. Hopefulyy they'll be caught and banned for life.

    Also glad to see Adebayor back in football after those horrific events.

    I can still see City winning the Fa Cup, if they can fin a way past chelsea. personally i think city will be a true threat if they can take 4th place. The draw of elite football, backed by wealth could see them bring in the two or star players that would make them a major threat.

  • Comment number 7.

    The media and City set this tie up as a grudge match. What with Utd's imminent financial demise, the big Tevez 'mistake' and City's intention to rule the world!

    Fergie was having none of it.....and rightly so. Utd were comfortably the better team over both legs.

    You sound positively disappointed Phil tat you can't quite continue your negative Utd themes of recent times!

  • Comment number 8.

    Great game shame about the result. Mental attitude the difference.
    Derby match - City, we got the draw, job done. United, we can win this in injury time.
    Last night - City, lets get ready for extra time. United, we can win this in injury time.

  • Comment number 9.

    I think you are reading into Ferguson's comments a bit too much Phil. He knows its still only the carling cup and the hype around this game was from the media and the fans. Ferguson and the players had to put in a performance for the fans. All the talk of this being one of the great nights at Old Trafford is just rubbing salt in the wounds of Man City fans. City will end their barren trophy run at some point but with Cook's comments during the week and their new found arrogance (due to a Sheik's millions not trophies they have won!)I can see them going down the Chelsea route of being hated by most fans when Roman steped in.

  • Comment number 10.

    Is everything a tribute to City's "growing stature"?

    What do you expect when you blow £300m on a team?? If this was a champions league semi, it would be different, but last night was all about silencing their big mouths. One minute, they're "the richest in the world", the next, they're just little old city punching above their weight.

    Well last night was arguably even sweeter than September. 34 years!!

  • Comment number 11.

    I think its easy for City fans to hide behind the fact that they are a "work in progress" as an explanation to why they have lost the tie.
    United always looked the better outfit in both games; even the lack of Vidic and playing with Ferdinand only just back from injury.

    Losing in this manner with the most in form player in the league? Rooney is playing remarkably well, but surely with the most in form keeper in the league by a country mile, and a united back four consisting of 2 inexperienced players, and a whole host of poor backup strikers, City could have easily made this tie their own, especially with the likes of Bellamy, Adebayor, Barry, Tevez and Ireland playing.

    City clearly have the more firepower these days, and to be fair, for this firepower, they are still underachieving.
    Man Utd, who look weaker than i have ever seen them throughout the years, never looked in danger of losing that tie.
    It is surely a failure and embarassment to city that they are still being beaten comfortably at this stage.
    I've had enough of excuses that city must be proud of what they have achieved, because quite frankly, this cup was theirs for the taking.

  • Comment number 12.

    In a sense Gary Cook is right; it not a question of if, but when. I'm impressed how Mancini has improved the defence without Lescott and Toure. City have a great chance in the FA cup and soon we're going to need a new banner. Did you know it's 42 years since City won the League? One more thing about Cook though. His number must be up soon, especially after welcoming an old City great to the "Manchester United Hall of Fame" as he did a few months back.

    BRING ON THE ARSENAL!

  • Comment number 13.

    @Pulpgrape
    Sorry my friend, but im particularly worried and envious and the current chelsea squad, they have an unbelievable outfit; Nicolas Anelka has outplayed Drogba this season; and i expect the champions league and PL to go to them- United may have to wait another season....

  • Comment number 14.

    "putting the Eastlands upstarts in their place in the process"

    Bit presumptuous there don't you think Phil? More balance please...

    "Chelsea have not been consistant since their wealth"

    I wouldn't entirely agree with that- we have made massive inroads on the European stage, and have competed for the league every season since.

    "signed some of Europe's elite players along the way."

    That may be true to an extent, but had you honestly heard of Didier Drogba or Michael Essien or even Petr Cech before they came to Chelsea?

  • Comment number 15.

    4. At 09:27am on 28 Jan 2010, Matt Spiller wrote:

    Remember when United got closer and closer to the all powerful Juventus in the 90's and then finally overtook them, I see it happening with City, enjoy this while it lasts!

    ------------------------

    Don't delude yourself. City will never be as big as Utd, however much money you throw at it. Hasn't worked for Chelsea in 6 years, won't work for you.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think the game should be replayed. Bellamy was struck by stuff and hurt - so didn't take the corner he was going to - it was a poor one and Utd went up the other end and scored. The message to fans: it pays to throw things.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hopefully this will teach Gary Cook to keep his cavernous trap shut! Man City do not need this pointless posturing and boastfulness – the huge amounts of cash have already put most other teams' noses out of joint.

    Now there's appears to be an every-growing queue of embittered clubs lining up to raise their game against Man City just to prove that money can't buy success.

    This is clearly illustrated by Man United and SAF's increasingly unhealthy obsession with keeping their 'noisy neighbours' in their place and their pathetic 'Man City without a trophy banner' in its place. I'm willing to bet that if Man Utd win nothing this season it won't be a disaster in their eyes as long as Man City don't win anything either.

    Phil, yes, maybe Man City should be flattered at SAF's attitude towards them now, but the club should ignore it, like everything else thrown its way. The players should just get their heads down and play their hearts out. Only relentless, hard work on the pitch will win them trophies.

  • Comment number 18.

    Great game, but i think city have got ahead of themselves.
    Remember............. "Little dogs bark but big dogs bite" and thats exactly what happened

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    What this proves is that, regardless of what the competition is, Sir Alex believes that old rivalries warrant special dispensation. It's good to see that his sheer bloody-mindedness still exists and that his football instincts have not been blunted by the Powerpoint brigade that fill the marketing and finance teams at Old Trafford and it's corporate sponsors. For all of his faults he has never lost sight of the fact that it's important for the fans to have bragging rights over their rivals and neighbours. Good man!

    PS. Wouldn't you just love to be in earshot when Sir Alex reads the absurd marketing speak that Garry Cook, Peter Kenyon and the like love so much.

  • Comment number 21.

    What a game! Scholes and Giggs were a class apart last night. Their passing and vision was perfect and precise, and with Rooney being in the form of his life, I think this made for one of our best performances so far this season. Nani also had a good game, his second in a row. Let's hope he keeps that up.

    Man of the Match for me was Fletcher. His never give up attitude, ability, and tireless effort gave us a huge presence in midfield. He was immense!

    Now we march on and look forward to an exciting showdown with Villa. Here's hoping for another United victory, this time at the Emirates this weekend!

  • Comment number 22.

    I watched the game last night, only on TV mind. The coin throwing at Bellamy was disgusting, although you have to praise Van Der Sar for the way he reacted to his home support.

  • Comment number 23.

    United put this City Circus well and truly in it's place illustrating how actions speak louder than words. For a club whose only success in recent times is to spread the ludicrous theory that United fans don't come from Manchester, should take a reality check and look at the official records that show United being consistently the much better supported Manchester club from at least 1940. If City are on the up fair enough, but they have to learn how to behave.

  • Comment number 24.

    "It is actually a tribute to City's progress that they now register so significantly on United's radar"

    Sorry Phil you are cracking City up to be a team that have appeared out of nowhere. I cannot remember a season when a derby between these two teams was not a hot high tempered much vaunted match.

    You also manage to make it sound once again as if Rooney was the only player on the field. He incidently didn't have a bad miss, the ball hit his trailing foot and went wide, not something you could argue was a shot.

    You made no mention of the great scenes between Given a Rooney, a fantastic duel where both players were affording each other smiles and congratulations.
    You made no mention of how Tevez was greeted by the United players at the final whistle.

    It's a bit silly to suggest that team 9 months in the making with a change of management would be a power house anywhere.


    Finally, I think it's great the league cup has it's respect back. I think it's something that should be lauded, it's not too long ago it was muted to be scrapped as competition because no one took it seriously. Just shows how important it's become.

    Yes there are plenty of subplots, more than usual around City and Utd this time, but to focus on the negative, attrition side is sensationalism at it's best. I am not suggesting you ignore the bellamy incident, but perhaps some more credit where it's due. Valencia? Nani? Given, Kompany?

    In fact I am pretty disappointed at the lack of analysis of the game and the focus on all the hype around it.

  • Comment number 25.

    I do feel their is a lot of nonsense written about the fact that City are now going to topple United.

    Firstly of course City are closer to United, given the fact that at the moment they have a blank cheque book that's rather stating the obvious. During United's recent dominance (since 92) there have been times where City couldn't have been further away.

    However City still have some catching up to do. They still can't sign anyone at will which the likes of the attempts to purchase Kaka and Terry prove. When your record signing wants to go Awol it doesn't help either!

    Sacking a manager doesn't help neither, particularly because they appear to be failing the achievements the owners set for them. Sacking Mark Hughes was a pretty dumn idea. Given that city have started to play a more negative brand of italian football with Mancini you'd have to say so far the signs are that it's a step backwards, cetainly Mancini has yet to prove he's any better than Hughes. And what are the owners going to do come the end of the season if Mancini hasn't qualified for the Champions League?

    Interesting to note Phil that your the first Journalist to write about the fact that Tevez actions probably did more than anything to motivate United.

  • Comment number 26.

    Another good read Phil,

    Last night was one of the happiest I've ever been after a football match. Although I am a passionate United fan, I was never really that bothered about the City game, as although they were severe rivals, they weren't really direct competition.

    Now all that has changed. The 'noisy neighbours'are they like to call themselves, have to be considered a real threat, and although there is still a gulf between the two teams, I would say the real difference was something money can't buy, - experience, oh and a certain Wayne Rooney.

    In the first half, we put in one of those 'relaxed' performances that I was talking to you about Phil. But in the second we turned the screw, and once we had a go at City's suspect defence, they succumbed to the pressure, as in the first 30 minutes at Eastlands. The game however was triggered into life by the mind bobbling turn and pass by Wayne Rooney, only he has the vision to see that pass, to have the audacity to execute it, and has the ability to produce an inch perfect pass which ultimately, - somewhat fortutously resulted in United getting the poener. That extra bit of inventiveness Rooney provides.

    After the goal City seemed a bit shell-shocked, and the likes of Giggs and Scholes especially with all there experience just know how to keep the ball from City, draining City's confidence and energy levels in doing so.

    This seemed to galvanise United and we added the second it looked like game over, as City seemed to be a fading force. Not the new-look Man City. They have too many good players now just to roll over and accept defeat. They hit-back with a goal out of nothing from that man Tevez, and suddenly it's game-on. This seemed to knock the wind out of sails of United and it took them 10 minutes to regain their composure, in which time Adebayor had the headed chance which he totally mis-cued.

    Back come United, - albeit not with the same threat as earlier in the half, as the steam seems to have been taken out of the game, - with both teams seemingly contentwith the game going to E.T.

    We force a corner and suddenly the Stretford end turns up the volume.
    The original corner is cleared, but only finds Giggs. He managers to engineer a sensational cross (right foot)which Fletcher meets bringing a sensastional save from the once again majestic Given.

    What next. City switch off Giggs takes a shortcorner, gets it back, then whips in a marvellous ball first time, which Rooney happily nods gome.

    Dramatic scenes, great game.

    Make no bones about it this was massive for both clubs, and this will be one of the most satisfying victories for Fergie in his tenure at United. The scenes themselves told the story. It means that bit more, now with added spice of City's new found funds and ambitions. I don't think City the City chairman did his side any favours with his comments midweek ' we will be the biggest club in the world one day.'

    Now when your going to Old Trafford in such a high-profile game, it's best to keep quiet. As if Sir Alex wouldn't have been firing his lads up enough with out 'smart alec' comments from City. This creates as Fergie would put it 'The wounded animal effect,'which United always thrive on.

    Ultimately there is still a sizeable gaps between the clubs (in United's favour incidentally), but City can definetly be proud of their efforts, they played well, but ultimately it's hard to argue the best team went through.




  • Comment number 27.

    Phil,

    Great piece from you. I appreciate the honesty and objectivity of not just the piece but also of that of RoqAdeTevinho who totally agreed to the supremacy of United in the match.

    Like my comment after the first leg, it was obvious that United were the better teams on both occassions. For me the major differences were WINNING MENTALITY,CHARACTER and COMPOSURE.

    The performance of United last night does not in anyway suggest a club that is presently facing challenges financially and that's what makes a team.

    City should at least for now come to terms with the fact United is far by a superior team in Manchester and a United fan like me will wish it continues that way forever.

    Like the parting song suggests, "Que Sera Sera"... What will be will be, even if City decides to assemble all the best stars that money can ever buy, United will be and will surely do everything within their power not to relinquish the dominance we have over them.

    So Phil, you can now see why SAF decided to field the strongest team at his disposal.

    Take heart City as suggested by Phil and try your luck with some other clubs but definitely not with UNITED because UNITED RULES!!!


  • Comment number 28.

    It does seem all about mentality.

    In the first leg United were the better team. City took the lead and had started to appear really threatening, however instead of trying to push on, get another and kill off the tie they sat back with the sole intention of preserving their lead to get a victory over United. It was evident on the first game that they were thinking about the match and not the tie.

  • Comment number 29.

    City's biggest problem right now is that they regard success as inevitable, due to their new-found wealth. The wealth helps, but success only comes with hard work and the right mental attitude. I'm not saying their attitude is terrible, but they're currently missing that 1% which is based on hunger, because they have allowed this sense of entitlement and certainty to sneak in. Talking about becoming the biggest club in the world before you've even won a trophy is a problem, because it enters the minds of the players and they start to believe their own hype. In fact, the closest parallel is the Man United team of the early 1980s when United were splashing the cash (relatively, for that time) and were regarded as certain to overtake Liverpool. United didn't become the new force in English football until a) the hunger replaced the sense of entitlement and b) Fergie instilled the right mental attitude in the players. That's what City have to do now, or they'll perform exactly like Chelsea would have done if they hadn't replaced Ranieri with Mourinho - plenty of flash and maybe a cup or two, but not the big power they now aspire to be. Is Mancini a Fergie or Mourinho? Only time will tell, I suppose.

  • Comment number 30.

    13. At 09:44am on 28 Jan 2010, A wrote:

    @Pulpgrape
    Sorry my friend, but im particularly worried and envious and the current chelsea squad, they have an unbelievable outfit; Nicolas Anelka has outplayed Drogba this season; and i expect the champions league and PL to go to them- United may have to wait another season....

    -------------------------------------------------

    You read too many articles on BBC and watch Sky Sports News too much. Despite what they will have you believe Utd aren't in disarray, I mean they are still in the Champions League, are up at the top end of the Premier League and in the Carling Cup final. Chelsea won two league titles in a row under Mourinho but what did Utd do about that? They went and won three. As much as we would all like to see a changing of the guard, Utd are not in the phase of meltdown that McNulty and co would have you believe.

  • Comment number 31.

    "City did too much talking after their first-leg win."

    And they were far from the only ones!

    Some journalists had Man Utd's grave all dug up and ready...I guess Man Utd will be the invincibles again now ;)

  • Comment number 32.

    Don't know what two games you watched Phil but United out-played them over the two legs. Remember we were coasting until THAT dodgy penalty in the first league. Then last night we showed our experience of the big games and for all City's "talking" since the first leg, they played in typical Italian fashion, defensively. They couldn't live with us at times over the two legs and only for Shay Given, their man of the tie, it could have been an onslaught.

  • Comment number 33.

    MacauBlue wrote:

    "This is clearly illustrated by Man United and SAF's increasingly unhealthy obsession with keeping their 'noisy neighbours' in their place and their pathetic 'Man City without a trophy banner' in its place. I'm willing to bet that if Man Utd win nothing this season it won't be a disaster in their eyes as long as Man City don't win anything either."
    ====================================================================================


    you seem to forget about city's poster campaign at the beginning of the season. united only care about united winning. If it happens to prevent city from winning in the process, thats just an added bonus

  • Comment number 34.

    Great result and think for each leg I thought we dominated large periods of the game.

    I wanted to talk about the Bellamy incident. First off I apologise on behalf of Manchester United fans for what happened. A real fan wouldn't encourange or support this sort of thing in our game. I am hopeful that those involved will be removed from OT permanently.

    However, and this is a big however, over the last three Manchester derbys, how many times has Bellamy been involved with serious incidents.
    - Punching an United Fan (although he probably deserved it)
    - Knee high tackles in SF 1st Leg
    - Four very obvious yellow card challanges last night - especially the last one I think was on Rafael.

    For every incident not once was he cautioned which was incredible really

    Now we know the type of player he is. I personally think he is an awesome player - his zip speed on the wing is probably the best in the PL - but every United fan I speak to absolutely detests him mainly because of his horrible playing style. And because the referees did not act on any of his actions, it was always obvious that this sort of thing was going to happen.

    All in all I thought the referee had a brilliant game last night - so much contrast between Howard Webb and Mike Dean in each leg.

  • Comment number 35.

    From a City perspective I think you are way off pan Phil.

    Heartbreak? are you having a laugh, we got relegated to the real 3rd division not so long back but even that wasn’t heartbreak, its very disappointing but in reality we knew we would struggle once we got them in the draw, anyone else and they would have played the mythical kids side, you know the one that consists of ten internationals and one teenager, but that’s life, this was their biggest game of the season for all the reasons you stated.

    Although no one would argue they just about did enough do get through its galling that their appalling fans will get away with it again, they scored their first goal literally minutes after Bellamy had been flattened by their so called fans, the League should kick them out especially after a similar incident flattened Garrido in the earlier derby.

    Cook may be an embarrassment and should keep his mouth shut but the bottom line is Utd are having an Indian summer, morally and financially bust, Rooney will probably be sold in the summer to Real “I wouldn’t sell that club a virus” Madrid because if you have read the reports they in financial meltdown, City need to be stronger in defence and Mancini has four months to prove he can take us forward, if he can’t then we get someone who can.

    Putting this into perspective, Everton outclassed us a couple of weeks ago, Utd sneaked past us.

    Good luck Villa and anyone who play this outfit, Fergie on his last leg, club in financial ruin, those Gold and Green scarves may come in useful when you start supporting Norwich.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ #14

    I have heard of Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Ricardo Carvalho, Nicolas Anelka, Michael Ballack, Deco, Claude Makelele, Arjen Robben, Damian Duff, SWP, Florent Malouda

    all of those players are good enough when you signed them to be in a top PL team.

    As for Chelski not being consistent. Utd have been to more CL finals than you since your money, won more cups, and are still the BIGGEST team in the world.

    My point is that the media are so hyped in our new found wealth that they forget that Chelski have not dominated the show since they have had theirs. I am just merely pointing this out.

    Yes they have made inroads to be one of the best in the PL but they have hardly had the effect of being branded the Biggest and best team in the league.

  • Comment number 37.

    RE: Your first paragraph.
    Phil McNulty you are a typical plank of a journalist. You are putting words into SAF's mouth. He didn't say that. He was asked by a fellow plank if he thought that the game was as big as described and he kindly placated him along the lines of 'it's a derby and they are always big games". That's all. It is only the Carling Cup, not Champions League. When we meet City in the semis of that competition then he might agree that it was akin to playing Barcelona. I am not surprised he wont talk to you lot.

  • Comment number 38.

    It's so sweet to win this game. City players and staffs and fans after the first leg sound like they have already won it and let their big months talk all sort of rubbish. As a United fan I kept silent yes because we lost it last week. But I know there's a second leg at Old Trafford if we keep fighting we can do it. This match is comparable to the last minute come back win against Liverpool in FA cup 1999.

  • Comment number 39.

    17. MacauBlue

    As Phil said - too much talk after the first leg. With all the promises and stick we've had off Citey fans this week you cannot start calling our banners etc 'pathetic'.

    As Phil advised, keep quiet next time and turn up quiet and confident rather than loud and bottleless.

    34YWFO

  • Comment number 40.

    15. At 09:48am on 28 Jan 2010, PulpGrape wrote:

    4. At 09:27am on 28 Jan 2010, Matt Spiller wrote:

    Remember when United got closer and closer to the all powerful Juventus in the 90's and then finally overtook them, I see it happening with City, enjoy this while it lasts!

    ------------------------

    Don't delude yourself. City will never be as big as Utd, however much money you throw at it. Hasn't worked for Chelsea in 6 years, won't work for you.

    ---------------


    Actually yes it has, Chelsea are now one of the biggest clubs in the world, getting closer to United each season in terms of size and managed to finish above them too.

  • Comment number 41.

    @Pulpgrape
    Haha you must know me well.
    I understand that every multibillion business is in debt- the debt just gets moved around and thats how the world works; im not interesting in all this £500m debt nonsense.
    But i think when we compare our current current squad; which isnt awful mind you, to chelsea's, i think they have a squad which are playing at their peak; i've watched them alot and they are playing their best football.

    Its fair to say United have alot of potential talent, but there will be a huge change in the squad over the next 1-2 years and that will be an important time for us.

    On another note, i agree about what you said about Garry Cook; what an insignificant man he has shown himself to be, the sooner City ditch him the better.
    Also, if City buy a bunch of mercenaries and misfits, they cant expect them to play with the grit and desire of Fletcher and Rooney; whose desires are not money-orientated.

  • Comment number 42.

    A few points:

    - United let their feet do the talking last night. No verbal sparring, no cockiness or name calling, posturing or posing (a la city), they just got the job done.

    - After the league encounter, a LOT of people on these blogs were grumbling that Owen scored the winner AFTER the designated injury time, ignoring the fact that time gets added on for stoppages in injury time. Last night three minutes injury time was indicated but Webb - who I thought was excellent throughout - blew the whistle after 93 minutes and 42 seconds - adding on time for Rooney's goal celebration. Unlike United earlier this season though, city weren't good enough to score.

    - I'm surprised that nobody has picked up on Zabaleta's attempt to get Rooney sent off, throwing himself to the floor and writhing about when Rooney brushed against him.

    - 'Work in progress'??! city have spent 300m!

  • Comment number 43.

    phil,gary cook should take care with ill judged comments of manchester domination.
    the only master of SAF and is "mind games" was mr Morinho at Chelsea played 13 times only lost once (exc charity shield).That was why fergie always respected
    chelsea teams of morinhos period,they generally lost to them.So CITY will need some more
    time and that mental strengh a previous blogger @8 mentioned to meet utd standard.

  • Comment number 44.

    35. bluedefence

    Bitter comes to mind. You were outclassed for large periouds in both legs

  • Comment number 45.

    bluedefence being his usual deluded, bitter self. I love the way he mentions that we scored straight after the Bellamy incident, as if that had any bearing on it! Oh, and he conveniently forgets to mention the lighter that was chucked at Evra in the first leg.

    Funny, that...

  • Comment number 46.

    bluedefence

    I've always thought you were a bit of a WUM and an idiot on these forums but that piece of garbage you spouted just confirmed it. Money at your club gone to your head much? I think so.

  • Comment number 47.

    bluedefence
    ======================================

    you're very bitter for a city fan, unlike the rest who have been posting here. this was a big game for united yes, certainly not the biggest of the season (we still got the league and champions league to play for). and if you read the reports, the finances are not in the finanical meltdown you talk about. and again the bellamy incident, you've have several fans inculding myself apologise for the minority of thugs who did that, that vast majority, while disliking bellamy, do not support or encourage that kind of attack.

  • Comment number 48.

    Get a grip bluedefence. So Mr Popular got flatterned? Did you miss the missile attack on Evra at wastelands?
    Sneaked pass you? You had the ref as well at wastelands. Both the penalty and the second goal were gifts from the ref. The league should kick them out? Well at least then you'd have a better chance of winning things.
    Just get over it. You are second best in Manchester, and domination of England, Europe and the World will have to wait.
    Go gloat about your money, its all you've got!

  • Comment number 49.

    40. At 10:27am on 28 Jan 2010, hackerjack wrote:

    15. At 09:48am on 28 Jan 2010, PulpGrape wrote:

    4. At 09:27am on 28 Jan 2010, Matt Spiller wrote:

    Remember when United got closer and closer to the all powerful Juventus in the 90's and then finally overtook them, I see it happening with City, enjoy this while it lasts!

    ------------------------

    Don't delude yourself. City will never be as big as Utd, however much money you throw at it. Hasn't worked for Chelsea in 6 years, won't work for you.

    ---------------


    Actually yes it has, Chelsea are now one of the biggest clubs in the world, getting closer to United each season in terms of size and managed to finish above them too.

    -----------------------

    The original post was implying that City will overtake Utd. I agree that Chelsea have become an established force in England and to an extent in Europe but they have not come close to overtaking Utd, surely you aren't going to tell me they have. Since the Russian money came in, Utd have still won more league titles than Chelsea and also the Champions league too.

  • Comment number 50.

    “He also gave a performance that suggested Jorge Valdano, the great old mouthpiece of Real Madrid, may be a touch removed from the realities of the modern game when he claims Rooney might struggle in Spain. This is a player who would excel anywhere, any time, at any club.”

    Valdano, unlike most journos, is not only an accomplished football player but regarded as one of the finest intellectuals of modern football, Apart from your usual drivel, there is no evidence that Valdano is wrong as Rooney is still untested outside the EPL.

  • Comment number 51.

    It goes to show that it is not that which comes out of a managers mouth but rather how his players perform on the field that win games.

  • Comment number 52.

    Enough already about the world-class Rooney - we all know he is a fantastic player, but all this over-the-top praise makes me wish for a metatarsal intervention from on high.

    Or is Ferguson talking Rooney up so he will get a better price for him in the summer? (I reckon 50 - 60 million easy.)
    From a business POV it would make sense to sell Vidic and Rooney.
    While from a ManU supporters' POV, it makes sense to invest in more of them scarves.

  • Comment number 53.

    Mcnulty --you get right up my nose....
    why dont you talk about united's £716m debt? tick tock tick tock City get under Ferguson's nose because they wont go away and that applies to you also Mr Mcnulty know it all!
    Finally I can recall back in 1967 City having just won promotion from the old 2nd Division united beat us at old Trafford and the papers and fans alike were saying familiar disrespectful things about City suggesting we were the upstarts of football, Malcolm Allison our coach was stung by this and publicly vowed that while he was at City United would never try to belittle City again. For the next five seasons City totally dominated United. Sadly with softies like Mancini we dont have personel at city like we did in those great days only personel with no belief a lack of a winning mentality echoed by years of disappointment and failure,the latest game against United emphasised this so much and the gutter media such as Mcnulty are milking it,sadly people like Mancini make it easy for them...one day - one day !!!!!!! P.S. Utd wern't that special last night it was their opponents showing no belief thats all!

  • Comment number 54.

    hackerjack - how can you say it isn't working for Chelsea when they have already won two FA Cups,two titles and on their way to another this season.Your judgement is clouded by obscene man u bias --FACT!

  • Comment number 55.

    I have to say that in all of the games we have played against City, i still wonder why the games have been so close because they were anything but. Matching a team for 50 minutes is not that hard to do really Phil, but matching them for 90 minutes (plus Fergie time) is a whole different ball game.

    As with the first leg, City faded as the game went on and United were just coming to the boil. As someone rightly pointed out above, had it gone to extra time, it would have only delayed the inevitable Man Utd victory.

    I think what Fergie was saying after the game was he loved the support that United gave the team last night - to the fans this game had added significance, and they responded with the noisiest display i have ever heard at Old Trafford. We all know that OT can seem to be a bit quiet during matches, so it was nice to see the crowd in full voice! Fergie said [paraphrased]"when you have a support like that, the team will never let them down" which to me meant, we want more support like that!

    To add my tuppence worth on the coin throwing - that is a disgrace, and no true Man Utd fan would lower themselves to such an action. Fair play to VDS for going and standing in the way, protecting Bellamy from any more missiles.

  • Comment number 56.

    United never looked the second best team over the two legs of the semis. Cheering from New Delhi, I was releived at the result. We love Sir Alex. It was important to have the bragging right in the city and he got us exactly that. Bring on Arsenal...

  • Comment number 57.

    #36- Frank Lampard was signed pre RA. Of the other players mentioned, six are still with the squad, and all are arguably more recognised for their exploits in our colours than at their previous clubs (maybe not Ballack and Deco though).
    And they were all in a top PL team- seeing as the lowest we have finished in sevens seasons is fourth.

    Whilst I understand your point, the difference is our club never came out with statements in the ilk of Gary Cook, proclaiming that we would be the biggest club in the world before even winning a trophy.

    So your statement does not make sense to me, unless you are referring to hype that was perpetuated by the media alone. Similar to them now incorrectly stating that United are crumbling.

  • Comment number 58.

    35. At 10:20am on 28 Jan 2010, bluedefence wrote:

    From a City perspective I think you are way off pan Phil.

    I believe you Blue when you say you it wasn't heartbreaking to get relegated . You care more about what is happening with Fergie and United than your own club. Welcome aboard

  • Comment number 59.

    I was quite happy when City got the cash injection from Dubai but now I find myself feeling glad that Man Utd won last night. I think this is because City are in danger of becoming too arrogant, I can almost hear the diehard 'Citeh' boys saying "we don't care" but I have always thought Man City fans have been seen as the real Manchester football fans. Could this be changing too?

    The problem with Man City fans and the media is that no matter how much money is thrown at a team, they don't realise that Rome wasn't built in a day. Even when Abramovich took over at Chelsea they were still a top 6 team, albeit with horrendous money troubles. But all they had to do was push that little bit more with the money they had to break that top four ceiling.

    Teams like Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd have a massive global fan base that has been established throughout years of participation in the Champions League. If you travel to the outer reaches of Asia and Africa you will more than likely see a youngster running around in one of their shirts, not a Man City one! It will take years of success to build this base and you have to ask yourself if the Sheikhs of Dubai will really stick around for that long. So in that respect City have miles to go to be considered Man Utd's equals.

    I am a Spurs fan and I would rather try to break into the top four our way (slow and steady with plenty of heartbreak and false dawns on the way!)than rely on an instant injection of cash, thinking it will mean instant success. Most Spurs fans are happy to let Man City carry on as favourites for 4th spot as it takes the pressure off 'Arry and the boys...

  • Comment number 60.

    Funny how nothing is being mentioned about the throwing of a coin AND bottle at Craig Bellamy. If this happened at any other ground there would be outrage but because it's at Old Trafford it's swept under the carpet. It's this kind of media bias that frustrates other fans because it would seem Manchester United can do no wrong.This incident along with the trouble with their rival fans should mean they have to play a game or two behind closed doors but of course that won't happen, they will get a slap on the wrist and it will be forgotten. Please, report fairly will you?

  • Comment number 61.

    Ted........

    obscene man u bias......

    So youre not biased? You are just another sad and bitter blue. As for Chelsea? Well it hasnt happened for them has it. They got all that money, bought everyone in sight, and won two league titles, an FA cup and a League cup. They failed in Europe every time and this season is just over halfway through. UNITED, Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle threw away bigger leads. They are a rich club, not a big club and SAF has beaten them to 3 League titles and a Champions cup in the last three years.

  • Comment number 62.

    well said mr hag
    ever since i was a kid man utd fans have been gloating and bragging
    "we're this an we're that",never have i seen them respecting other
    teams performances when the've been outplayed.
    And the champions league 08 in moscow was like liverpools 05 result...
    very very fortunate to say the least.

  • Comment number 63.

    Interesting to hear some City fans saying that the United fan who threw the coin should be 'banned for life'.

    Back in September Bellamy walked up to a pitch invader, who was restrained by stewards, and punched him in the face.

    Was Bellamy banned for life? No.

    Was Bellamy given season long ban, like Cantona? No.

    How about a three match violent conduct ban then? Not at all. He was playing in their next league match against West Ham!

    If you or I had done that in the street, we would face criminal charges. Bellamy on the other hand got away completely scot-free. Which is worse, punching a fan in the face or throwing a coin at a player? I'd say they're both equally unacceptable and both protagonists should be banned and face criminal proceedings.

    Maybe City fans (like the increasingly bitter BLUEDEFENCE) should remember this before getting righteous about the coin-throwing incident.

  • Comment number 64.


    Of course City are closer now, unlimited resourses allows an improvement on their past 33 years of 'sucess'.
    But they have to accept that they were beaten. And until they do that, they will continue to delude themselves that they, and not Machester United's Reserve Team are the second team in Manchester. Mancini said that they were the equal of United except for ten minutes in the second half when United took their two goals. Clear delusion, those second half goals were scored at regular twenty minute intervals. Apart from Tevez, (who might still have worn red had the two club's owners had the same approach to making funds available to their managers,)and a very generous penalty last week, City would have been shown as the Premiership second raters that they still apparantly are. If City do well during the rest of this season, they may see some form of European football next season as a reward. United, on the other hand, have led the English clubs' return to Europe since the ban many years ago, and have become a fixture in the last sixteen in the top European competition. City are still waiting, dreaming of an invitation.

    AA

  • Comment number 65.

    City have achieved nothing for 34 years because they are essentially a mid table club. Sheik Mansour has achieved lots for them with his chequebook but it's hardly a tribute to anything City have done. He could buy Crystal Palace and do the same for them.

    Utd have earned their place at the top through decades of good management and hard work (just hope the Glazers aren't going to ruin it all). The winning mentality has been honed through that. The new boys won't find that so easy to replace.

    LUHG.

  • Comment number 66.

    Do some City fans actually believe they were the better side over the two legs? I didn't miss a minute of either game and can't for one minute fathom where they would get this idea.

  • Comment number 67.


    I see the usual "armchair" Utd fans have crawled out of the woodwork.

    Sad and bitter each and every one of you.

    When City won the first leg 2-1 you all disappeared for days, then you win and its glory glory again.

    Evra was hit on the leg by a disposal lighter, he didnt have bottles and coins rained on his head, he wasn’t floored like Garrido was by a missile to the head,

    You lot should really support your local team instead of glomming onto a club miles from where you live, for want of a more appropriate cliche.....get a life.

  • Comment number 68.

    what were the green and gold scarfs all about? i thought my local horsham hornets had made the trip up

  • Comment number 69.

    54. At 10:49am on 28 Jan 2010, ted wrote:

    hackerjack - how can you say it isn't working for Chelsea when they have already won two FA Cups,two titles and on their way to another this season.Your judgement is clouded by obscene man u bias --FACT!

    ---------------------------

    Actually he was stating that Chelsea are getting close to Utd, I was arguing against him saying that they haven't overtaken them. What is it with people like you? Don't read posts properly then think that by typing "FACT" at the end of their paragraphs, people will take it as letter of the law. Made yourself look stupid.

  • Comment number 70.

    14. At 09:46am on 28 Jan 2010, The_Dark_Blue_King wrote:
    "putting the Eastlands upstarts in their place in the process"

    Bit presumptuous there don't you think Phil? More balance please...

    "Chelsea have not been consistant since their wealth"

    I wouldn't entirely agree with that- we have made massive inroads on the European stage, and have competed for the league every season since.

    "signed some of Europe's elite players along the way."

    That may be true to an extent, but had you honestly heard of Didier Drogba or Michael Essien or even Petr Cech before they came to Chelsea?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Are you for real? You must be the only person who hadn't heard of them!

  • Comment number 71.

    65. At 11:05am on 28 Jan 2010, Red Knight wrote:
    City have achieved nothing for 34 years because they are essentially a mid table club. Sheik Mansour has achieved lots for them with his chequebook but it's hardly a tribute to anything City have done. He could buy Crystal Palace and do the same for them.

    Utd have earned their place at the top through decades of good management and hard work (just hope the Glazers aren't going to ruin it all). The winning mentality has been honed through that. The new boys won't find that so easy to replace.

    LUHG.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The writing is on the wall!

    City may or may not take this opportunity but your only going in one direction, just read the content of your recent bond offer (in the Guardian) it defies belief and will open your eyes.

    LGHU.

  • Comment number 72.

    YES I AGREE --- Man United should be investigated by the police and the FA for events that occured on and off the pitch last night but yes nothing will be done and what happened to this so called police vigallence by the police on the issue of the fans behaviour? hmmmmm nothing it seems and MUFC get away with it again --its the same old story --one set of rules for utd and a set for the rest --APPALLING.. win at all costs it seems -dispicable in truth!

  • Comment number 73.

    Im united through and through and last night was amazing putting city back in there place (THE SECOND BEST TEAM IN MANCHESTER) and they will remain second best for a long time yet , money alone cant buy success as we have seen with chelsea, yes they won two titles and got to a champions league final but they havent been able to sustain it, i do however struggle to see where we are going too when fergy leaves and the backbone of our team scholes,giggs neville an co retire but weve got lots of young talent so im sure well be fine.

  • Comment number 74.

    Dark_Blue_King

    Your last sentecnce is my point exactly ! The Media are obsessed with our wealth. Utd's situation off the pitch is adding to it.

    Real Madrid were/still are in huge debt but they are still BIG players on the park !

    My only concern with Utd's success is when SAF retires, like all great managers, his winning mentality is second to none.

    As for Gary Cook, he like Kenyon at Chelski are part of the problem with football at the moment.

    They are not football people and they get involved and make us "real" fans look stupid when our team fails to deliver.

    I do not like the hype around CIty, it seems obsessive to me, but like most media in this country, obsessino is their only way. The Economy, few inches of snow, Iraq Inquiry. It is rammed down your throat every day!

    I am ashamed of Gary Cook WHAT A MUPPET. But I guess his job is on the line if City do not accomplish what his employer deems exceptable.

    He is not a true City Fan. We are not arrogant fans, that is normally what we allow our RED neghbours to act like !

  • Comment number 75.

    Lol bluedefence

    Why would Utd fans be sad and bitter? They were victorious last night as in they didn't lose, do you understand that or are you still in delirium mode and think that Utd "edged City out". Silly pathetic boy, find a job to vent your frustration into.

  • Comment number 76.

    what were the green and gold scarfs all about? i thought my local horsham hornets had made the trip up

    ==================================================================

    its a protest against the glazers, they were the original colours from when we were called newton heath

  • Comment number 77.

    69. At 11:16am on 28 Jan 2010, PulpGrape wrote:
    54. At 10:49am on 28 Jan 2010, ted wrote:

    hackerjack - how can you say it isn't working for Chelsea when they have already won two FA Cups,two titles and on their way to another this season.Your judgement is clouded by obscene man u bias --FACT!

    ---------------------------

    Actually he was stating that Chelsea are getting close to Utd, I was arguing against him saying that they haven't overtaken them. What is it with people like you? Don't read posts properly then think that by typing "FACT" at the end of their paragraphs, people will take it as letter of the law. Made yourself look stupid.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    pot, kettle, black

  • Comment number 78.

    Bluedefence

    I see the usual "armchair" Utd fans have crawled out of the woodwork.

    Sad and bitter each and every one of you.

    LOL So hes not gloating about money anymore, because Evra was hit on the leg its ok and that sad old chestnut, UNITED fans dont live in Manchester.

    Sad and bitter? What about? Plenty of trophies, worldwide support and the top team in Manchester. Yep sad and bitter thats us...

  • Comment number 79.

    Hi Phil good article again,
    I mentioned Given the other week when he was quality and forgot about Rooneys performance, last night Rooney was brilliant. Best palyer in the league this season, all I hope is he carryts it on in June when it really matters! (Hopefully by then United will be in same position as Palace).

  • Comment number 80.

    BlueDefence. When city won the first leg United fans kept quiet because we knew there was still another round to go. Unlike City fans who thought they had won the champions league. Now they have been bought back down to earth. Yes Evra was hit on the leg, but do you think the moron who through the lighter was aiming for his leg? Don’t try to justify these actions with such a ridiculous comparisons. Both fans who threw objects are just as guilty. And as far as supporting your local team is concerned until you can prove that every single Manchester United fan does not live in Manchester it’s you who needs to get a life.

  • Comment number 81.

    “He also gave a performance that suggested Jorge Valdano, the great old mouthpiece of Real Madrid, may be a touch removed from the realities of the modern game when he claims Rooney might struggle in Spain. This is a player who would excel anywhere, any time, at any club.”

    Valdano, unlike most journos, is not only an accomplished football player but regarded as one of the finest intellectuals of modern football, Apart from your usual drivel, there is no evidence that Valdano is wrong as Rooney is still untested outside the EPL.
    .......

    Spot on. Better players than rooney have failed to adapt to certain country's style of football (e.g. Veron)

  • Comment number 82.

    Bluedefence - I'm on another blog and everyone's taking the Micky out of you. Please stop your biased and incorrect opinions and keep them to yourself

  • Comment number 83.

    Why does everyone always talk about 'City making progress' or words to that effect? If a club spends £250m in the space of six months I'd expect some sort of progress. You could have dragged your average man on the street to manage a team with City's wealth to 6th place.

    They haven't achieved anything, they don't deserve any success. They haven't worked hard for it, all they've done is cheat by getting a mega-rich owner to bank roll their club. A club like Arsenal is respected because they're achievements came through good management, whereas City haven't had any good management.

    City are totally mutton dressed as lamb, highlighted by that buffoon Garry Cook. City are a small club that never wins anything, and the only way they'll win anything is by spending loads of money, not by working hard for it. But then they talk as if they deserve to be where they are. Before they got taken over by the Sheikh they were going absolutely nowhere with no signs of promise whatsoever.

    They remind me of that lottery winner from the council estate, who won millions but had no class or dignity. City come across the same, they just don't act or conduct themselves in a manner that other teams respect. I don't think they understand how to.

    I don't like either Manchester team, but I'm pleased Man Utd won because the longer City fail with their cheating method of football the better. I'd rather see teams like Villa, Spurs and Everton succeed because they go about playing football the right way.

  • Comment number 84.

    Ted

    Be objective mate and stop all these dilusions. UNITED do not get things all their own way. Chelsea got a transfer embargo and then it was lifted, Cantona got an 8 month ban, Evra got a 4 match ban for a row with a groundsman. Scholes was given a 3 match ban for a foul, which wasnt, in a pre season friendly, in the same tourno that Gerrard got sent off in the year before and received no ban at all.

    It doesnt bother me who you support or who anyone else supports but it would be refreshing if you and your ilk saw the matches as two competing teams. If UNITED are involved, to you its their fault. I'm sure you make these things up without actually watching the games..

  • Comment number 85.

    I cannot understand the furor that has surrounded the coining throwing incident on Bellamy at Old Trafford.Am not saying I condone it but am left stunned.The same thing happened to Evra in the 1st leg but the media turned a blind eye on that incident.This shows the hypocrisy of the British media on how they treat United.Surely a clear case of double standards!

  • Comment number 86.

    Joe Strummer

    "They remind me of that lottery winner from the council estate, who won millions but had no class or dignity. City come across the same, they just don't act or conduct themselves in a manner that other teams respect. I don't think they understand how to."

    Spot On!

  • Comment number 87.

    If Utd fans are so deliriously happy with their club and its us blues who are bitter etc why do Utd fans keep needing to throw missiles at City players, you are so successful with your trophies and worldwide support, surely you dont need to throw bottles and coins at players from a "small" local rival.

    Explain please?

  • Comment number 88.

    16. At 09:49am on 28 Jan 2010, CiderEd wrote:
    I think the game should be replayed. Bellamy was struck by stuff and hurt - so didn't take the corner he was going to - it was a poor one and Utd went up the other end and scored. The message to fans: it pays to throw things.

    -----------------------------

    A United player had coins thrown at them at Eastlands, too. Not saying it's right, it's disgusting and the culprits should be banned for life. But to claim the game should be replayed?

    Not too smart, that. Should we replay the whole tie again until you win?

  • Comment number 89.

    72. ted:
    "Man United should be investigated by the police.... one set of rules for utd and a set for the rest --APPALLING.. win at all costs it seems -dispicable in truth!"

    ------------

    'One set of rules for utd and a set for the rest'? Evra had a lighter thrown at him at Eastlands - just because the United fan was a better aim doesn't make it worse! Also how about Bellamy punching a fan when the teams met in the league in September. No punishment AT ALL (in contrast to Cantona getting a season ban). I'm sorry but that kind of talk always comes from bitter fans following defeat... you'd probably be rolling out the 'another dodgy decision' line if it wasn't for the fact that the only reason the tie went on as long as it did was because that charitable penalty in the first leg. Grow up.

  • Comment number 90.

    “He also gave a performance that suggested Jorge Valdano, the great old mouthpiece of Real Madrid, may be a touch removed from the realities of the modern game when he claims Rooney might struggle in Spain. This is a player who would excel anywhere, any time, at any club.”

    Valdano, unlike most journos, is not only an accomplished football player but regarded as one of the finest intellectuals of modern football, Apart from your usual drivel, there is no evidence that Valdano is wrong as Rooney is still untested outside the EPL.

    ------------------

    There's also no evidence he is right; both parties are just expressing opinions.

  • Comment number 91.

    60. At 11:04am on 28 Jan 2010, cowboymartin wrote:
    Funny how nothing is being mentioned about the throwing of a coin AND bottle at Craig Bellamy. If this happened at any other ground there would be outrage but because it's at Old Trafford it's swept under the carpet.

    -------------------

    It happened at Eastlands too.

    What short memories the WUMs have.

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    Boyatta did very well but think it would have been a much closer occasion with Toure or Lescott in there instead.

  • Comment number 94.

    bluedefence

    Believe it or not, I doubt the missile throwers are here to explain their actions, and I doubt even further that anyone here would condone their actions.

    Strange little man...

  • Comment number 95.

    bluedefence wrote:
    "If Utd fans are so deliriously happy with their club and its us blues who are bitter etc why do Utd fans keep needing to throw missiles at City players"

    Pot, kettle, black

  • Comment number 96.

    This is clearly illustrated by Man United and SAF's increasingly unhealthy obsession with keeping their 'noisy neighbours' in their place and their pathetic 'Man City without a trophy banner' in its place.
    -------------------

    Unhealthy?

    You'd prefer our derby games to be moderate, kind affairs?

  • Comment number 97.

    TK is that why straight after the first leg the Man Utd fans started a facebook group along the lines of "United won 18 league titles [all the rest of their achievements], City won a match" (which for a start forgot the 2 league titles and the cups city have won)Yes the united fans are always so magnanimous in defeat haha.
    They're just as loud mouthed and crass as any other fans TK. Its just that united have had the success to back it up.

  • Comment number 98.

    If Utd fans are so deliriously happy with their club and its us blues who are bitter etc why do Utd fans keep needing to throw missiles at City players, you are so successful with your trophies and worldwide support, surely you dont need to throw bottles and coins at players from a "small" local rival.

    Explain please?

    ==========================================================================================

    as we've said before, they were in the minority of thugs, and rest of the fans do not encourage or support their actions.

  • Comment number 99.

    Blue defence

    OK I'll explain..I'll use as many short words as I can for you.

    If we are so happy? Well I watched the game last night and saw approx 68000 red fans and they were all smiling. Then I saw about 6000 blue fans and none of them were. So I would guess that makes City fans sadder than UNITED's.
    We KEEP throwing missiles? Keep? I saw it happen in one incident last night..
    And all reds are extremely pleased that you have finally accepted that you are our 'small local rivals' The penny has dropped. Well done

  • Comment number 100.

    A couple of simple points about the thuggish 'supporters' last night.

    Will Utd get a proper punishment for not controlling their fans, by proper I certainly don't mean a few £000.
    Will the police be interviewing Van Der Sar after he disposed of evidence, he clearly picked the offending bottle up then threw it away, yet was stupidly praised by the commentator for handing a coin to the ref.

 

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