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'Noisy Neighbours' kick-start derby party

Phil McNulty | 22:34 UK time, Saturday, 16 April 2011

Wembley

"Joined by geography - separated by success" read the T-shirt commissioned by Manchester United fans before the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City. And no one can argue against the accuracy of the statement.

Manchester City had to start closing the gap somewhere and, with the strains of "Blue Moon" echoing in London's Saturday night air, there seemed no better place than Wembley after a deserved victory ended United's hopes of repeating their 1999 treble feat.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, in a withering put-down, once described City as the "noisy neighbours" and the sky blue wave of elation sweeping around one half of Wembley was happy to live up to that label after Yaya Toure's winner sent them to their first FA Cup Final for 30 years.

The next step on the road to rehabilitation and renewed respect for City is to actually win a trophy, an act that will end another long-running taunt, the ticking banner tucked in a corner of Old Trafford's Stretford End reminding their rivals that it is 35 years since their last major honour.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini issues instructions from the sidelines at WembleyMancini's team cast aside their capitulation against Liverpool in the best possible way Photo: AP

City manager Roberto Mancini was swift to deliver the warning that the main business still needs to be concluded back at Wembley next month against either Bolton or Stoke, but the Italian was happy to acknowledge the potentially landmark nature of victory against United.

He said: "It was very important for the club because we beat a great team like Manchester United in an important game. Now we need to win another important game in the FA Cup Final."

If City and their supporters nursed an inferiority complex about the glittering successes that have rolled into Old Trafford during the barren years at Maine Road and Eastlands, then winning at Wembley on a day when Ferguson showed his commitment by fielding almost his strongest available side will at least provide hope that financial firepower off the pitch can be matched by substance and silverware on it.

It was, some might say, typical City that a performance at Liverpool that did not simply scrape the bottom of the barrel but carved a giant hole right through it, was followed up by one that contained so much to admire.

In the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool, City's players played like men who had only been introduced seconds before kick-off - and men who did not like each other either. Here there was a togetherness that survived 30 minutes of United domination to show a unity and attacking ambition that is occasionally mislaid by this expensively assembled group.

Mancini was able to recall Nigel de Jong and David Silva after the Anfield fiasco but even the return of such an influential pair did not fully explain an approach and performance that was unrecognisable from Monday's surrender.

The Italian even cast aside his own trademark cool in the moment of victory, coming not long after the most spectacular touchline rant at, inevitably, Mario Balotelli, after the temperamental youngster carelessly cast aside precious possession in the dying seconds.

Showing a turn of pace that rolled back the years to his wonderful playing career, Mancini sprinted from his seat to the edge of the technical area to bellow in Balotelli's ear while jumping up and down on the spot and waving his arms in manic tick-tack fashion.

Balotelli does that to a manager. He does not do "under the radar". It was not the first censure from Mancini in his direction and will not be the last. The £25m striker played his part in the win and only let himself down with needless goading towards United's fans in victory that particularly enraged Rio Ferdinand and Anderson.

United will rightly point to two early misses by Dimitar Berbatov that might have altered the entire complexion of the semi-final, but once City reached the half-hour mark unscathed they blossomed and merited the win for their overall supremacy.

The winning goal after 52 minutes summed up the emerging pattern of the game at that moment it was conceived. Michael Carrick, who has a nasty habit of helping to concede poor goals in big games, was robbed in possession by the sharper, stronger Toure, who eased his mountainous way past Nemanja Vidic to score.

Scholes's red card for a high challenge on Pablo Zabaleta added to his collection of

Scholes's red card for a high challenge on Pablo Zabaleta added to his collection of "red-mist" moments Photo: Reuters

Carrick excelled in the two Champions League games against Chelsea and started well at Wembley - only to go into rapid deterioration after playing his part in City's winner.

United's response was limited to a Nani free-kick turned on to the bar by City keeper Joe Hart and a senseless high and late challenge by Paul Scholes on Pablo Zabaleta. It was the kind of incident that happens too often in the career of this wonderful player and cannot be excused by the "he can't tackle" defence traditionally used as the flimsy shield for his recklessness.

Ferguson said: "We've seen over his career Paul has had unbelievable moments - he's one of the greatest players this club has ever had. But he has his red-mist moments and he caught the boy on the thigh."

The manager might have had a "red-mist moment" of his own later reflecting on how United surrendered control too easily after exerting domination in the opening exchanges. Ferguson made his feelings clear about how much he wanted victory against City with the strength of the team he selected, a factor that will only add to City's pleasure.

It is hardly a fatal blow to a season that still has the Premier League and Champions League to offer, but a defeat by the rivals they have been able to keep firmly in their place for so long will wound Ferguson, United and their supporters.

City and their followers have craved days like these. This is what the club's Abu Dhabi rulers had in mind when they bankrolled the new era at Eastlands, when they brought Mancini to City.

And the expensive assets delivered when they needed them. Vincent Kompany was magnificent in defence, as he has been for most of the season, while David Silva provided the subtle touches and Toure the power and poise - and most of all the game's decisive moment.

If City were also looking for added satisfaction, it can come in the fact that they reached the FA Cup Final without their talisman, tone-setter and main marksman Carlos Tevez. As tired legs took their toll on United, they missed the suspended Wayne Rooney more than City missed the Argentine.

Mancini shed his natural conservatism amid the wreckage of Anfield on Monday to promise City would reach the FA Cup Final and next season's Champions League. Brave words, but phase one has been delivered.

Now City must take the final step and claim the trophy that has eluded them for so long - going some way towards putting the odd Old Trafford t-shirt seller out of business while stripping the Stretford End of one of its most familiar pieces of decoration.

In doing so, the neighbours can make themselves an even bigger noise in Manchester.


Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Bit of positive press for City- cheers for that Phil.

  • Comment number 2.

    I must admit that i had a very bad day yesterday, infact the only succour i had to cheer myself with was the El-classico which truly was the best 90 minutes game i've seen in recent times. Back to the manchester derby, i was purely disappointed with Berbatov because the game could have been a done deal at half time(i'm not comparing players here but Hernandez would have scored with both chances). Carrick, after 2 impressive outings, against chelsea started so well only to dip in form and he gave Toure the winning goal. Van Der Sar tried his best, the back 4 didnt play badly either. Scholes' bad tackle was not intended though red card deserved. In all i think luck was just against United at Wembley. Now can we concentrate on the league even as there's nothing called treble again. United rules!

  • Comment number 3.

    Phil on the band wagon again. United dominated the first half and we would have scored if it wasn't for berbatov's unbelievable miss. (I wouldn't mind selling him) We still played well with 10 men but importantly the FA denied us of a victory from unnecessarily preventing Rooney to play and providing us a shocking Wembly pitch.

    United will come back stronger next season since Fergie is suggesting a few options to buy and we will silence the noisy neighbours who didn't gain success by hard work and perseverance, just money. Pathetic

  • Comment number 4.

    Toure was outstanding, he seems to have a 'rugby' mentatlity when playing, he gets the ball and will run through people gaining yardage, he seems like a beast when he gets going with the ball at his feet.

  • Comment number 5.

    The reason Fergie had stopped playing Berba in the big matches was exemplified perfectly yesterday. Hernandez would have had United up by at least 1 at half time. As for Scholes - even as a die hard United fan - that was a dreadful tackle - we would have been up in arms about and it cost us the match. Much as it hurts - congrats City - you deserved it yesterday.

  • Comment number 6.

    Deserved win for city, no doubt about that. Good blog there Phil. It was great to see how Man City played a better game without Tevez than Utd without Rooney.

  • Comment number 7.

    Great day for Manchester City fans and one they have waited a long time for. As Mancini said, though, no good winning yesterday and losing the final.

    To City and United fans, where did you think it was decided yesterday? What changed after 30 minutes to alter the pattern from one of total United domination to City supremacy?

    And to waloudi - to say United would have scored if it wasn't for Berbatov's miss is not exactly the greatest argument. City would have scored if it wasn't for Lescott's miss etc. Same priniciple.

    I think most United fans would have to accept that City were worthy winners yesterday, but there is still the Premier League and Champions League on offer.

    Let me know all your thoughts on yesterday's game here.

  • Comment number 8.

    waloudi for years you utd have branded City as 'Bitter'! Well it would seem that you have passed the baton for success on the pitch (at least yesterday), but you have also grasped with both hands the Bitter tag - you are welcome to it.

  • Comment number 9.

    Though this is a deserved (albeit fortunate) win for City; how, in any way shape or form, is this "closing the gap" on United? City have reached an FA Cup final and struggling to finish top 4, while United are on course for a 19th league title and in another Champions League semi-final. Separated by success, indeed.

  • Comment number 10.

    philmcnultysport

    'To City and United fans, where did you think it was decided yesterday'

    Berbatov starting instead of Hernandez. Sorry to be blunt but there is no way United would not have been at least one up at half time if he had been playing.

  • Comment number 11.

    It seemed to me that City didn't use up much energy on Monday night (hence result) and United used up a lot on Tuesday (hence result), and that was reflected in the respective performances. City deserved it therefore - no complaints on that front.

  • Comment number 12.

    @4 waloudi,

    whats pathetic is the fans like you, who are making up these excuses in your head, like ''the pitch was terrible'', and ''the fa....'' first off, the pitch was fine!! there was nothing wrong with that pitch!! you used it to the best of ur ability to produce 2 goalscoring opportunities!! the problem is that u had the bulgarian sulk up front whos just useless...second, rooney deserves everything he gets..for being the way he is...if u dont like it, consider it karma for when he blatantly elbowed james mcarthy against wigan and got away with it...retribution!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    sorry, @3 waloudi^

  • Comment number 14.

    To MuchPreferWinter...lots of chat about Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to play Berbatov ahead of Hernandez, but he has got a lot more right than wrong over the years.

    Interesting to see what happens with Berbatov because you sense Hernandez and Rooney is fast becoming Ferguson's most trusted partnership.

    City fans, let's hear how you feel today. Winning a trophy is always significant, but if you win the FA Cup do you feel that will give the whole club the self-belief to go alongside the huge riches you have, something that can almost be as valuable when it comes to the big games?

  • Comment number 15.

    Though I am United fan but Hats off to the ManCity performance. They are deserved winners to be honest over 90 minutes.
    Though Scholes is one good player but he is one bad bad tackler in the premier league.
    Man U just unlucky for this game, horrible miss by Berba.
    Noisy neighbours certainly have lots noise to make in coming days and give Sir Alex big headache down the footballing big punches.
    Wish we still have time to say well done Man U for League and Eropean Cup.

    Good Luck to City for FA Cup and Good Luck to Man U for League and Eropean Cup.

  • Comment number 16.

    Naturally disappointed as a United fan, but City deserved to progress. However, I'm surely not the only one that would happily take this loss over a loss in the Champions League or failing to secure the Premier League.

    Let's face it, from Manchester United's point of view the FA Cup was clearly the smallest priority. Whether some of us fans agree that it should be or not, that is a fact.

    Berbatov summed up why most United fans will never take to him. He just doesn't come up big when he's needed. Hernandez and even Owen would have snapped up at least one of those chances (the first was a world class save) but I think those misses have just ended his United career. I thought Toure was great for City, possibly because the combination of Scholes and Carrick is, has been and always will be absolutely dreadful. They cannot play together and as soon as I had seen both names on the team sheet I knew United would lose. Scholes must retire at the end of the season. He is a club great, but he can't do it anymore. Giggs is a class above Scholes so it's annoying hearing them both talked about as one. Giggs should play on, Scholes should retire. Simple.

    Carrick was at fault for the goal along with Van Der Sar, who is a top keeper but his kicking game is outrageously bad for a keeper of his talent. I think Carrick suffers from having such a similar player next to him in Scholes and although his performance was bad, he has deservedly drawn praise for recent performances.

    It would be nice to see the FA do something about the handbags at the end of the game. They won't though. They have penalized Rooney already so now they are happy. I bet he would have received a ban if he was involved.

    All in all though, no excuses for United. City were better bar a 20 minute spell and thoroughly deserve to go through. I think Bolton or Stoke will win the cup though because of sheer passion especially from Stoke.

  • Comment number 17.

    Re. Post 3 and Manchester City gaining success by "just money". United's squad yesterday cost over 150 million pounds in transfer fees (according to the transfer league website).

  • Comment number 18.

    11 comments in and We've heard "the FA" "The Pitch" "bad luck" "wrong players starting" as excuses united fans are showing about as much grace and class as Rio Ferdinand at the end of the game yesterday, maybe Capello was right in taking the Captains armband off him.

  • Comment number 19.

    Good to see MUFC 'achieving their success by hard work and perseverence rather than simply money.'

    Just as long as you ignore the signings of;

    Ferdinand £30 million
    Rooney £25 million
    Berbatov £28 million
    Hargreaves £17 million
    Carrick £18 million
    Valencia £16 million
    Anderen & Nani £30 million combined
    Vidic (not revealed although it was reported that Vidić became the most expensive defender in the history of the Russian Premier League)

    And countless others in recent years such a Ronaldo, Veron, Stam etc. who also cost a small fortune.

    Typical Unted - its OK for them to push and bend the rules as long as your competitors don't do likewise or even trump you at your own game.

    And as expected bad losers though no one is the slightest bit surprised by the antics of Ferdinand and Anderson.

  • Comment number 20.

    Phil, you cant compare the EPL top scorer missing a sitter and a one-on-one and a defender hoofing a volley over from a corner, Berba should have put at least one away and that would have taken the game away from city. The Scholes red was a 50/50 ball, Kolerov(?) had his foot just as height but got there half a second earlier so won the ball, cant really see how its any more than a yellow, especially considering carragagh only go yellow for putting a big gash down nanis leg the other week

  • Comment number 21.

    Waloudi wrote :- "neighbours who didn't gain success by hard work and perseverance, just money. Pathetic "

    Did not think it would be long before the same people who say money cannot buy success trotted that one out !

    United on the other hand have never spent a penny as one of the richest clubs in the world. Change the record. Graceless as ever in defeat. Typical man u fan from Essex five live blowhard nonsense.

  • Comment number 22.

    Other than Kompany and Toure (who were outstanding), I don't think City deserve massive plaudits beyond being defensively solid (mainly because of Kompany); United were just very poor in the second half - with Valencia and Nani being very poor in using possession on the wings. John O'shea also showed how to take an attacking full backs position and turn it into a donkey trail - a very weak link.

    Maybe if Scholes hadn't been a complete idiot, Hernandez would have received better service, and if Carrick had 'saw' Toure (how could he have not!) City would barely have got going. But ultimately United were poor for too long a stretch in the second half and allowed City back into the game and they ended up being deserved winners mainly though United being deserved losers.

    On a seperate note, the only players that came close to matching Toure and Kompany for effort and ability on the United side were Hernandez and Anderson when they were brought on - Anderson especially stood out as a driving and combative force in midfield during his brief spell on the pitch.

    Berbatov cut a lonesome figure upfront; I don't think fergie got the team selection quite right yesterday.

  • Comment number 23.

    I wonder what phony excuse Fergusion will come up with this time for Man.U's defeat,surely it was not their fault that they lost.

  • Comment number 24.

    United will come back stronger next season since Fergie is suggesting a few options to buy and we will silence the noisy neighbours who didn't gain success by hard work and perseverance, just money. Pathetic

    **********************

    If i recall Man Utd have spent fortunes over the last 15 years to keep their position at the top of league and have often had the spending power beyond most of their rivals. Berbatov - 28million, Rooney -26million, Ferdinand - 30million, Veron - 28million are just a few examples of this. On top of this you are also getting ready to spend large sums next season, so please dont be hypocritcal.

    You got beaten yesterday because you didn't take your chances. Blaming the FA for ROoneys disgusting language and subsequent ban and the pitch (City had to play on it as well) doesn't cut it as an excuse.

  • Comment number 25.

    It was good to see the English players come out on top yesterday. The foreign mercenaries just didn't perform. Park was nowhere and little Nani just never got into it

  • Comment number 26.

    Damn you no19 you beat me to it! :D

  • Comment number 27.

    Hi Phil as i said in reply to your post after the match at Liverpool judge Mancini at the end of the season not after one poor performance especially when Man Utd themselves had been thrashed in an equally bad performance against Liverpool. It would be equally as wrong to judge either team on one match yesterday.

    The first 20minutes yesterday were as good as I've seen Man Utd this season with lovely one twos in midfield combined with fast wingers and pressing high up the pitch which meant Man City couldn't retain possession. I think you should credit the keeper for Berbatovs first miss, but the second really was a terrible miss for a player at that level irrespective of any arguments that he hasn't played first team football recently.

    In the second half it was City pressing high and forcing Utd into mistakes like Van Der Saar and Carrick committed yesterday. You always felt the first goal would win it and after Man City scored yesterday they battered Utd for the next 10minutes and Utd after a big game in mid-week suddenly looked tired as they were forced to chase the ball on a massive Wembley pitch notorious for sapping energy. The Scholes tackle was awful and a deserved red, and City used the extra man magnificently by dominating possession and looking dangerous on the counter. I don't think there was much between them yesterday (as there hasn''t been in any of the meetings this year) but there is still another game to go and it would be a mistake to make any judgement on mancini until the end of the season.

    As for Utd they have a lot of games coming up thick and fast and they looked tired in the second half yesterday. It cost them last season in many ways with the title decider against chelsea falling between the cl quarters and the same could happen this season.

    Bartelli needs to be given the same punishment as NEville received for celebrating infront of the Liverpool fans or Adebayor against Arsenal. Do we really need the police to arrest these guys and charge them for incitement before they start acting responsibly?

  • Comment number 28.

    Hey hey OaksMoked thats nonsense, Veron was rubbish! Haha

  • Comment number 29.

    United fans blaming the pitch and everyone but themselves :O Surely this is unheard of?! I think City deserve all credit, they didn't crack under the pressure and Toure finished his chance superbly.

  • Comment number 30.

    Expensive rubbish which makes it all the sweeter Sabre :D

  • Comment number 31.

    I hope Rio and Anderson went as ballistic to Gary Neville when he taunted Liverpool fans as they did to Mario Balotelli. Ha good old Rio - takes it on the chin as always...

  • Comment number 32.

    A deserved victory for City. United fans seem to be under the impression they have a god given right to beat City and if they lose they then search here, there and everywhere for some pathetic excuse. The better team, on the day, won it in my opinion.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a neutral, I feel that Man City fans shouldn't be too optimistic.

    It was clear that they won on the basis of two glaring misses by Berbatov, fatigue of Man U from tuesday, and a silly Scholes challenge. I can't help but feel if Man U were on their game then they would have cruised through.

    It's a shame as well how Ballotelli can only go and turn the game sour, even though his team won. He's a nasty piece of work and I hope City get rid of him quickly.

    Utd need to get rid of Carrick and O'Shea (deadwood in my opinion), O'Shea is terrible.

  • Comment number 34.

    I don't rate most of Man United's players - with the exception of one or two they are just 'good' and not excellent.

    It's Ferguson that holds them together and makes them more than the sum of their parts, which is why when he get's the tactics wrong it all unravels horrendously.

    If Mancini can achieve the same, then City are going to be unstoppable for years to come.

  • Comment number 35.

    I think that a lot of people have the wrong impression when it comes to the money spent assembling the squads.

    I would never deny United have spent an awful amount of money on players, but the idea I get is that people don't like the way City have done it in such a short space of time (same as Chelsea). United have also received a lot of that money through running a very successful Football club and business in one. A lot of the money has come through winning Championships and Cups over the years, whereas City have a sugar daddy. I don't care that City have spent money, it happens get over it. United also have a lot of players through the years brought through the youth system. A large amount of United's fortune is due to the Class of '92 so I think that way of getting money is a lot more credible.

    Obviously I was annoyed at the Rooney ban as it deprived a great Fa Cup semi-final of one of the best players of his generation. I think ALL involved in the spat should be punished if they are 'setting an example'. Not just City players, United's as well.

  • Comment number 36.

    I've said this already but just have to re-iterate Kit. O'Shea is a donkey

  • Comment number 37.

    As a United fan, I thought I would share my opinions on the game and aftermath. I would just like to note, that I am taking nothing away from City, they beat us fair with no refereeing issues. I just have to take it on the chin and start thinking about the next game.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the match and thought that United had a pretty solid opening half which obviously could of put them in the lead, but all credit to City they battled back and dominated the second half.

    No arguments about the red card. Reckless challenge which seemed unintentional, but someone of Scholes experience should know that it would be dangerous, and also not in a vital area of the pitch where a desperate tackle was needed.

    I was suprised by the starting of Berbatov considering Hernandez lately has been playing the big games, unfortunatley for United when he finally did come on, City were in total control so he couldn't have much of an impact. I also think that Carrick seems to play well when his confidence is high, after a superb game in the CL 1st leg, he backed it up with another solid performance in the 2nd leg. And until the mistake which led to the City goal, he was having another pretty solid day. Unfortunatley it seemed to affect him. I hope he bounces back, because when he plays well he is a quality player.

    I wont really read too much into the whole City are getting closer to United. In matches anything can happen, so saying "We are better than you, because we won" is total nonsense because anything can happen in a football match, but over the course of an entire season, they seem to prove for themselves they are no way near capable of the same consistency United have. If they improve this consistency aspect, then maybe in the next couple of seasons they will be challenging United throughout the season and not just the first half. They have a long way to go before they become the bigger team in Manchester.

    Also just remember that the FA Cup is not won yet. Stoke or Bolton (Bolton I hope) will be an extremely tough to beat, I believe they will want the FA cup win, just as much if not more than City.

    All in all, I believe that Man City deserved the win, they took the chance and United didn't. I hope that the final is a competitive, exciting game. And good luck to Bolton or Stoke, as I will be supporting either of you come the final.

  • Comment number 38.

    Kit that is clearly not a neutral view. Definitely influenced by the Rupert Murdoch backed United press. United were clearly the beaten by the better team. Stop making excuses for them you sound like Fergie. That 24 hours later game must have really taken such a big difference.

  • Comment number 39.

    I won't be surprised if United fans join the chorus accusing McNulty of favouritism (towards Man City this time) but, in truth, United played in relative comfort for the first 30 minutes where they created 2 opportunities in 1 incident.

    After the first 30-35 minutes, City showed superiority in midfield, were first on the ball and were the more threatening club.

    It's easy to moan about the Carrick error but, even that, wasn't a goal on a plate. Yaya Toure had to make an opportunity out of a misplaced pass and created a great for City goal out of that, alone. You never lose a match because you made one mistake. Matches are lost when a team has an off day, because they haven't created opportunities, when the other team dominates the midfield - all these elements were applicable yesterday and in all these elements United were weak.

    In all, the result fairly reflects the first semi final.
    Good luck to City.

  • Comment number 40.

    Thought we looked very flat yesterday and no doubt that City deserved the win. Good luck to them. Amazing how one game can resolve a number of issues; I have a feeling that the futures of Berbatov, Carrick and Scholes were all decided yesterday. However for any United fans looking to play the blame game, don't forget to add Rooney's name to the list of culprits - but for his stupid outburst at West Ham, he would in all probability have been out there yesterday and I suspect the outcome might have been different if he had been.

    We now need to focus on securing the Premiership which is the one trophy that is realistically within our grasp. After that performance yesterday, I don't see how anyone can feel too positive about our chances of going much further in Europe.

    Major rebuilding has been put off for a couple of years now, but has to happen this summer - especially in midfield.

  • Comment number 41.

    Harold Schumacher (GK)

    Ben Thatcher, Titus Bramble, Robbie Savage (slightly out of position), Gary Neville (Def)

    Joey Barton, Roy Keane, Kevin Nolan, Garry Wackett (Mike Bassett England Manager)

    Wayne Rooney, MARIO BALLOTELLI

    That's my Mr. Nice Guy XI

  • Comment number 42.

    As a United fan, its not the loss that annoys me so much.. It was against a team worth a couple of 100 million, Yaya Toure is immense, and at top 3 keeper in the PL.. It was the manner we lost it, after 30 mins on top, United just ran out of ideas..
    Carrick- indecisive, slow, poor passing, complete lack of imagination.
    Park- Like a puppy, ran around without achieving anything, lost the ball too much.
    Scholes- Too old now.
    Valencia/ Nani.. Lots of running but poor crosses and overall ineffective.

    I hate to say it, but we havent got anyone who can replace Giggs, he wouldve made a huge difference yesterday. United never really looked like scoring, and didnt know how to get into a position that they might.

    City deserved the win, Toure in second half just owned and Silva is a quality signing.

  • Comment number 43.

    O'Shea's control of the ball is quality.

  • Comment number 44.

    Congratulations to Man City and their long suffering fans. It brought a smile to my face, just as Ferguson's oh so smug grin was sliding down his chest to splat like a cold cheese omelette onto the Wembley concrete. Few decent Utd fans on here giving congratulations, the rest are the usual 'we woz robbed' brigade - priceless.

  • Comment number 45.

    Phil, Man City deserved their win but they've still got to win the final against a Stoke/Bolton team who will no doubt fancy their chances being greater against City rather then Utd.

    One big positive for me is that we'll have a team that has won nothing for so long join Birmingham in finally winning a cup that normally the big 4 win.

    Finally, I can't believe how crazy & almost unpredictable this season has been, long may this trend continue.

  • Comment number 46.

    Phil @ No. 7,
    To quote " Carrick & Scholes were pulling strings in the middle".
    Actually they were given enough ROPE to commit United hara kiri.

    City has been playing possum with their Rope-a-Dope strategy
    Losing a battle @ Anfield and 'first half defending' @ Wembley aptly described by thee.
    Enough to sucker Carrick with his suicide pass
    Scholes should also be blamed for his stationary rather than moving to receive
    Was ripe for the picking by City's Toure -de-force.

    We should give Mancini & the Staff the KUDOS.
    To quote Paddy Barclay "managerial textbook is to accept blame for loss for picking the wrong team' so it is apt in my POV to laud Mancini & the Staff for their genius!

    Make no mistake City has warn the pschological war in the hearts of mind of all true footies with this win!

  • Comment number 47.

    FOR SALE: Man United radio, volume works, bass is deep and rich but the treble is knackered - £3. Free Carrick with every purchase. ;D

  • Comment number 48.

    To sheffield sabre...I was pointing out the general principle - to say United would have scored if they hadn't missed is a pretty flawed argument. It is like saying if City hadn't scored the game would have ended 0-0.

  • Comment number 49.

    You could see this coming.

    You could see this coming.

    Man City have strong-willed individualsk, but lack a cohesiveness that is befitting of the best teams. Hardly surprising when their squad has been thrown together - rather than sewn together - in the last two years. Mancini has been open about his mistakes as well, and his negativity at many points this season has cost Man City a shot at the title.

    But Man City are a strong team, with a good manager. De Jong and Toure have the capability to outbattle any midfield. Silva and Johnson are highly creative. Defensively they're organised. In one off games you can never tell what will happen.

    Man United were never the clear-cut favourites as they were written to be. Sooner or later they were going to get found out by a good day having a good day. If they get to the Champions League final as well, they'll be soundly beaten again. Again at Wembley.

    United will win the league this season, but they're nowhere near as strong as they have been. Managerially they'll always be great as long as Ferguson is there, but the resources he has to use have diminished ever so slightly since they last won the title.

    Expect City to mount a proper challenge from next season onwards.

  • Comment number 50.

    Huge kudos to the United fans who've been big enough to admit that their team was second best yesterday and that City deserved the win - nothing hurts more than losing to the rivals, especially in something like a semi-final towards a final you'd expect to win nine times out of ten, so good on you all.
    To the rest of the one-eyed brigade who are frantically scrambling for excuses: give it up, you might be one of the best teams in the world, but even your players can have an off day, which was the case yesterday. Suck it up and learn how to lose.

  • Comment number 51.

    You can't say had berbatov scored from those two chances because both chances came from the same phase of play. Had the first chance went in the 2nd chance would not have happened. City deserved the win and were comfortable in containing utd other than those first 15 mins when they were on top.

  • Comment number 52.

    The blame for United's loss lies squarely with Fergie. Partly for his team selection, but the article also mentions Mancini barking instructions from his technical area, something Sir Alex couldn't do as he was sat in the stands as punishment for mouthing off at referees. That had to make united slower to react as the momentum swung City's way. His 'mind games' have seriously backfired this time.

    Good job City, but I can see them imploding in the final, and either Bolton or Stoke pulling off an upset. The banner outside Old Trafford may be up for another season or two yet... :)

  • Comment number 53.

    Looks like the FA's masterplan worked out for them yesterday. Was it purely coincidence that both Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson were both suspended for this game?

    It is very naive to think this was not contrived by the old men we have all been trying to rid of for many years now.

  • Comment number 54.

    I don't understand why Berbatov is accused on the two opportunities of that United attack: his first one was stopped by a magnificent save by Hart and, in the second one, the ball bubbled just before reaching him. It can happen.

    As for United's spending on players over the years, this is the easy, ranting view.

    Over the years, United did 4 things, basically:
    a) they increased the capacity of Old Trafford to 76,212 seats;
    b) they reproduced a number of impressive sides;
    c) they won 34(?) trophies under the guidance of SAF;
    d) they increased their commercial activities enormously.

  • Comment number 55.

    How did Chelsea lose to this team? The real Carrick showed up. He along with VDS played out of their skin against Chelsea. Giggs is class on and off the pitch but come on O'Shea and Carrick. Fergeson paid 18 mil for Carrick. 18 million!

  • Comment number 56.

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

  • Comment number 57.

    Two pub teams putting on a show like that - at a combined player cost of 500m and maybe then some.
    Neither capable of stringing more than 3 passes together. A sorry sorry show. If ever there was game that was going to be settled by a mistake.
    And to make it worse after a spot of dinner one was able to switch over and catch the Madrid game - even the poorest game between those two in a couple of years was head and shoulders above the Manchester Derby.

    What a pity for the CL that Barca / Real got drawn together - now that would have been a final.

  • Comment number 58.

    54 is completely right about the money aspect.. building a great team from the youth academy and living off the fortunes from that is completely different to some billionaire foreigner coming in and splashing 100s of millions within 2 seasons..

    This is also why its City and Chelsea in trouble with UEFA's champions league manageable finance thing.. United have huge income from being successful and being Manchester United, Chelsea and City's losses are just wrote off by the owners.

  • Comment number 59.

    @ 55, Blue Man,

    "Ferguson paid 18 mil for Carrick. 18 million!"

    and your point is?

  • Comment number 60.

    Football UK that comment made me laugh (in a good way!)

  • Comment number 61.

    I have to say, Phil, I think this article is perfectly fair. I've been reading all the comments and to be honest, as a lower league fan, they make me laugh:

    'They're trying to buy titles'- City, Utd, Chelsea have all spent ridiculous amounts of money, it's only City yet to win. The argument goes back to Blackburn winning the title with Shearer/Sutton etc.

    'It's the pitch'- A bad workman blames his tools. Come and watch the football played on part-time rugby pitches- Reading for example. Superb, high-quality football on absolutely terrible pitches.

    'If we had started XXXXXX we would have scored'- and if I'd bet on the right horse in the National, I'd be rich. You didn't, I didn't.

    'Oh well, we had XXXXX suspended and XXXX was carrying an injury'- everyone else has the same problems. Good teams play on, great teams succeed despite the setbacks.

    And my favourite last: 'It's the ref's fault'- Paul Scholes should know by now that you cannot tackle thigh-high. Kolarov did have his foot up but nowhere near as high and he was looking at the ball. Scholes was 2 feet above the ball even before Kolarov touched it.

    I for one thought the match was a cracker- City maybe coming of age, a dent in United's armour and a great game of football. Ballotelli actually looked like a professional (until full time and better men than him have lost their heads in victory), the anchors in midfield for City were better than Uniteds and City took the chance they got whereas United were against a Joe Hart who was having a blinder.

    Great match and a good article, Phil

  • Comment number 62.

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

  • Comment number 63.

    As a united fan, I have to say congratulations to city, better team on the day, I thought Kompany, Toure and Silva were all top class. O'shea just breaks down all Uniteds attacks, he is so slow with the ball. I think the result would have been different had Berbs scored one of the 2 gilt edged chances. World class save for the first one? I don;t think so, poor finish by Berbs, I would expect all premiership quality keepers to easily have saved his effort, very poor finishing.

    Regarding the bitterness, according to transfer league tables of net spend, I think it is fair enough to say City are buying their success. Of course United are spending alot as wel, but have also sold a lot more, and spend more within their means.

    http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/1992-to-2011.html shows a much lower transfer spend for United than City - I don't know the accuracy of this, but it is pretty impressive that Arsenal have competed for the duration of the premiership! Also impressive that United are 5th and dominated the premiership!

  • Comment number 64.

    I am a United fan and even i am getting sick of hearing the excuses from others. Rooney is a fool, the only person to blame for missing yesterday is himself. Also, how many times can teams at Wembley blame the pitch when they lose? You never hear anything from the winners saying how awful it was, just the losers. Funny that. Even if it was awful (though i haven't fergie come out and moan like you would expect) then congrats to City for getting on with it and playing well.
    At the end of the day, like many others have said, if hernandez was on the pitch, id have fancied us to be up at half time, not only would he have scored (though we all know nothing is a cert in this game!), i think he would have offered a lot more to the team by chasing the ball, holding it up for others etc.... Unlike Berbatov who seemed more concerned about the tiny droplet of blood that hung from the end of his nose.
    However, this doesn't take anything away from city, they played well and were more dangerous yesterday, creating more clear cut chances than we did and managed to take one.
    Lets stop moaning and move on, win the league + champions league and i am sure we will all forget this defeat in a hurry!

  • Comment number 65.

    Strange match yesterday, man united created two great chances for berbatov and city created a few good chances after they scored. Overall wasnt the greatest of spectacles but the way in which man united lost hurts. For the first time in ages i was praising carrick, he was brilliant against chelsea tracking runs, helping the defence, and playing the sort of passes he was known for at Tottenham (pass that led to rooney's goal) not the ones that have become his trademark at united (negative and containing passes, normally backwards) Then in the game he throws it all away with a moment of madness, i understand that in a big pressure game player make mistakes, if he was caught on the ball by toure than i can have a measure of sympathy, but what i dont understand is that he turned around, saw toure powering towards him and instead of clearing it or passing it in the opposite direction of were he was running he almost feeds it into his path, it was a high risk pass but even if it would have got through to scholes we wouldnt have gained much of an advantage.
    Overall, i think city did deserve the victory, man united were very poor in possesion, particularly after the goal in which we struggled to string any passes together for the next twenty minutes, even the fantastic scholes, normally a brilliant passer of the ball was struggling summed up by his tackle on zabeleta. I think we did miss rooney in the game, to say that hernandez would have scored had he been on the pitch is difficult to predict, after all berbatov is having a good season with 21 goals and you would have faith in him to score this season rather than his previous. But rooney absence was key mainly because he would have been the link between midfield an attack. This season rooney has often dropped deep and influenced the play via his awesome range of passing, as man united rely on wingers in nani (who has been shocking for the last couple of games) and valencia, his crossfield passes really help to involve them in the game. Without rooney both of them was struggling to influence the game underlined by valencia substitution.
    However this was still just a single game and will not define united season, to be in the position they are with a team that is not as strong as teams in the past shows why ferguson is probably the best contemporary manager in the game. Whatever we might achieve this season, if ferguson does buy which mainly journalists and pundits are suggesting, than the centre of midfield is key. This is surely scholes last season, gibson would struggle to get into wigan's team, carrick generally is negative in the big games, anderson is too inconsistent. A creative player in the mould of david silva would help as it would give us an option of playing through the centre of the park rather than constanly relying on wingers, and maybe a midfield general, someone who can control the midfield orchestrating the play in the mould of a schwiensteiger or sneijder.

  • Comment number 66.

    The difference between players bought by United and those bought by City or Chelsea is that United use money generated by their own playing and commercial success , whereas if City or Chelsea did not have a benefactor simply handing over large amounts of money they would be unable to generate anything like enough from their own efforts.

  • Comment number 67.

    Is this a glorified match report?

  • Comment number 68.

    @ 60, kit,

    You can laugh with me wondering what the point is about Carrick having cost United £18m for as long as you like.

    While you're laughing, don't let your mind think of Carrick having contributed a lot towards those £18m and, especially, don't think for one minuted that SAF always kept a balance in the team when it comes to the number of home grown players.
    I'm sure you all would prefer United to be one more club consisting of a worldwide first XI.

  • Comment number 69.

    I have been a Man Utd supporter for over fifty years and for the past two seasons I have been worried about UTD future . I think the team now is in similar position to 1969 -- 1970 when just after winning the European cup , the team declined and could not be pulled back for two decades . The similarities are ; Busby leaving , SAF retiring , Law and Charlto getting old , Giggs and Scoles getting old , the team had one star , Best , this team has one star , Rooney ---- etc . I just hope that when SAF retires Utd will engage a manager with vision and class and not a Greives or a Sexton .

  • Comment number 70.

    My point is Carrick is awful. Who would you replace in the any of the top 4 side to put Carrick in?. Lampard, Essien, Ramires? I am glad he plays for United and if you are happy as well, even better. Keep playing O'Shea and Scholes as well.

  • Comment number 71.

    @ 70, Blue Man,

    I am not expecting you to understand how useful O'Shea is to Manchester United.
    I can't be bothered asking you to watch again the Chelsea matches in the quarter finals of Champions League.

    As for Scholes, to me, he's on the twilight of an incredible career. I have only praise for him. Anyway, it's a great result for United haters. On the day, you deserve to be happy.

  • Comment number 72.

    Reply to @ 62

    Ya Ya its a disgrace that the BBC has nothing good to say about United. But then United Fergie on his own volition has nothing to say to the BBC. No?

    Actually Fergie is believing in the adage that if you have nothing good to say (about United) then don't say anything;

  • Comment number 73.

    You're only likely to get City fans awake enough to comment from this point on... late night last night, understandably :oD

    Where do I begin?

    First up, congratualtions to Zabaletta for not crying and rolling around in apparent distress. When a player is genuinely injured, they pretty much stay down and hold still... not leap into the air and charge towards the ref, screaming and pointing to their leg!

    Watch the replay again... Scholes is late, hits Zabaletta's thigh with his studs, and then extends into the kick. Straight red, no contest.

    And before any Man Utd fans blames Mike Dean... I'll just point out the incident where Toure is barged from behind by Vidic, in the box, and whilst trying to regain the ball Van Der Saar clearly grabs both his legs? You were lucky not to finish with only 8 outfield players and no goalie.

  • Comment number 74.

    @19 John,

    I see you have listed some of Man United's transfers. What you have failed to mention is the time frame these occured in, some going as far back as 10 years ago. Yes, we have often had extra funds other clubs have not, but we have never come close to the amount City have spent in the last 2 seasons. Spending a large amount of money on one player every summer or two is what most clubs do, and obviously they can only afford as much as they're making. Unfortunately for other clubs, Man United have recently been making profits of £100 million.

    As for the wage structure, it's clubs like Chelsea and Man City that have forced Man United's hand, as we have seen lately with Rooney and Vidic. They know they can make more money elsewhere, thus forcing United into offering more.

    I've never liked that Balotelli, so I'm happy Ferdinand and Anderson frowned upon his actions. Why not just be happy about getting to the Final? He seems more interested in getting one over Man United......actually the same goes for all City's players and fans! ;)

  • Comment number 75.

    I dont know what the fuss is all about? We lost to Leeds last year - did it mean they were now our equals?

    City never created anything - the goal was a gift. We did not take our chances - we created better. The fact that Giggs was rested shows where our priorities lie. But as a squad , we should have done better. Too many people did not turn up.

    Good luck to City - they hung in and took their chance.

  • Comment number 76.

    Phil,

    "City fans, let's hear how you feel today. Winning a trophy is always significant, but if you win the FA Cup do you feel that will give the whole club the self-belief to go alongside the huge riches you have, something that can almost be as valuable when it comes to the big games?"


    In answer, as a City fan, I think a trophy would galvanise the squad in a really crucial way. Success begets success. When a team win together through shared effort it creates familial bonds, shared memories and loyalty to one another. And winning is addictive. Once you get a taste for it you want more. Look no further that one Manchester United for proof of that. Still really happy for yesterday, what a great statement. I'd prefer Bolton in the final to Stoke. Even though Bolton are technically the better team, Stoke are hard to beat and one of our bogey teams (though they'd be without the home support/pitch at Wembley). Also, would Sturridge be able to play or would he be cup tied? Either way, I'm hoping for Bolton in the final.

  • Comment number 77.

    To me, the strange thing, from a football fan's point of view, is when these accusations about spending and sugar daddies appear.

    Everybody talks about silverware won with cash.
    No one remembers a widely believed view that cash doesn't buy you success.
    And, especially, no one mentions that, had Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour not arrived, in all probability, the Premiership would have two less strong sides now.

    As a football fan, I don't mind it one little bit.

    If anything annoyed me yesterday, it was the numbers of drunken fans outside Wembley, prior to the match. About a million cans of beer was consumed, Wembley had the alcohol smell around, huge numbers if mixed, drunken groups of fans looked like a bomb waiting to explode and no one wants to talk about it, neither to do something about it.

    We all talk about the great football culture of this country but forget some really shameful elements of this culture.

  • Comment number 78.

    man city didnt deserved to win, city created no chances and was gifted their goal, they only had 2 shots on target all game one was the goal and the other a balotelli shot from 30 yards. if berbatov could score from 2 yards, mcnulty would be talking about how defensive city are and just go for draw against the bigger teams and how that doesnt work, cause city would have lost.

  • Comment number 79.

    United fans, in the main, have been magnanimous in defeat. The goading on here is unnecessary.
    Berbatov missing from 2 yards, team selection, player performances etc being questioned, is looking for reasons, not excuses!
    You identify mistakes and learn from them!

    How some of you make it through life without analysing your mistakes, and improving accordingly, beggars belief.

    City deserved to win. Fair play to them. I hope, now, Fergie can seriously evaluate the squad. He fills his teams with born winners. Some players yesterday, showed they don't fit the bill.

  • Comment number 80.

    In response to Barnard999, I'm old enough to remember when Ferguson in the early days went on a massive spending spree almost replacing the entire squad with the likes of Ince, Pallister, Phelan, Webb, Bruce, Parker, McClair and others. His excuse was he needed an entire change of personnel to compete with Liverpool and MUFC are only doing the same. Again you can't have it both ways.

  • Comment number 81.

    we lost due to berbatov's misses I can't see him staying on much longer at united especially when we have so many other strikers coming through such as Hernandez, Macheda, Diouf and Welbeck

  • Comment number 82.

    As a United fan i would agree that City deserved the victory. United showed no passion or drive, City players went in for the 50/50 challeges and won all of them; United just didn't. I think playing anderson instead of Park may have been better, especially with the energy he showed when we were down to 10 men. And this also, we can't complain about because Fergie has had years where he's got it spot on. He picked what he thought was the best team for the job.
    I am not blaming the FA because although Ronney didn't deserve the ban for swearing (which is ridiculous) he most certainly did for the elbow on McCarthy. The FA used the West Ham incident as an excuse.
    As for City with the riches and the current talent in the squad they should be doing better. I definitely think Mancini isn't the man for the job. You look at Mourinho who had a similar situation at Chelsea and he played attacking football, Macinin like Capello is way too defensive.
    All in all you have to say far play City on the 90 minutes they deserved it. Although Balotelli after the whistle reminds me of a certain Gary Neville at Anfield and the FA took action then; and with the recent hard line they've taken (Rooney) it will be interesting to see how they react.

  • Comment number 83.

    53. Oh please! Conspiracy theorists 'R'Us or what. Sir Alex gets a five match ban (part of which unless I'm mistaken is a previous suspended sentence brought into operation. If I am mistaken please accept my apologies) for calling a referee biased, BEFORE the match! Rooney gets a two match ban for an action which was at best totally stupid even by his high standards! (I do reckon however that he should not have been banned but given a REALLY big fine. £500,000 perhaps??). At least there aren't too many saying Scholes shouldn't have been sent off.
    Much as I dislike City they deserved the win yesterday.

  • Comment number 84.

    I feel the desision not to start Hernandez or Owen alongside Berb cost us the match. Both of those 2 are natural goalscorers and would have scored the chances.

    Although I hate to be critical of Fergie, I really hope we sell Berbatov and play Welbeck/Owen/Macheda more.

  • Comment number 85.

    No 2 - "the only succour i had to cheer myself with was the El-classico which truly was the best 90 minutes game i've seen in recent times"

    What have you been watching then, the Blue Square Prem? It was a decent game, but a bit niggly and scrappy. Hardly a classic.

  • Comment number 86.

    If United are lucky enough to make another Champs League Final (which isn't as certain as some people would like to think) they might aswell not bother turning up if they play a midfield that resembles that of yesterday.

    Carrick has prooved time and time again he is a liability, and in big games he is more often than not well off the pace.

    Park is decent player on left/right midfield, but through the centre he just runs around like a headless chicken.

    Scholes doen't have the legs to influence crucial games anymore, and if that was his last big game for United it will have been a sad end to the career of one of Englands greatest ever midfielders.

    Valencia is strong and quick.. but he still needs to make technical improvements if he is to become a World Class player.

    Nani has had a good season, he and Giggs have really been the only sparks that United have had in midfield.. the players that look like they're capable of making something happen.

    The midfield has been United's achilles heel since Hargreaves was injured.. and I am quite astounded that Fergie hasn't addressed the situation over the past seasons.. How can he buy a player like Bebe who never had a chance of breaking into the 1st team and not look for a genuine allround midfielder.. someone like Scotty Parker who would make such a difference to the middle of the pitch.

  • Comment number 87.

    'Re. Post 3 and Manchester City gaining success by "just money". United's squad yesterday cost over 150 million pounds in transfer fees (according to the transfer league website).'

    And just how did United come by this money? By winning stuff, you insecure loser.

  • Comment number 88.

    am over the moon as a man utd fan(sorry hater)....finally city beat u in the most important game and at wembley, as I expected you are gonna blame the FA, the referre, the pitch etc.I love Carrick so much, so good and only at 18 Million pounds, what a bargain.......over to Schalke now

  • Comment number 89.

    @ 88, kenyan_gunner,

    "finally city beat u in the most important game and at wembley"

    This wasn't the biggest game for United this season by any means.
    Don't confuse Arsenal with Manchester United.

  • Comment number 90.

    Phil i hat to think that the tax-payers money goes to some like you. Really what you done is you have taken the match report and rewritten it. Your job is to analyse not ask football fans the questions. Of course we are going to see this partisan nonsense. Ridiculous waste of money, Carrick's fee puts you to shame.

  • Comment number 91.

    Had Berbie scored, it was game over, Phil, & you know it. Citeh are no good at chasing the game, they aren't set up that way. We usually are, but with Rooney suspended & Giggs rested, it didn't happen this time.

    Citeh WERE greatly aided by the suspension of Rooney, end of.

    The FA took no action against the dozens of Prem players swearing on the pitch at refs,oppo players or oppo fans last weekend, and they won't this weekend, either.

    So much for a level playing field-they can't even provide that at Wembley any more-my local rec is better.

    Citeh now have to win the trophy without the assistance of the FA; let's see if they can.

  • Comment number 92.

    @88 - oh deary me kenyan_gunner seems like a poor and sad Arsenal fan who's team are poor and have been trophyless for the past 6 years! Mate come and gloat when you HAVE won a Champions League ;) (you know big trophy, silver and goal plated inside! GREAT teams like Barca, Real, Ajax, Man Utd - even Liverpool have won it)!

  • Comment number 93.

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

  • Comment number 94.

    Love how Ferdinand gets mad at Balotelli for goading the crowd yet it's fine when he kicks the ball in a kids face or when Gary Neville or Rooney deliberately wind up the opposition crowd, he is a great player but just as hypocritical as a lot of the Utd fans on here. You played well for 30 minutes and then were bossed for a large part of the game.

    Toure and De Jong were superb and Kompany has been the best defender in the league this year for me, really living up to all the promise he showed as a kid.

    United should still win the league and as long as they don't get complacent, get a place in the CL final but it wasn't the pitch etc yesterday, they just didn't play as well. As for City spending a lot of money? Pot, kettle.

  • Comment number 95.

    Oh come on andyheapsy! City created no chances?! Balotelli, Barry, Kolorov, Lescott and Kompany all came close to scoring and after the first 30 min were over Silva and Johnson stretched your defense far more than Nani and Valencia stretched ours. Berbatov missed his two chances while Toure took his. It wasn't a great game because it was quite edgy but you'll just have to accept that we had the beating of you yesterday. And you call us 'bitters'?

  • Comment number 96.

    This was semi final yet Man Citys players and fans acted like they had won something I don't support either club but its an insult to Stoke and Bolton that Man City already think they have won the FA cup, as Man Utd they have bigger prizes to look to now.

  • Comment number 97.

    @philmcnultybbcsport
    "Ferguson made his feelings clear about how much he wanted victory against City with the strength of the team he selected" i actually dis agree with this fact that no Giggs in the bench might have changed the dynamic of the game. and to play berba was a risk which didn't pay off.. the two chances which was given to him, owen and Hernandez would have taken those..

  • Comment number 98.

    On the day the best team won.

    United played a full strength team as did City so it makes it even nicer.

    United stoked the fire with their provocative banners and nasty talk, they expected to walk the game but it didn’t happen.

    Whoever City play in the final it will be tough but this is a marker that we can rise the big occasion.

  • Comment number 99.

    @ 89 Football_UK
    You are one bitter United fan...but thats expected.
    Utd has played Citeh 3 times this season but lost the most important game of the 3 yesterday, hope this soothes your bitterness

  • Comment number 100.

    I don't know how many City fans are at ease with a thought pointing to a possible lengthening of Mancini's career at City, after a likely first F.A. Cup for ages.

    On the aftermath of this defeat, for United, there are two positive side effects:
    a) it will be a complacency reminder on the Schalke 04 matches;
    b) if the United board needed proof of strengthening demands for the team, they don't come stronger than this.

    I'm not sure what Spurs fans think about yesterday's match. It will surely improve positivity at City for the rest of the Premiership. As a United fan, I am very well aware of how important high spirit is on a Premiership run-in.

 

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