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Silva and Milner add guts and guile to fluid Man City

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Alistair Magowan - BBC Sport | 11:37 UK time, Monday, 24 October 2011

In football, a long-held personal view is that too much credence is given to formations.

They have their value, of course, and provide a good starting point when talking about how a specific team sets up, but most of the time they allude to a side's defensive positioning.

A manager's instructions to play 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1 means that a team, in theory, can be perfectly organised to close down space and not let the opposition cut through them. In attack, however, it is in a team's interest to let loose and offer all sorts of problems for the opposition defence.

That is one of the reasons why Barcelona cause so many headaches for teams they face. Trying to pin them to a formation is pretty pointless as it is often something like a 4-6-0, such is their ability to group in midfield and attack en masse.

Manchester City have yet to reach the same heights, but although they might have lined up in a similar formation to rivals Manchester United on Sunday, they showed a marked difference in the way their wide midfielders linked up, leading to the first two goals in their 6-1 victory.

City's wide midfielders did a lot more work across the pitch than United's

This blog has already drawn attention to the merits of David Silva this season, who is currently the Premier League's in-form player. And James Milner's importance to manager Roberto Mancini was highlighted by the Italian selecting the 25-year-old for such a crucial fixture.

Telling in City's win, though, was the way in which one of the pair continually switched wings to overload the left or right flank, causing havoc for United's full-backs Chris Smalling and Patrice Evra.

In combining this with an indefatigable work ethic, it showed an intelligence that United's wide midfielders did not really match.

Silva's grace means that he is given licence to roam wherever he pleases when City are on the attack, yet he was still committed enough to funnel back to offer cover to City left-back Gael Clichy.

Milner offered a similar diligence to help right-back Micah Richards, who had his hands full early on with United left-winger Ashley Young.

While Young showed the enthusiasm to both attack and defend in equal measure, both he and Nani limited the majority of their work to their respective wings. This, in turn, meant Darren Fletcher and Anderson had to put extra work in to cover the huge spaces between them.

In contrast, Silva and Milner popped up in different areas across the pitch and their positioning allowed them to link up with their fellow attackers, with central midfielders Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure taking care to fill in the gaps on either side.

"If you go to Old Trafford you know you are in for a hard game and United's strengths obviously are pace, with Nani on one side and Young on the other," Match of the Day 2 pundit Lee Dixon said. "Down the wings you have to stop them and also Wayne Rooney playing in the hole.

"City had two full-backs who were outstanding and in front of those the two wide midfielders Milner and Silva were absolutely sensational. Their work-rate was unbelievable.

"Clichy and Richards had great protection in front of them and when the full-backs were drawn to the ball, Silva and Milner offered cover in behind."

In a strong United opening, both Silva and Milner played their part as City defended resolutely.

But once the visitors had weathered that onslaught, Milner was clever enough to join Silva on the left, in one of City's first forays forward, and it was his cutback which created the opening goal for Mario Balotelli.

Manchester United have conceded the most shots in the Premier League this season

It was not all rosy for Milner and he did suffer some nervous moments, particularly when he unintentionally passed the ball back to Young in the City penalty area and was relieved to watch the United player's snap-shot go wide.

But the City staff would have been impressed that he was in that defensive position in the first place. On another occasion when he gave the ball away just before half-time, he sprinted 50 yards deep from the United half to track the overlapping Evra.

Once centre-back Jonny Evans was dismissed the task became easier for City. Again the second goal came when Silva received the ball on the right flank, combined with Milner, and crossed deep for Balotelli to put City in firm control.

For a United defence which has conceded the most number of shots in the Premier League this season and chose not to start with Nemanja Vidic, losing Evans was a terminal blow.

There are various theories as to why the normally tight defence has become so leaky this season, and the chopping and changing in three of the four defensive positions has hardly helped.

But attention must be paid to the lack of cover given by United's central midfielders and with Young and Nani often so wide, perhaps it is no surprise that gaps often appear in these areas. Fletcher and Anderson are simply being stretched too far across the pitch.

This issue was brought into sharp focus in last year's Champions League final against Barcelona and after Sunday's capitulation it seems that the United coaching staff still need to address it.

You could argue that both City and United played 4-4-2 at Old Trafford, but in an incredible game, it was City who showed how different those supposed formations can be.

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Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    The stat that Man Utd have conceded the most amount of shots this season shows that a result like this was going to happen sooner or later, it was only a matter of time before the defence was punished and De Gea wasn't able to bail them out.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hugely disappointed with Silva's reluctance to do a job at right back. Not fit to wear the shirt.

  • Comment number 3.

    United are far too weak down the middle and Mancini picked a team to exploit this brilliantly. Fletcher and Anderson were completely out-powered by Yaya while United's centre-back pairing were just plainly too slow and cumbersome to handle the City attacks. Let's face it, if Dzeko can win a foot race against you Rio, then maybe it's time for the USA or Middle East paychecks!

    Milner was immense and Silva was sublime. Loved it!

  • Comment number 4.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 5.

    All credit to David Silva is very much understood. But for me Yaya Toure stands out... soon becoming the midfield general of PL like Vieira/Keane in their days.

  • Comment number 6.

    Another interesting statistic is Man city had 7 shots on target and scored 6 goals. Has there been any more prolific finishing. Man utd in the 88th minute had 4 shots on target to city's 4. At the end we folded.

    Also I wouldn't be suprised if Man utd have had the most shots on target this season. Most of the shots conceded were 30-40yds out. I wouldn't be suprised if we have given less goal scoring chances then we made and the difference being the largest in the league. Yesterday reminded me when everything city touched went in and most of there goals were by not marking from simple crosses. Viduc missing was massive as was carrick not playing. First half man utd were better but city second half weren't even that great but took everything while at the other end joe hart was the busier of the 2 goalkeepers until the 89th minute.

  • Comment number 7.

    Complete over reaction from the United v City result. I can't believe how many numpties like McNulty have come out saying "well this just shows they're not nosiy neighbours" all because of the scoreline and how much over analysis their has been.

    Its got nothing to do with Silva or Nani's positions, its purely down to the fact that man United played from the 46th minute with 10 men in a big game. EXACTLY the same thing happened against Liverpool, who at the time only really had Gerrard, Torres and maybe two other decent players at the time. Bayern Munich were also able to overturn being under the cosh when we had a sending off too.

    I'm amazed, well totally stunned how no one is mentioning the red card really. Yet with the QPR game, a team who managed to beat at top 4 side when they just come up it was all in the headlines "beat 9 men Chelsea". Not Chelsea, but 9 men. This was Man City a team who spent £500m on players not a newbie come up team. One paper even compared Manchester United to Colnel Guadaffi. Laughable.

    Is this what its going to be every time City beat Man United now? The "Blue moon rising" rubbish? Every time. Are you not aware they beat us twice in one season under Sven when we won the title? As did Liverpool in 2008 when we won it. A game against our main historical rivals in Liverpool, Man City or Leeds United will always be massive and despite form, league position or who's bigger/better anything can happen. Why is it because on has spent loads of money beyond their means does it all of a sudden mean any time they win they are becoming the power of Manchester, well they aren't. We are champions and they are nothing but the FA cup holders. Even if one day they do buy Messi, Ronaldo and Rooney they will still find it harder to beat us than other fixtures in those games even if we have eleven reserve players because of the reasons I just mentioned.

    Seriously, just like 2008 4-1 at Old Trafford v Liverpool, no red card and no big result. In fact, they were 1-0 up against the run of play according to my commentators view. 5 goals in one half after Evans went off, says it all. We'll beat them in April or in the cups if we get them just as we did at Wembley earlier in the year. I'd love to get them in Europe though because when we get them in the Carling cups or FA cups its like the fixture means more than the value of the competition trophy, Europe it really would be United at their best over two legs, European night, oh my.

    Evans made a bad mistake, should have let him score or score it himself, would have had a better chance as did Vidic in the Liverpool game. But we move on and we do so as CHAMPIONS, with 19 titles not 2. Its going to be a great battle but remember, City, Like Chelsea last season with their start, have had easy games. Look who United have played so far thanks to Sky, Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, LIVERPOOL AWAY!!!!! Inside 9 games and actually are higher than we normally are. People ALWAYS right United off early doors, raving about Chelsea, Arsenal or City or Liverpool remember?

  • Comment number 8.


    Over reaction to a 6-1 pasting at home? Really??

    What about the statistic about United conceding the most number of shots in the Premier League? Is that deluded also?

    Fact is United are weak at the core and it was a matter of time before this was exploited. Chelsea should have done it, Norwich should have done it and the European powerhouse that is Basle did do it.

    Get your head out of the sand. Fergie has and the record books suggest he'll definitely do something about it.

    Trust me, no City fans I know are counting on celebrating winning the league yet. We all know there is a long way to go and we're all aware of your lot's ability to come right in the second half of the season.

    You may have already played Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool but we've gone to both Spurs and United and have won both with a combined score of 11-2. Don't count us out either.

  • Comment number 9.

    @sirmattsway.. Mate, you got spanked. Good and proper. No-one is suggesting city have overtaken united, it takes 20 years of one team dominance to get the levels of confidence / arrogance they usually display. but yesterday you were poor in defence, had no midfield and your attacking players barely had a chance. Did you actually watch the match? Or were you one of the thousands who left after an hour? Considering the ease with which they battered you yesterday, I bet city can't wait for a real challenge!

  • Comment number 10.

    This could turn into one of the most open Premier League seasons yet as opposed to just Man Utd & Chelsea, or Man Utd & Arsenal. Realistically Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, even Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle or Tottenham are in with a shout. Once we hit the New Year, then we'll all be better placed to say who will win the league!!

  • Comment number 11.

    @ 10 BlueRedAndWhite88

    As a Newcastle fan i'd like to go on record (before someone accuses the NUFC fans of shoving the 'Big Club' tag into everyones faces) and say that most of our fans aren't even contemplating challenging for the title but we are certainly enjoying the French revelution.

  • Comment number 12.

    @ 11 Fantantonio

    Newcastle certainly look to be as solid a team as ever I can remember seeing them. Its nice to see people other than the usual suspects challenging for the title. It's like Scotland with Rangers and Celtic- it gets boring having the same 2 teams challenging!

  • Comment number 13.

    @11 argee with you here, we are taking it game by game, but joint 3rd isnt to bad :P WOULD LOVE IT IF WE BEAT THEM...LOVE IT

    oh and back to the topic, United were out classed by City. Silva really proved why he is one maybe THE best player in the premier league. YaYa looked like Viera at times during the game yesterday.

  • Comment number 14.

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

  • Comment number 15.

    @11 Fantantonio & @13 Newcastle_Mk

    Really pleased for Newcastle fans. Like City fans, you lot have had to suffer the "Comedy Club" tag for too long.

    Newcastle are looking very solid and the only thing that I can see changing that is their depth later on in the season when injuries & suspensions usually kick in.

    Pardew had done a brilliant job.

  • Comment number 16.

    9. At 14:35 24th Oct 2011, flamingbono wrote:
    @sirmattsway.. Mate, you got spanked. Good and proper. No-one is suggesting city have overtaken united


    I think that was sirmattsway's point - any time City get a good result (like the 6-1 drubbing this weekend, the FA Cup Semi Final or even the FA Cup Final win) you get blogs on here that will always, ALWAYS, dig out the old line about 'noisy neighbours' or go on about 'Blue Moon Rising' or the 'transfer of power' or blah blah blah.

    City were excellent yesterday - finally looking like a team not just Mancini's effort at fantasy football - but ultimately it was 3 points. You don't win any trophies for spanking your rivals, and we don't need these blogs yet again going on about noisy neighbours or the transfer of power.

    There are 11 links on the BBC Sport front page about the Manchester derby. Seriously.

  • Comment number 17.

    To be honest if it wasn't for some very poor refereeing decisions then this humiliating defeat for man u could have come much sooner.
    Only last week they were completely outclassed by Liverpool and saved by the ref, and not long before that they really deserved to be beaten by Norwich.
    Whilst they looked exciting earlier in the season this was clearly just a purple patch and several of the players were 'overperforming'.
    Now reality has bitten the question needs to be asked 'Is the the beginning of the end of their successful period.

  • Comment number 18.

    @16 FortressFratton

    To be fair, the term "noisy neighbours" was brought to us all courtesy of Fergie. It was a soundbite he knew would be leapt on by the media and United fans at the time, so I personally find it quite fitting that it gets shoved back down their throats from time to time.

    As for the shifting of power ... that's purely media and as a City fan I'm not comfortable with that yet. Even Mancini was quick to come out and declare that United are still a yard ahead of us. Power shifts take years, still early days yet.

  • Comment number 19.

    I love post no 7 above from a United numpty who just couldn't take United being embarrassed, humiliated and torn to shreds by a City team who were light years better.

    At least Sir Alex had the due grace to acknowledged they had been severely beaten on their home ground by a team playing fabulous exciting inventive free flowing football.

    Some United "fans" need to grow up and show some humility and common sense. They are so far up their own posteriors that when a side teras them to shreds they just cannot take it and look for excuses or as they did on Sunday look for the exits. I have never seen so many red plastic seats in all my life as were on display in the last quarter of an hour.

    My son is a United fan and he was pleading with the referee to stop it and blow the final whistle. If it had been boxing, it would have been stopped well before the end to save United from further unnecessary punishment.

    Incidentally how is Gary Neville this afternnon. He looked a bit crestfallen on Sky yesterday.

  • Comment number 20.

    The reality is that ManU hardly improved in the summer, last season they were unconvinded champions and the midfield lacks creativity and playmakers;
    Fergusson put his trust in young players, but is also because of lack of funds en huge debt, only with pace from the wings this is whats about the happen, and think without additions is a turning point in the top of the premiership!

  • Comment number 21.

    The wide player overload on both flank worked a treat, remember Blackburn using Hoillet in the same when he broke into their starting XI under Steve Kean. That was what allowed Richards to push so high up the pitch and subsequently produced Man City's first 3 goals.

  • Comment number 22.

    The best team won. Had Evans not pulled pack the Bartman then he would probably have made it 2-0 and the result ie a man city win would have been the same. City's movement was very impressive but for me Man Utd defended appallingly. Their players didn't track runners and thus Man City had a number of tap ins totally without any kind of pressure. Man City on the other hand defended very well.

  • Comment number 23.

    18. At 15:26 24th Oct 2011, bluechico wrote:

    As for the shifting of power ... that's purely media and as a City fan I'm not comfortable with that yet. Even Mancini was quick to come out and declare that United are still a yard ahead of us. Power shifts take years, still early days yet.


    Indeed - and not just Mancini, too. The players (well, I heard Micah Richards' interview post-match at least) were also careful not to get carried away and showed a lot of respect for United considering the scale of their victory!

  • Comment number 24.

    Man City wont win the league. Why? Because when things dont go their way they dont have a togetherness and too many sulking prima donas to roll up their sleeves and dig themselves out of a hole e.g. Bayern Munich away. James Milner is not one of these hence why he will be a permanent fixture in the team and i really like Kompany he is solid at the back. Chelsea or Man U are still favourites for me. Chelsea's team spirit in the second half against QPR was sensational.... and no i dont support any of the top teams so am a neutral.

  • Comment number 25.

    Newcastle certainly look to be as solid a team as ever I can remember seeing them. Its nice to see people other than the usual suspects challenging for the title. It's like Scotland with Rangers and Celtic- it gets boring having the same 2 teams challenging!

    NUFC challenging for what title?


    Wait until the annual Geordie soap opera kicks in and they can tell us all they really are a 'big club'.

  • Comment number 26.

    I think there is some undue criticism of the merits of this blog and I think the fluidity of City's display, highlighted by Silva and Milner, is tantamount to why I felt Utd found it difficult yesterday. The fact why this result is generating so much interest is numerous;

    Firstly I think there was intrigue regarding whether City could justify their place at the summit and consolidate their title-challenging credentials. I believe on a number of BBC blogs, comments have often referred to City 'only being there because they haven't played anyone good yet'.

    Secondly, I think it is fair to say that Utd have dominated the Premier League for two decades and no-one expected a result like this. Similar scenario when Utd beat Arsenal 8-2.

    Thirdly, I think there is general bemusement regarding how poor Utd were overall, particularly when they conceded and even more so when Evans got sent off. I think we are all used to seeing Utd galvanise themselves under similar circumstances previously but on Sunday they capitulated.

    Fourthly, whatever the money spent by City, I think there has been a general admiration in how they conducted themselves. They defended well, grew into the game, imposed their style, took their chances and celebrated with integrity.

    I don't think the result has been massively over-hyped at all. If Arsenal went to Chelsea and won 1-6 or Liverpool went to Everton and won 1-6 there would have been similar reporting. The reasoning behind the supposed hysteria is Utd are defending champions, sit second in the table and have already been lauded over with regards to previous results this season. This was a massive result and I really don't think the sending off was the catalyst; the real issue was that Utd defended poorly and appeared to give up.

  • Comment number 27.

    Right, for a start we were awful and deserved to lose. As for the "blue moon rising" and "switch of power" rubbish, city fans need to have a bit of a reality check.
    Titles will never be won in October, and they need to start realizing that!
    As for the BBC, they really are starting to show how anti-united they really are, do you really need all those derby blogs or are they just trying to be cynical.
    Finally, something really needs to be addressed (and I dont mean our woeful performance yesterday). People saying that united fans dont come from Manchester? How on earth can anyone say that? Almost every team have a fanbase that originated from the city they are named after/ where they came from, then fans come from other areas of the world or country due to popularity.
    Thats a fact! Sorry for babbling on but some fans need to rethink what they say!
    From a very disappointed United Fan :(

  • Comment number 28.

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

  • Comment number 29.

    Beating Arsenal 8-2 gave the team false hopes. The fact was that Arsenal was in turmoil, had 7 first teamers missing and there was uncertainty at the club about players leaving.
    On top of that they have just had a tough game against Udinese in Italy two days earlier and had very little time to prepare for that game which also involved travelling to Manchester when they have just returned from Italy.
    All the odds were against Arsenal and on top of all the tiredness they had a man sent off as well.
    Even after all that they still manged to put two past Utd.
    Man utd just had their players in place for pre-season and therefore were miles ahead of everybody , fitness -wise when the league started.Now that every team is reasonably fit , Man Utd are finding it difficult to win games.
    I'll expect them to drop even more points now that teams have been encouraged by Man City.

  • Comment number 30.

    @ 25 Strange_UBoat

    Take a look at post 11 then come back to me

  • Comment number 31.

    I love blinkered fans. Seriously LOVE them !!!!! Sirmattsway being my personal favorite today.

    Your team got a good hiding mate, take off the red tinted glasses. Christ alive what is wrong with football fans. Just for once I wish people would just admit when they've got a proper beating.

  • Comment number 32.

    @27 mufcjkk

    Nice rant!

    Once you've cooled down, please go back and read my previous posts on this blog.

    Obviously a Mancunian ;)

  • Comment number 33.

    I would also like to add how bad Ferdinand was / is. He is done for, I know people say "form is temporary, class is permanent" but he hasn't looked right for a long time now. He will struggle to make Euro 2012 at this rate.

  • Comment number 34.

    Mancini got the tactics spot on correct, while SAF got his tactics completely wrong. Up to the 89th minute. It looked like it was going to be a famous Man City 3-1 win at Old Trafford. But after that 89th minute, United defence got destroyed. SAF should have played his experienced players like Giggs and Vidic from the start instead of starting with his young and inexperienced players. Its very hard to see City dropping points this season. they have only 2 points so far from 9 games.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm a huge United fan, and this blog is correct about the midfield deficiencies.

    United played like individuals, not a team. Not enough collective work to compact the midfield, cover defenders and generally work hard to press City.

    But... it's only three points. Fergie will ensure they respond.

    They have a run of very winable fixtures between now and the end of January. They need to respond by going on a ruthless run of wins.

    City are still capable of dropping two points on the road here and there.

  • Comment number 36.

    Didn't expect Utd to win the title last year, but other teams threw away their chance.

    Don't expect them to win it this year either.

    The problem has been the centre of midfield, Paul Scholes was a great player, but his last couple of seasons were pretty average, yet Fergie still wanted him to play on. He is also too attached to Darren Fletcher, hard worker and fantastic goal yesterday, but some way off world class, not yet seen enough from Anderson to convince, Carrick is a fantastic passer, but doesn't do it high enough up the pitch. An ageing Ryan Giggs is not the answer either. Cleverly clearly has potential, but not there yet.

    It means the young back 4 is not getting enough protection, all the creativity is down to Rooney and 2 pacey wingers who are fairly one dimensional.

    Where yesterday's result may give them problems is that many sides go to Old Trafford beaten by aura & reputation before they start. If teams start to attack them, they may just drop a few more points.

    It'll be interesting to see if smaller teams continue to park the bus now or if they actually try to get points.

  • Comment number 37.

    Sick Swan :-p

  • Comment number 38.

    While your analysis is very good and I agree with most of it, any article titled "How Man City Beat Man United" should simply be limited to the word "MONEY"

  • Comment number 39.

    Alistair, you got your Barcelona formation wrong. Barca play 3-1-6. They park the bus at the opposition 18 yards and play 'hand ball-football'. At any moment, any one of 6 players can make a run through the middle and will be 1-on-1 with the keeper. This is not a headache for the opposing team, it is a migrane! Where do they do the defending? Well, at the front.. The last two matches they played PL heavy weights (Arsenal and ManU) these two had a combined total effort of 1 shot on goal. ONE!

    Barcelona have changed the way football is played. No one has come to terms with this yet and City are far, far behind. To beat Barcelona, you have to have massive luck. Luck - that is what it has come down to. Teams play that them and have luck as their plan A. What can I say?

  • Comment number 40.

    38. At 17:14 24th Oct 2011, pyaklich wrote:
    While your analysis is very good and I agree with most of it, any article titled "How Man City Beat Man United" should simply be limited to the word "MONEY"


    Totally agree, Man U have won all their trophies on the proverbial "shoe string" Wake up and smell the Kenco!

  • Comment number 41.

    nice to see so many teams playing for the top spot first of all.

    never been a fan of the EPL due to the predictability of it all, so i really have to say that clubs like chealsea and man city have been a breath of fresh air. further more you have to say newcastle and spurs have added alot to the mix.

    anyway ill be following more so the other end of the table this season and enjoying every match. if the swans go down truthfully it does not matter too much to me as the chapionship is a great league because its so open. i know the EPL will never be as open as the championship but its certainly becoming alot more enjoyable with the heated competition at the top.

    as for united they are not on paper the best side out there imo, fergie works magic out there and i beleive he is doing a great job with a team for the future.

    as for city they are becoming more than just great players, they are starting to become a team.

  • Comment number 42.

    United fans should stop putting blame on fergi, instead the so called stupid Evans should take the whole blame, Infact why some players are so foolish, wen you know that after you lost the game it will take we the fans some days to recover the lost pain. Evans cause the problem, he make CITY to win and have voice in uniteds land, we United will fight back wen we meet again next time.

  • Comment number 43.

    Good or bad, loose by 20-0 to City, i will remain with ALMIGHTY MANCHESTER UNITED even forever and ever

  • Comment number 44.

    39 a wet windy night in Stoke. Excuse me for getting that one wrong, you are right. A whole different concept to parking the bus. (I love that phrase by the way). I would love to see Stoke play Barca one day just for the clash in styles.

    Many others among you have talked about United's midfield. Both Lee Sharpe and Peter Reid told me today they needed to improve there and I dont think the way they set up on Sunday did Anderson or Fletcher any favours. Reid thinks Ferguson will supplement this area in January, but what do United need?

  • Comment number 45.

    In response to Pyaklich - what an inane and obvious statement!

    Clearly, City would not be where they are now without the money, players like David Silva etc do not come cheap.
    What I would like a football financial analyst to do is to go back over say the years since the Premier League began and to calculate, taking into account inflation, including the massive football inflation, the relative spending of the two clubs over that period. My guess is that it would not be too different - it just so happens that the City money has come all at once. When United went plc they opened themselves up to predators rather than benefactors.

  • Comment number 46.

    back @ bluechico

    did you actually read my post? im guessing not. I read yours, basically all the same.
    All city fans come from Manchester like they boast about eh, doubt it!
    Shoe on the other foot im thinking!


  • Comment number 47.

    @42. You are a football genius. When Fergie steps down, I hope 'Nited turn to you to replace him. Really, I do.


  • Comment number 48.

    Were was Wayne Rooney, after all eveyone says he is the best footballer in the country?. Not even good enough on Sundays showing to get into our Sunday League football team.

  • Comment number 49.

    I bet when sirrmattsway's team wins the derby he's in the face of every city fan he can find rubbing it in gracelessly. When its the other way round he simply can't take it and starts snapping at anyone who tries to talk about it.

    "At least Sir Alex had the due grace to acknowledged they had been severely beaten on their home ground by a team playing fabulous exciting inventive free flowing football"

    I didn't hear Sir Alex say one word about City's performance on either Sky or BBC. All i saw was a shell-shocked old man muttering on about crazy defending, saying 'situation' a lot and blaming Evra & Ferdinand.

  • Comment number 50.

    At 17:08 24th Oct 2011, Jnrmofo wrote:

    I'm a huge United fan, and this blog is correct about the midfield deficiencies.

    United played like individuals, not a team. Not enough collective work to compact the midfield, cover defenders and generally work hard to press City.

    But... it's only three points. Fergie will ensure they respond.

    They have a run of very winable fixtures between now and the end of January. They need to respond by going on a ruthless run of wins.

    City are still capable of dropping two points on the road here and there.

    This is by far the best comment from Man Utd fan I have seen on this blog. I am obviously a City fan. I'm feeling good about our chances this year, but after yesterday's result... why not? But I still understand as do my fellow Citeh fans that there is a long road yet.

    Man Utd fans... you need to take note of what your compatriot said above, before coming out with the usual cliches and typing the diahorrea which I have read above.

    Bottom line... Utd got spanked yesterday, but it is still only 3 points to Citeh.

    P.S. I was fearful of this game when I found out Clattenberg was reffing, but bar a couple of incorrect decisions, the biggest being the penalty City should have had after being tumbled by Anderson, I thought he put in a good performance!

  • Comment number 51.

    With all the amusement sirmattsway has brought, we seem to have overlooked @6 hafijur.

    "Man city had 7 shots on target and scored 6 goals"
    "Most of the shots conceded were 30-40yds out"
    "everything city touched went in and most of there goals were by not marking from simple crosses"

    You were clearly at a different match mate. 6 from 7 - 4 tap ins, a decent shot and de Gea diving out of the way for the 6th. The whole point of the blog is that City's midfielders worked hard to create space out wide. Yeah, the crosses were simple, but how they were created wasn't.

    Check out some of his other comments as well - apparently Mancini is to (sic) defensive. I bet he's glad we didn't put out an attacking team yesterday.

    The United fans on this blog seem to be in an impossible position - they can't bring themself to admit that either they were very poor, or we were very good. The lack of fight at the end must be a concern though. Although I can't stand the man, I really think you needed a leader like Roy Keane to say enough is enough. Nobody was prepared to do that yesterday.

    Oh and as much as I love the Toon Army, people were saying that City hadn't had a hard match yet (some would say we still haven't!), you should really check out who they've played so far before deciding they're challenging for the league.

  • Comment number 52.

    That is possibly the worst statistic that you can analyse. I think a remember at the beginning of the season saying De Gea was dodgy. So what did every team do, shoot from absolutely anywhere. I would say Van Der Vaart had 10% of that statistic with his 40 yard miss hits.

    United's defence has been poor this season, early in the season it was fine because the attacking play was brilliant. Now Fergie had to rotate with injuries in all the positions and to be honest the man is a genius but I have questions on playing your strongest fit team against Galati, when you have Liverpool and City either side of the fixture (I know it was a must win game but they are not exactly Barcelona)


    Well I just couldn't tell you are a Liverpool fan, United would of lost if it wasn't for refereeing decisions???? What?! United were admittingly poor and should of lost but it has nothing to do with the referee who was more bias to Liverpool than United, lets not forget Downing's dive, the somewhat dodgy dive by Adam for the goal, the kick on Evra's knee from Suarez. Liverpool had their fair share of decisions in that game.

    And while on the subject, Norwich should of shown United's weakness? Well they certainly showed Liverpool's yesterday, would you agree?

    Anyway United did get battered yesterday, I don't think any Manchester United fan is denying that at all. But it is a typical view of all other supporters that as for example everyone having ago @sirmattsway that United fans are defending the result.

    For 40 minutes they played with 10 men, now seriously you are trying to say it would of been 6-1 if it wasn't for this? They probably would of lost but not by this margin. United have had much harder fixtures than City, and we have come out with more points from the fixtures than last season. City may of battered United and Spurs but not every game is going to be like this.

    Anyway I will let this one go, I suppose City have not had much to celebrate in the last 20 years, and regardless of the interviews with Mancini and players they acted they had won the league at the end of the game, so it might a good thing them getting carried away.

  • Comment number 53.

    Let's face it, the 'London Mafia' have done a great job at Newcastle.

  • Comment number 54.

    After the Community Shield various Utd players were vociferous in claiming they had taught City a "footballing lesson", a refrain which unsurprisingly was repeated ad nauseum by crowing Reds.

    I've yet to see a similar response from our players, mgmt or fans because you are as always classless in victory and defeat.

    On the subject of this blog, you lost yesterday because your midfield is worse than the one over-run by Barca. Did Ferguson really believe (with or without the unproven Cleverley) he could just hope youthful energy would swamp teams?

    As is often said, power is nothing without control.

  • Comment number 55.

    Chelsea played with 9 players yesterday and took the game to QPR. Obviously QPR isn't MC but MU has sufficient players of high calibre that the loss of one of their more ineffective players should not be used as an excuse. MC's measured approach to the task at hand was very impressive, that and the 9 player tactics assumed by CFC suggest (to me) that Mancini and AVB are capable of assuming F's mantle. F got it wrong at Liverpool (you have to attack the slow back line from the outset) and yesterday. As a Liverpool fan I am not looking forward to having to handle Silva + Nasri + Aguero + Dzeko + Balotelli. MU will rebound from yesterday but the days of belittling the title hopes of MC and CFC appear to be numbered.

  • Comment number 56.

    United were lethargic and lazy. Stoke could have outplayed them; City frankly did nothing of note.

  • Comment number 57.

    So often the media talk about how fickle the british fans are turning on managers as soon as few results dont go their way but the british media is 10x worse. I remember after the community shield there was a comparison between the young guns of man utd and barcelona and how this new generation was turning point in the way man utd play. Now man utd are in disaray. Its ridiculous. The facts are man utd are weak in the middle of the park and the sending off killed the game as a competition. What we did see from man city was how to use a man advantage something qpr must look at. They kept the ball moving tired out the oposition and exploited the spaces when they appeared late on in the game. Now dont get me wrong im far from a man utd fan and took great pleasyre in watching them ship 6 but an objective view wouldnt go a miss.
    A second string arsenal team down to ten men lost 8-2 but these details get quickly forgotten and sensationalist media blow things out of all proportion. Do i think man utd are in a crisis? No. The same way i dont think arsenal are 6 goals worse than man u.
    Objective view please.
    What do think is a telling stat that man u have the most shots on their goal its been sugar coated by the fact they have been winning but it is something they need to address especially if fergie wants another champions league.

  • Comment number 58.

    The excuse about playing with 10 for 40 minutes is a pretty poor one. Spurs did it against us a couple of seasons ago, parked the bus, then hit us on the break and won the game 1-0.

    We played 89 minutes with 10 men when Boyata got dismissed in the first minute against Arsenal last season at home and, after yesterday's result I'm going to say "only" lost the game 3-0 yet we still took the game to them.

    Lets not forget yesterday with Chelsea, playing with 9 men against QPR and, apart from the lack of finishing, could have won that game but lost "only" 1-0 as an away side!

    And finally, as mentioned in my aforementioned post, City should have been up 2-0 after Clattenberg gave an incorrect penalty decision after Anderson clattered into Richards. This happened before Jonny Evans got sent off!

    What's the next excuse?

  • Comment number 59.

    Very good blog. The ability to play football with interchangeable position players is lethal when it's working well. Roma under squillaci was when i remember this topic taking off, united circa rooney/ ronaldo / Tevez got the same attention, barcalona obviously, and now city.

    Aside from Roma, who punched considerably above their weight in europe for quite a few seasons, the key to playing this way is top top quality players who are hungry for the ball. Thats not a tactic, it's a natural exuberance borne from ability and experience and a manager willing to not look a gift horse in the mouth.

    I honestly believe it's accidental on the managers part, as players tend to be bought on ability,with a formation in mind. But it's certainly a beautiful accident in full flow.

  • Comment number 60.

    3 goals in the last few minutes when Man U fell apart, otherwise it was 3-1, would you have written the same article.
    And 10 men against the best money can buy, hardly surprising.
    Really it shows that for all their attacking prowess, Young and Nani are poor defenders. ( Valencia would have been a better opption)
    The one big outcome to this game is the blow to ManU pride ( just like happened to the Arsenal) wouldnt like to be playing them next week.....

  • Comment number 61.

    As a City fan I have to say that the majority of United fans' reaction to the game has been really pretty classy. Most of those that I know have said something along the lines of: "we were poor, City were much better - congratulations, we need to look at our defense".

    But reading this blog I can see there is still a small minority who are unable to accept the fact that they don't win all the time. Post #7 being a prime example.

    If you truly believe that this win is insignificant on the grand scheme of things; that it doesn't signal that City are able to compete with United; that somehow, United's "class" will eventually win them the league, then you truly are deluded.

    It's still early days, and quite rightly lots of people have noted that you don't win the league in October. But on the other hand, you don't go to Old Trafford and comprehensively destroy United 6-1 without being genuine title contenders.

    Oh and as for the sending off, which supposedly turned the game entirely, (again according to #7) - suppose Evans didn't commit that foul, you would have been 2-0 down, still with 11 men on the pitch. Given that you had only mustered 4 shots on goal by 88 minutes (which implies a maximum of 4 shots on goal the entire first half, when you had 11 men), do you honestly believe that an 11-man United would have fought back and somehow won the game, or drawn? How exactly would that have worked?

  • Comment number 62.

    Hansen,Lawrenson, and Linaeker ought to be eating humble pie now these three anti City stooges are constantly writing Man City off time after time they will never learn.
    Had to chuckle last week after City destroyed Villa 3-0 Hansen said " it will be tougher for City next week against United" ha ha ha ha CITY won 6-1....
    Lawro said this week " lets see how good City are when they are put under pressure"
    Keep writing our team off you pair of numpties people will be laughing even more at you?

  • Comment number 63.

    Gee is not really here, where do you live - LONDON or the South West? it is a well known fact that most of utds fans are out of towners or just glory hunters however very soon the glory hunting theory will be a wee bit desperate because Man City are the future now...fact!

  • Comment number 64.

    Howard Webb not refereeing was the key factor in the result.

  • Comment number 65.

    Interesting comments on here, lots of City fans gloating, lots of united fans upset with 6-1 and rightly so!
    Silva is world class, Aguero I think will come to be one of the best signings that the premier league will ever see. Balotelli is a total idiot but a fine footballer and Toure is looking better and better every game.

    Being realistic this result is purely about money, nothing more nothing less. City have thrown immense amounts of money at the ‘project’, they now have some of the best players in the world.

    I am a United fan and the above pains me to write make no mistake, however if you look at the stats and the shots on goal it is midfield where united have problems, we miss the player to control games and retain the ball, we were interested in Nasri in the summer, he went for the money at City. We wanted Sneijder but it appears that his ridiculous wage demands caused United (quite rightly) to decline to push things any further. This is where the money comes into play, United have to be run as a business, we are able to sign players and spend 50 million in the close season because the business plan is sound and we progressed in the champion’s league final but there is not a bottomless pit. The money was also spent on young players with a long future ahead of them. City in contrast don’t have such concerns, huge transfer fees, incredible wages with no regard for any idea of balancing the books.

    I don’t begrudge the City fans at all, they have suffered for years with mismanagement on and off the pitch, relegation and United wining everything. Maybe it is time for them to have a slice of the glory and to enjoy it, the football city are playing is outstanding this season and if they end up champions then they have played football the right way. They were simply the right club in the right place for the Sheikh.

    However from a football perspective it is v v bad for the league to have one team able to spend these vast amounts with no consequence, no business plan at all, its not just an isolated problem either, PSG, Malaga, Anzhi Makhachkala even Chelsea (althought they are trying to develop their own players) are throwing obscene amounts of money about. Football is supposed to be a team game, each team having a couple of superstars and then team players around them, not 10 players for 30 million and them all on 200k a week! What chance has the rest of the league got, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and probably now United run as businesses, responsibly but priced out of challenging by the oligarchs!

    I don’t know what the solution is, the FFP rules do seem to be a bit slanted towards the big clubs but on the flip side the profligate spending needs to be addressed.

    In the meanwhile I will just have to appreciate the football that City play but try not to notice the colour of the shirts or the badge they do it in ;-)

  • Comment number 66.

    @ 63 ted

    well known fact from who or whom? your comment makes no sense, do you have proven evidence of all united fans being from london or elsewhere outside manchester? ah NO I thought not!

  • Comment number 67.

    The blog correctly identifies that United's wingers didn't do as much defensive work as City's, that City did overload United's defence by sending both wingers down one flank, and that when it was 11v10 United's central midfield 2 was overstretched (because the wingers didn't help out in defence as much as was needed, as demonstrated by Milner and Silva in the first half).

    Trying to draw lessons about the future of the United team from this match is a mug's game. Lets break it down:

    First half: Man Utd dominate early possession but struggle to create clear-cut chances; City score against the run of play and have the upper hand for the next ten minutes; Man Utd reassert themselves towards the end of the half, still without creating much.

    So far, so poised. Nothing to suggest an exceptionally dominant City team, end of an era, blue moon rising etc. One goal in it, and lets not forget the Charity Shield.

    Restart, Evans is sent off; extremely talented, expensive, mobile team with 3 of the Premier League's best attackers (Silva, Balotelli, Aguero) and 3 of its hardest working midfielders (Barry, Toure, Milner) proceeds to out-muscle, out-work and out-manouevre 10 man team, scoring 2 goals; 10 man team finally gets its formation sorted out and begins to play its way back into match, scoring a late goal; 10 man team attacks recklessly trying to salvage a point; City score while United are pressing forward; United lose their heads and concede 2 more in quick succession; full time.

    Well, that was clearly a lesson in footballing excellence, wasn't it. Barca in the Champions League final(s) all over again. /sarcasm

    It was a humiliating defeat, but trying to extrapolate the future direction of the Premier League from a 5-1 11 v 10 stuffing over 45 minutes is nonsense. The first half gave a much truer picture of the teams and the way the League is shaping this season.

  • Comment number 68.

    The stat on conceding shots mean nothing without defining a shot and measuring the proximity of shots to the goal....

    As for the game, city got it all right, united got it all wrong, Clattenburg's dishing out of cards was questionable... You can't count 4 or more bad tackles and not give cards, that allowed city the opportunity to will the game pyschologically... the red card just finished it off...

  • Comment number 69.

    Stats & score do not ALWAYS tell the full story.
    Missing Vidic was a major problem, and not playing Smalling at CB in his absence was a big mistake, as Evans simply not good enough in that possition.
    Anderson and Fletcher a week central-mid pairing too.
    United in control until the first goal, for which I feel Evans was to blame.
    De Gea I have said all along should be 2nd choice to Lidegaard. Simply not yet ready to take control and marshall his defense, and they do not have the faith required in him either.
    Not the end of the world, just very very embarassing and highly frustrating.
    League not even a third done yet. At this stage last season United were more than 5 points back, and Chelsea were slamming 6 past everyone in sight ..... remember what happened?

  • Comment number 70.

    When united beat 10-men Arsenal at home(goals that included a penalty, and 2 from set-pieces) they were hailed as the best side ever. That Arsenal were missing 7 first teamers through injuries/suspensions and they had been to Italy midweek in a crucial champions league match was never mentioned.

    Fast forward two months later the same, all-conquering side is dispatched by a City side in their own back yard by an almost similar scoreline(Note: no goals from a penalty, or set-piece, all scored from open play). United had all their first teamers available. Still some people will want to talk this down as 'just another bad day at the office, united will bounce back,...blah blah blah'. United were dire to say the least, but City were/are supreme. The fact they dispatched Spurs not so long ago by an almost similar margin in their own backyard should make people sit up and take note. Only the most optmistic united fan will deny City are stronger. You just needed to look at the two benches to see that. And the nonsense from Utd fans about City buying the title is really a case of pot calling kettle black.

    United fans, whether you like it or not, the balance of power has shifted.

  • Comment number 71.

    @67 You forgot to mention a crucial detail in your post:

    Restart, Evans is sent off for fouling Balotelli while he was clean through on goal. If that foul wouldn't have been made, you would have been 2-0 down. In either scenario it's difficult to see United coming back at City with the team you had out there. In the entire first half you created nothing - what was there to suggest you would have created something at 2-0 down? If anything, you would have been chasing the game and would have been far more exposed at the back than you were in the first half.

  • Comment number 72.

    64.At 20:02 24th Oct 2011, Jasperino wrote:
    Howard Webb not refereeing was the key factor in the result.


    True. Unfortunately its not just webb, many refs would have made the above statement true. Real sad. In fact, I strongly suspect we will shortly start seeing some very generous decisions going the usual way to 'compensate' for this annihilation. I fear for the next few sides to play Utd.

  • Comment number 73.

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

  • Comment number 74.

    Actually happy Utd fans adhere to the simplistic 'follow-the-ball' reading of a game that having possession but creating nothing equates to dominance and thus a 'truer picture'. We did that against Bayern and got rightly spanked. Sincerely hope that is the message down at Carrington this week.

    I'd gloss over the fact that you were easily muzzled with Rooney dropping into neutral spaces, Wellbeck running into corners and Evra / Smalling falling further and further back after the first 15 mins. Utd were predictably gung-ho in the first 15 mins but if you want to extrapolate that to a victory without the sending off, go ahead.

    Oh and Anderson should have been sent off and given away a first half penalty too. Of course Clattenburg is clearly ABU though.

  • Comment number 75.

    I think this result could be a good thing for Man Utd. So far this season they have been exposed to a lot of positive media attention "fergie's fledglings" "gonna win the title again". All the while City and Chelsea haven't had a large amount of attention paid to them. The fact of the matter is Man Utd don't really have much greatness on the field, most of the players are just hard workers for example would players like Fletcher, Valencia, Smalling, Park Ji Sung, Ferdinand (has no pace and is incredibly error prone it seems), Evans, Owen, Gibson, Anderson, Berbatov or Carrick actually even make any one of the top five's first teams? No probably not. Fergie is a genius for uniting them enforcing determination, work ethic and teamwork and overachieving last year when Chelsea were in free fall, Man City has a poor dressing room, Arsenal had their usual problems, and Liverpool were a mess, they won the title through experience, workrate, teamwork and determination not an abundance of quality. At the end of the day apart from their strikeforce, Nani, Young and a few ageing players like Giggs, Vidic and Evra the rest of their squad are too average or too young.

    They have a complete lack of creativity since Scholes left and even when he was playing he was a bit too old, the cover in defence went in the summer with Brown, Neville and O'Shea, which kind of explains why they are playing Smalling at right back, Anderson could never cut it, Fletcher is a work horse, Cleverley is too young, Gibson is not good enough and Carrick is the most over rated player in the history of football, Wow he can pass ill pay £20 mill for that, he can't do much else though! So with no real strength in central midfield the loss of Scholes and Gigg's legs presumably on their way they need to re invest with a playmaker and a ball winner.

    Man Utd need serious re-enforcements if they are going to be challenging this year, Man City have strengthened heavily along with Chelsea who now have a nearly rejuvenated Torres aswell as Juan Manuel Mata, Liverpool are on a revival and now City have shown how to beat them this will give other teams the confidence to try it aswell, i can see them dropping a lot of points particulary away.

    I'm not saying that i didn't burst out laughing when i saw the result (i did) or that i wasn't incredibly happy.

  • Comment number 76.

    The absence of a Roy Keane both as a leader and the type of player he was has become slowly more apparent as United have become progressively easier to play through. I can only imagine how Keane would have reacted to team-mates not tracking runners etc...

  • Comment number 77.

    Well, it's not all over.
    There is no 'Blue Moon Rising' just yet - YET!
    Last year we fought hard and got 3rd and the FA cup.
    This year after 9 games pundits are saying EPL champions in waiting?
    Get real folks.
    It was an excellent game that the Manager got his tactics right on the day for.
    We probably caught out Utd by playing attacking football and not parking the bus as SAF did with the team at Liverpool.
    There's the rest of the season to go, I'm looking forward to some exciting times ahead.
    And if City happen to win the League this season, I'll be a happy man.
    But it's a long way off till the end of May.
    I'll be satisfied if we stay top 2 and win another trophy.
    Anything else will be a bonus.
    And I don't think we'll last that long in the CL this season.
    We can say the Blue Moon has risen when we are beating Utd season in, season out and getting to at least the semi's of the CL every season and winning the EPL regularly.
    But I will smile as I think of Sunday's result.......:-)

  • Comment number 78.

    Only the congenitally stupid could have believed that this was the 'best side ever'. Not sure many are in denial about how strong City have been this season but I'm sure a fair number of them will be fans of other top English teams like Arsenal and ManU who don't want the good days to end..


    City look good enough and strong enough to win the league, ManU will probably be in the top 3 with Chelsea..

    ..and Arsenal well, the good ol days probably really are over...

  • Comment number 79.

    We have been down this road before. We lose and are written off. There was nothing in that game to suggest that it was anything more than a bad day in the office. Normal service will resume soon enough for United to win its usual back-to-back title. You would think paundits would know that by now. Enjoy your one day in the sun.

  • Comment number 80.

    #65 Very good post. I would say though that without the money from the Russian at Chelsea or the Sheikh at Man City that Man Utd's money would mean they would be even more dominant than they already are. The fact the money comes from millions of "fans" in a different country rather than a single rich fan doesn't negate the fact it distorts the league. Money is and was the problem not the source.
    Berbatov at Spurs, Young at Villa and even Rooney at Everton were all bought for vast sums by a richer team in the same league which shouldn't happen. It was similarly wrong with Carrol to Liverpool or Torres to Chelsea or Nasri and Clichy to Man City. Money ruined the competition in football but it ruined it when the CL money mean the top four got extra cash that took them away from the shared money in the EPL. How will Spurs, Villa or Everton ever manage to challenge for the title if Man Utd, Chelsea or Man City continue to buy their best players by offering them more money? We need a fairer system but it must be fair to all teams not just the Big ones.

  • Comment number 81.

    City were good. Utd not so good. Shame it had to be 11 vs 10 for a half.
    Rgding 'shift of power', its a bit early. If FFP rules are applied without get out clauses, popular clubs like Utd/AFC/LFC/CFC will continue to stay at top as they have the most support and stable revenue streams/income...player salaries will have to come down...everyone needs to follow the rules from 2013...not enough time left for City to win some trophies before they have to cut their expenses and balance the books...

  • Comment number 82.

    @ Ted

    I don't even know why you bothered to ask me Ted as I think you have mis-read the message I was trying to convey. I am a MAN CITY fan! I was born St. Mary's Hospital and raised in Manchester and I always lived closer to City's ground than Utd's until I moved away when I was 19.

    The point of my message @ 50 is that the author of the person I was quoting. Jnrmofo, wrote one of the most realistic comments on here without slandering City and taking the blow we gave Utd clean on the chops and saying it how it is. Even though Jnrmofo is a Utd fan, he is the kind I have time for! My comment @ 58 was a response to the people using the "10 men for 40 minutes" as an excuse for Utd's defeat yesterday, though in hindsight at my last statement about the Richards penalty shout, I think I might have been wrong about it happening before the Evans sending off!

    Yes Ted, City is the future and I'm darned excited about it, but don't get too carried away and please read more carefully before accusing me of being in the South West or in London, hence my comment @ 58 opening up with "The excuse about playing with 10 for 40 minutes is a pretty poor one".

  • Comment number 83.

    This is so reminiscent of 2008-09, after United lost 4-1 to Liverpool apparently they were a side in decline with ageing players and a one man team over-reliant on Ronaldo. That year they won the league and reached the Champions League final. 2 years after they repeated the same feat, this time with a new team. The fact is a single game in October will not decide this title race, while City won yesterday(largely due to some excellent wing play from Silva and Milner, woeful work by Evra and Ferdinand and a sending off) they are not the force United are. If you want evidence, look no further than their European escapades against Napoli and Bayern. For all this talk of a side in decline, United have a strong set of very young, talented players who are already starting to form the spine of this team and only Evra and Vidic remain of the older guard who are now 1st team regulars. They have a manager who has won countless trophies, players who, despite having won it all before, still have the same hunger their manager has and a huge sense of identity and tradition that few European clubs can match(and one that, for all their money, City or Chelsea just don't). Add to this the sheer financial power of a club that can, burdened by debt put on it by the Glazers, still turn operating profits of 100m+, be a bigger global brand than the most successful European club of the last 5 years(Barca) and can invite investors from all over the world, and you realize that actually for all this talk of City's money, United are the stronger business and the stronger club, because the problem with a business getting injected with so much cash is sooner or later the investor will want a return, and I don't see that return coming quick enough given the amounts invested. The blue moon may be rising now(compared to being mid table fodder few seasons ago at least), but if Chelsea couldn't overshadow United with Abromovitch and Mourinho, I can't see City doing it. United have been and will, for a very long time will continue to be, the power in Premiership.

  • Comment number 84.

    #65 Very good post. I would say though that without the money from the Russian at Chelsea or the Sheikh at Man City that Man Utd's money would mean they would be even more dominant than they already are. The fact the money comes from millions of "fans" in a different country rather than a single rich fan doesn't negate the fact it distorts the league. Money is and was the problem not the source.
    Typical politics of envy. A wise man gains wealth through sound investment, patience and success and envious people suddenly think his money is a problem because it "distorts the market". There was a grasshopper and an ant....

  • Comment number 85.

    All of these statistical gymnastics and fancy charts mean nothing if they disregard that fact than ManU were playing with a man short for half the game. Man city played a great game but looked better because they had the man advantage.Personally I do not think that Mancini is good enough and wastes the owners investments by not being able to handle the talented prima donna players like Tevez, Adebayor and Craig Bellamy.A great manager can handle the super egos Mancini is good but not great enough.Its easy for him to buy expensive players with the owners cash. But keeping them on the bench is a waste.

  • Comment number 86.

    This result has been coming for a while, for those honest fans, they must know this is the worst Utd team in a long time. OK Rooney, Hernandez, Nani and Young are a very good attacking quartet, but in the other 7 positions only Vidic is a good player. The rest of the squad is full of average, inexperienced or past it players, why SAF can't see this is great for everyone else.

    This season Utd are in a false position, they're 3 comfortable wins were against a dire Bolton, a Spurs team in turmoil over Modric's situation and Arsenal in full on meltdown. Then came a win over Chelsea where by most peoples opinion Chelsea were by far the better team, add to that a lucky late deflected goal against West Brom and a win over Norwich who missed 5 or 6 sitters, plus a totally undeserved point at Liverpool who were unable to convert their chances.

    Quite comfortably, if Utd had got what they deserved in games they could have 7 or 8 less points. To be fair Utd's sheer will has carried them through so far this season, but this result could shake that to the core and give other teams the belief that Utd are there for the taking because they are.

  • Comment number 87.

    Manchester United built from the ashes of Munich or Manchester City built with the petro dollars of an unknown Sheikh

  • Comment number 88.

    Are you seriously putting Man City's recent rise up the league, culminating in this weekend's slaughter of Manure, down to great management and tactics!?

    It's quite simple, you spend millions of pounds on the world's best players and the odds are you will be one of the best teams!

    Ask Mancini, SAF, and a few others to manage and coach one of the less wealthy Premier League clubs and see where they end up.

    Come on, stop pandering to the wealthy few by bestowing them with some kind of tactical and management genius. Rather, put it down to what it is, good fortune that they happen to be a manager of a very wealthy club with unlimited funds, and focus on the real coaches who are actually earning their salaries and actually using their management, coaching and management skills to stay in the league.

  • Comment number 89.

    I think the Utd fans moaning about the hype over city should realise it is coming from the media, not city. Just as the media were hyping United after the Arsenal result. I thought considering the momentous nature of the result the City players and manager were very restrained. Not sure the United response would have been so restrained if the shoe was on the other foot, if past evidence is any thing to go by. As for cash, Fergie has spent an absolute fortune on players over the years so complaints about money seem very hollow. City missed 3 or 4 very easy chances yesterday so it could have been much worse. Only three points but this result has amazing similarities to Everton winning 1-0 at Anfield in 1984. A team on the rise, FA Cup holders, but they didn't really believe they could take Liverpools title until that win. Could be massively significant at the end of the season.

  • Comment number 90.

    @84 "A wise man gains wealth through sound investment, patience and success and envious people suddenly think his money is a problem because it "distorts the market".

    What the the wise man say about the Glazers borrowing zillions to buy Man Utd and effectively leave them with this borrowing as Man Utd debt rather than Glazer debt?

  • Comment number 91.

    My God this thread has more whinging whining bad losers Man U fans than Jordan has had lovers. Can't take a pasting and don't like it brilliantly shoved up them as it was on Sunday.

    The Manager of United can take it even if he didn't pay many compliments to City but the fans are yet again proving to be the worst in football.

    Well done Manchester City, a truly brilliant performance heralded all over the world and watched by billions.

    I love the Louts anthem "Build a Bonfire" at the Theatre of Injunctions. Probably a good idea to build one as United had plenty of rubbish on display on Sunday which needs to be disposed off pretty quickly LOL

    What a fabulous fabulous weekend.

  • Comment number 92.

    As a City fan, I have to say that Sunday's game was a joy to watch!!

    Only one point really annoyed me. At the 90 minute mark, a minimum of 3 added minutes was displayed. During this time, City scored 3 goals which should have added at least a further 3 to 4 minutes, if we are to be consistent.
    This was the reason given for the 'extra, extra' time added on at the 'Theatre of Screams' in the 4-3 game, two years ago!!!
    This inconsistency denied City the opportunity to possibly score a few more goals!!
    Just because it was obvious that Utd couldn't win or draw, it should not influence a referee's decision on how much 'extra, extra' time to add!!!
    Consistency is all we want, not 'homer' decisions!!

    As much as I enjoyed giving Utd 'Six of the best', I agree that it means no more than 'bragging rights' at the moment. However, it annoys me that Utd fans are trotting out the rubbish that they have had tougher fixtures! Dream on!! Utd have only played one 'tough' away game, at Liverpool, where they dropped points. City have played Spurs away and Utd, spanking both of them handsomely!!!
    At the moment, City are by far the better side. If they can produce consistent performances for a further 29 games, they will be Champ1-6ns in May.
    As for the Champions League, it's a tough group but I expect City to emerge from it, probably 2nd to an impressive Bayern, but they will hopefully grow into the competition. Whatever happens this season, it's still awesome to be a City fan after years of mediocrity and Utd fans rubbing our noses in it. Now they are getting a taste of their own medicine. Hard to swallow, isn't it guys? Champ1-6ns?

  • Comment number 93.

    Noticed a couple of contributors mention that when FFP kicks in City will float back down to where they belong. Well, I am on holiday in Florida at the moment and last week in Orlando, Manu shirts on display in the parks were 10 a penny. Was at Busch gardens today and didn't see a single one, although I did see a happy young chap aged about 4 in a full City kit. In fairness I did spot one bloke with a Manu cap watching from the sidelines as I was on the log flume but after a i regaled him with a hearty "6 - 1" he scuttled off never to be seen again. My point is, and there is one, is that a couple of years of scoring 3 goals a game will be all it takes to get those shirt sales in, and there's always been more than a whiff of the "fair weather" element to united's support.

  • Comment number 94.


    I think sheik Mansour is an overloaded chessman: he wants to pocket in as many prizes as available and must slash down the salaries, but somehow hasn't find the way to do both.

  • Comment number 95.

    Im a Man Utd fan and it has to be said we were done by a better team on the day. Man City looked far more organised, defensively stronger and made it very difficult for us to break them down in the first half. Then you add in the likes of Silva, Aguero, Balotelli (finally) and Toure against Evans, Smalling, Rio (past it) and Fletcher and you think... well... we had this coming!!

    I agree aswell that since our 8-2 win over Arsenal we've been average at best and this may be what we needed.

    Hopefully the result is a blessing in disguise and puts maybe a bit more pressure on City now as people will start putting them as winners already!

  • Comment number 96.

    Which does Mario need more ... a trick cyclist or a TREACLE list?

  • Comment number 97.

    I guess now SAF can no longer ignore the lack of any quality in the CM positions. The good start to the season masked what has been evident for the last 2-3 years, that our centre midfield is not technically good enough, not creative and that all the hard work they put in can not make up for the lack of these qualities.

    I'd also say Rio is looking very sluggish now, and maybe it's time for him to move on, and Evans has struggled since his first season.

    The spine of our side was poor on Sunday, Rio, Evans at CB and Anderson and Fletcher at CM. We have Vidic, Smalling and Jones at CB, but we don't have any quality in CM. Cleverly may come back and prove to have the quality, but we need at least 1 if not 2 more quality CM's, and have done for 2-3 years.

  • Comment number 98.

    An interesting stat in The Guardian this morning.

    At the end of Sunday's game the City goalkeeper and back four cost a total of £35.6m. The United goalkeeper and back four cost £81m.

    You lot will have to think of another excuse!

  • Comment number 99.

    95. At 06:11 25th Oct 2011, Stinho21 wrote:
    Im a Man Utd fan and it has to be said we were done by a better team on the day. Man City looked far more organised, defensively stronger and made it very difficult for us to break them down in the first half. Then you add in the likes of Silva, Aguero, Balotelli (finally) and Toure against Evans, Smalling, Rio (past it) and Fletcher and you think... well... we had this coming!!

    I agree aswell that since our 8-2 win over Arsenal we've been average at best and this may be what we needed.

    Hopefully the result is a blessing in disguise and puts maybe a bit more pressure on City now as people will start putting them as winners already!


    A fair, honest but positive response from a united fan....why can't they all be like you? As you know it's far from over but at least you had the grace /class to admit when your beat and look forward to the next game....I take my hat off to you sir!

  • Comment number 100.

    I really find it rich that a number of United fans have written implying City's success is purely down to our greater ability to buy the top players. Have they completely forgotten the fact they've used this to their advantage for decades? Are they deluded to believe that players didn't sign for them because of the money? Have they forgotten the huge fees they paid for Ferdinand, Rooney, Berbatov, De Gea, etc, etc, etc?

    Of course money talks, it always has. No need to be bitter just because it's no longer exclusively to your advantage.

    @mufcjkk Time to give it a rest now buddy, you're embarrassing yourself.


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