On Sunday, we witnessed why the Premier League is the best and most exciting league in the world. The Manchester derby had everything. Passion, goals, panic, flare, heartache and pure elation. In the end it finished Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3. And it was two old geezers who stole the headlines and made the difference in the game of the week. Take a bow Ryan Giggs and Michael Owen.
United and City evolved their rivalry into war on the Old Trafford pitch. And if the players were Russell Crowe, the Theater of Dreams was the Coliseum. The atmosphere was undeniable. The fans were ready for their own battle and their singing could be heard around the world. When Manchester City fans were chanting their hearts out, the Manchester United fans would sing louder as if to say “how dare you raise your voices in our house.” Even when Bellamy shoved goals down their throats, the United fans refused to give up. And when United would score again, City fans would crank it up another notch. It was a superb display of fan support.
Manchester United bossed this game from start to finish. They didn’t give their old team mate Tevez a sniff of much. Bellamy was really the star of City’s show and Giggs was at the heart of everything good for United. In the 1st half Manchester City played really well and they stood tall against their fiercest rivals. The “wannabe top four boys” of the Premier League had a point to prove and they certainly had a fighting spirit about them in the early stages of the game. But a tactical move by their manager Mark Hughes to put Steven Ireland out on the left allowed the Manchester United midfield more space and the Red Devils took complete control in the 2nd half.
Ryan Giggs made it all happen for United. Together with Fletcher and Anderson in midfield, they totally dominated possession and created lots of chances to finish off the game. And it took several attempts to finish off the game. Just when City thought they had stolen a point after Ferdinand’s giveaway to Bellamy, Giggs and Owen combined for the winning goal. It was a delicious ball from Giggs and a sublime finish from the never say die Owen. How fitting for two old heroes. Giggs proves once again his legendary status in football and Michael Owen sends a clear message to Capello. Can he build on this? Can he really mount a case to get to South Africa?
And what about Sir Alex Ferguson. He bought on Valencia and he too helped change the game. Then he subbed Berbatov for Owen and he netted the winner. His plan worked to perfection throughout. He wanted this one badly and his team delivered. He wanted to prove that United are still the best team in Manchester. Oh and by the way…they are! With over 400 million pounds of talent on display in this game, it was the pure beauty of football that won in the end. It was the fans that reaped the rewards and the game of football was victorious.
Who was your man of the match? Did you think Tevez was a factor at all? Was the referee fair with the injury time played? Is Fletcher the answer in midfield for United? Would City have won with Adebayor? Is Shay Given one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the world? Do you think the result was fair?