The ground announcer welcomed fans at the Old Trafford derby to the “greatest football club in the world”. That’s a debatable statement of course but what can not be disputed is that at the end of the following 90 minutes, Manchester United proved once again that it is without doubt “the greatest football club in Manchester” The 2-1 defeat of their blue neighbours has virtually knocked Manchester City out of the title race and are left to merely challenge for a Champions League spot.
The cry from Eastlands has been that a top four position is their aim but can anyone really believe that any club will splash out all those millions NOT to win the title? City has now dropped nine out of the last twelve away points leaving them in serious danger of missing out of qualifying for Europe – apart from the Europa League that is. United meanwhile has consolidated it’s four point cushion at the top of the table. Some things in Manchester never change.
Manchester United 2 v Manchester City 1
Sky Sports – Wayne Rooney scored a sensational goal to seal a 2-1 victory over Manchester City and keep Manchester United on track for another Premier League title. Questions had been raised about whether the Red Devils might struggle to bounce back from their first Premier League defeat of the season at the hands of Wolves last weekend.
However, Rooney’s class ensured that United extended their advantage over City to eight points, having played a game less, with a sublime strike 12 minutes from time. The striker has struggled all season but showed in one magical moment that he remains a world class performer as he took to the air to blast an unstoppable overhead volley past Joe Hart Full Report
mcfc.co.uk – A spectacular winner from Wayne Rooney gave United the derby spoils after it looked like a slice of luck would give City something to show for their efforts. Edin Dzeko’s shot struck the back of the outstanding David Silva to loop past Van der Sar and level the score after Nani’s first half strike saw United go ahead.
But a bicycle-kick from the hitherto quiet Rooney put the hosts back ahead, and from this hammer-blow, there was no way back for the Blues. There were two changes to the side that had so clinically dispatched West Brom a week earlier, both in defence. Micah Richards was back after recovering from the concussion sustained at St Andrews, replacing Jerome Boateng while Joleon Lescott was in for Kolo Toure to partner Vincent Kompany Full Report
manutd.com – United fans have seen more than most. And for those inside Old Trafford on Saturday, they can now add to the list one of the most spectacular goals ever scored in a Manchester derby. Michael Owen’s winner in this fixture last season was dramatic, but Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick on 78 minutes was so outrageous, so perfect, that it almost beggared belief. He seemed to hang in the air for an age. And then, when the ball arrived above his head, his body horizontal, Rooney’s right boot sent it hurtling into the top corner.
So much for a boring Manchester derby, eh? In fact, any fears that this game would be a repeat of the drab 0-0 that the teams played out at Eastlands in November disappeared almost immediately as United won a corner within the first minute. And although Sir Alex had loaded his midfield, Nani and Ryan Giggs consistently pushed onto City’s full-backs when the Reds were in possession Full Report
Manchester United – van der Sar, O’Shea, Smalling, Vidic, Evra, Scholes (Carrick 79), Fletcher, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Anderson (Berbatov 67) GOALS: Nani (41m), Rooney (78m)
Manchester City – Hart, Lescott, Kompany, Zabaleta, Richards, Barry, Milner (Dzeko 52), Kolarov (Wright-Phillips 52)), Silva, Tevez, Y.Toure GOAL: (Silva 65m)
How many more millions must City spend before they get the better of United?