9 Apr 2013

City Take Pride From Old Trafford Battle


It was Frankie Goes To Hollywood who famously sang the lyrics 'When Two Tribes Go To War', on Monday evening, that's exactly what happened under the famous floodlights at Old Trafford as the Red and Blue tribe went head to head in the Manchester derby.

The media, and obviously in particular Sky Sports, tried their best to hype this game up as much as possible prior to kick off, but this match was never going to be as great a spectacle as last seasons meeting at the Etihad, many viewed it as one team looking to wrap up a record 20th league title, and the other playing for pride.

The Etihad is plastered with the motto 'Pride In Battle', and after this display they can certainly take pride and physiological confidence from the fact that they lived up to that saying at Old Trafford.

United did have spells in this game but failed to really test City keeper Joe Hart, and as the minutes ticked away it was City who grew in confidence knowing that nothing more than a win would ultimately end their chances of retaining the Barclays Premier League trophy.

With the scores level at 1-1 following goals from James Milner and a Vincent Kompany own goal, the match was finally poised for the last half an hour. It seemed United were content with sitting back which invited a wave of City attacks, the introduction of Sergio Aguero on 71 minutes signalled Mancini's intentions as they looked for the goal that would keep their slim chances of being crowned champions again alive.

In the 78th minute Mancini was rewarded for his positive formation change and substitution, as Aguero drove through the United defence before unleashing a shot into the roof of the net that left United keeper David De Gea with no chance of saving.

City must have been expecting the usual last 10 minute onslaught towards the Stretford End from United, knowing that a draw would be of more use to the Red side of Manchester, but that threat never materialised and it was the blues who inflicted United's first defeat in 18 league games.

Some United supporters will view this result as a set back, maybe even delaying the inevitable, but don't completely dismiss the threat from the Noisy Neighbours, we all know what happened last season when United surrendered an 8 point advantage with only 5 games left to play.

If United were to drop points against Stoke and West Ham away, which look like tricky fixtures respectively, a win for City in their next couple of matches would see the gap cut in City's favour, add to that the fact United still have to face Arsenal at the Emirates & Chelsea at Old Trafford, who knows what could happen then as memories of last season start to creep into the United players minds?


@KevinAshford7