"In the midst of blue fumes, the shield provided by the Blue moon (and millions of Arab money too :p) will be pierced and will bleed Red!"
I didn't wrote anything yesterday since I was really too excited after the victory of yesterday. So, it's better to write with a cool head. We won many matches (and even many derbies) during Fergie time but this one felt truly apart. Maybe it's because of City's domination over us last year. Maybe because City was unbeaten at the Etihad. Maybe it's because both teams now contend for the title. Maybe it felt like revenge for how the title slipped out of United's hands on goal difference. Maybe because we won this match even when referee decisions were against us this time.
Anyhow, I don't know about sweetest victory but with this comeback, the Owen 4-3 decider and Rooney's magical divine bicycle, I think it's a hattrick of epic victorious derbies!
It's also fair to say that this was United's best performance in this whole season (perhaps, it would have been Chelsea's one if it wasn't dampened by disastrous refereeing but oh well...
). And I'm ultra-glad to see the boys rising and upping their game for THE derby!!
City started the match well and pressed us well into the first 20 minutes - with Balotelli probably squashing a golden chance. But it wasn't the day to proclaim "Why always me...yet again!
". It was the day of Rooney & RVP mainly. In one of the best clinical counters I've witnessed from United since the days of Rooney-Ronaldo-Park, Young did a back-header to RVP who passed it yet again with a chest-pass to Young. Young rushed from center till the box and give a good pass to Rooney whose control and finish can be described in two words - swift and deadly. And since it was deadly, it killed City's foothold on the match. United regained possession, controlled it better and slotted a 2nd courtesy of Rooney...yet again who finished with clinical fashion an action from Valencia/Rafael on right wing. For the man who's topping the Assist chart in EPL, he remains perfect near goal.
City came back into second half with better intentions while United got disrupted by Evans' injury. But we kept our good mentality and it deserved recognition. RVP cured a right-footer out of a tight angle which was denied by woodwork and Young tapped it in. But it was wrongly ruled-offside as Zabaleta covered Young. What stung more is that City scored 1-minute later. Despite a slew of wonderful saves by De Gea, the ball ended up into Toure who finished it perfectly. What was meant to be 3-0 leading to composed dominating win became a 2-1 synonymous with a nervy and stormy ending. As the winds kept blowing stronger on Manchester, City started their domination in the search of a comeback. Tevez was denied by Ferdinand, Silva's shot was saved onto crossbar by De Gea but on a corner badly thrown away, Zabaleta sent a ground-volley into the net to make it 2-2.
While most people started reminding of City's title-winning comeback against QPR, United proved that they were, is and will remain comeback kings. On a good action by Welbeck-Rafael, Clichy made a foul and Rooney-RVP started discussing on who will shoot. Honestly, I thought it would be Rooney as it was a hattrick opportunity and it was the same position from the freekick he scored against Arsenal's 8-2 hammering but Wazza is a teamplayer and gave RVP his ticket. A ticket to become officially a United Hero and he grabbed it with all his talent. A magical curled freekick (slightly deflected) but a crucial winner as Manchester is Red Again!
Oh yeah, in the celebration of the 3-2, Ferdinand got injured by some hooligans fans of City who merged themselves with United stand of fans. From the look of it, he was hit by a shiny piece of silver metal; most likely a coin. Like I read on a site, when will City fans understand that money can't solve all their problems lol
And Ferdinand with class said after-the-match: "Maybe my bleeding was an inevitable thing to happen, it was to show and remind them the real color of blood and Manchester."
Coming on player's performance: De Gea was excellent. Unlucky on first goal as he stopped twice before bowing down. Was much better than most matches in his aerial saves. Stopped Silva's shot with his shoulder.
Rafael's cross for 2nd goal was superb. His partnership with Valencia is wonderful and they have potential to become our right wing for next 10 years. Evans was 100 time better than the 6-1 showing (where I was highly highly harsh about him). The lad made some great long passes, defended admirably on Balotelli and was unlucky to injure himself. Smalling and Jones did well as subs. Ferdinand was at his best after a long time. Authoritative on Aguero from start to end and became our true leader in defense today. Even his passes was good which is a bit rare. Evra was great. Less often on attack, disposed of Nasri and Zabaleta's threats, couldn't score with his header from Rooney's corner.
Carrick did his usual stuff admirably. Wonderful work-rate, never left his man-marking on any spotkicks of City, lost few ball, provided good cover on all City's counters. He's not the best holding mid. in the world but I can't deny that he's an crucial player in United's squad. We do need a better midfielder with more physicality and Strootman or Wanyama would be good picks but I admit that I'll be sad if Carrick was benched with a new arrival after all these loyal efforts. Cleverley was excellent. One of United's best on the field. Two of his shots went wide but it's his workrate and dynamic defensive covers that defined his match. He completely man-handled Toure's ability to be dangerous 85% of the time. Cleverley just came back with a calf injury; thereby his amazing workrate was done when he wasn't even at 100% fitness. That's even more commendable. For I, who was used to see a lethargic midfield of United in defensive tasks, this Carrick-Cleverley's performance was amazing.
Young was great. Unlucky to be denied his goal, provided the perfect assist to Rooney, his will to drop into the box gave Rooney the space to net the second, never hesitated to help Evra on the flank, dived 2-3 times to my dismay but each time, it was to give fresh air to United's defense instead of gaining a cheat goal opportunity. Probably since his best performance since Arsenal's 8-2. Valencia's return was a huge boost. A last minuted addition and unfortunately, he couldn't finish the match but I don't think United would have won without him. His defensive cover with Rafael was excellent, they combine well on second, constantly provided a free solution with his movement, wasted few balls, a complete team-player.
Rooney!!! I don't know what to say now. Two ideal finish, constantly helping in midfield, defence and even providing a threat in attack. He is United's soul and heartbeat. Rooney is complete world-class and up their with the 10 best players in today's game, nuff said! Anyone who says he's overrated or that he's average, I defy that person to say it as I'd love to prove that person wrong! RVP is new entrant into United's Hero club. I did say that his and Wazza's partnership has room for improvement (http://www.narutobase.net/forums/sho...=1#post9393688
) and I maintain that but at this rate, they'll become one of United's best combo ever in some years. RVP's chest-pass on first goal was a beauty, his run-ins on 2nd goal helped Rooney on the second, his control and passes were good, he did his role of target-man magnificently, his wonderful curled shot was unlucky to hit the bar & the freekick-winner was royal stuff. He scored the crucial goals against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and now City. What more to ask?
Speaking of which - Rooney: “We ended Arsenal Invincibles' run. We overtook Liverpool's league record of 18. We ended Chelsea’s run & now ended City's unbeaten home run."
On City's players: Hart was poor. Undignified of his recent form and couldn't make any crucial saves unlike De Gea. Kompany got injured early. K.Toure replaced him and was slow on 2nd goal. Was not up to the level overall and did an intervention that could have been a penalty in better refereeing eyes. Unlike Kompany who dominated Rooney when he played target-man last season, he never stopped RVP. Nastasic was calm and composed. Zabaleta netted the hopeful equalizer but wasn't dangerous on the wings. Clichy was constantly disturbed by Rafael and Valencia and made the stupid foul that led to RVP's freekick.
Toure had glimpses of genius like when he eliminated both Rooney and Valencia with his power but overall, well-maintained by Cleverley. Initially, the plan was to Rooney to man-mark him but with Cleverley doing so well and Rooney doing some fouls, Rooney was allocated back to free role. Toure did well with his goal but never pierced United's block like last year. Barry did okay, willingly helping the defence. Though mostly in vain, like seen on Rooney's first goal. Silva was excellent in passing. Denied a goal by De Gea's save, with Toure's much more contained unlike usual times, Silva started mostly all offensive moves of City. His defensive cover was okay but rarely successful. Silva's only poor note in this match was his poorly shot-corner kicks. Nasri was well-contained by Evra. His permutations with Silva never worked like it should have and like Silva, his defensive was average.
Balotelli was poor. Missed his volley in the early-goings, stopped by Evans and in frustration, he injured the latter with a stupid foul. Subbed early in second-half and went straight in backstage tunnel. Aguero dribbled 4 United players (with much luck) and that was perhaps his best solo moment. Well-stopped by Ferdinand who man-marked him and never able to make the through-balls to him into goal concretion. Dzeko didn't became a super-sub. Tevez brought danger with his constant roaming in second-half. However, his frustration attitude was despicable. Made many stupid fouls, insulted the referee, gave an elbow to the Rafael's chest in front of Fergie who went angry after him and could have been sent-off but referee kindly let him go.
Speaking of attitudes, the constant smoke-bombs/coins/capsules throwing by City's plastic and hooligan fans was horrendous to see. For a country where fans fights decreased immensely since Liverpool's Hillsborough, this was a sad sight. Even more sad, was that these were fans of reigning EPL champs and such attitude was more than deplorable and should be condemned. But I guess, after showing the worst performance from an English club on CL platform, City are hell-bent to ruin EPL's reputation. Anyhow, United grabbed 3 points and are now 6 points ahead.