Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United: England’s Best Two Clubs Give Us A Battle to Savor

Over the years there have been few events in sport that can rival the excitement of the FA Cup. This Manchester Derby was a perfect example of the magic that this tournament embodies. It was exciting for fans of both sides and neutrals as well. It was a brilliant display of the quality of both United and City. There were cards, goals, tense moments, controversy, and plenty of reasons to jump out of the seat you were already on the edge of.

Before I go any further, I must first say hats off to United. They took advantage of the extra man and did the little things that are necessary to win games. Now then, it has to be said that this was truly a tale of two halves, and one referee. At the end of the first half I really thought that Chris Foy had to be wearing a United strip under his referee’s shirt. But in the second half, despite all that Foy had done to hurt City, he made plenty of questionable calls that went in City’s favor.

The first 25 minutes of this match looked like a mirror image of the beginning of the 6-1 thrashing that City gave United on October 23. The home side dominated possession but against the run of play the visitors struck first. That is where the similarities between this and the last derby end. After that Foy permanently changed the landscape of the game, and probably lost some friends who support City in the process. Was Kompany’s tackle risky, two-footed, and dangerous? Absolutely. But he was in control of his body, made an effort to get his studs down when he got to ground, got the ball and none of Nani, and most importantly was not reckless. Under the circumstances it should have been a yellow. (Now if it were De Jong going in on the same challenge I wouldn’t doubt his reputation leading to a straight red, but it was Vincent Kompany!) At the end of the day though, the decision was red and can’t be changed, but for the rest of the half red was the only color City was seeing.

This is where United have to be praised. They had vengeance on their minds and they were relentless. If Rooney’s opening header wasn’t brilliant enough, Welbeck’s perfectly placed volley was more than excellent. Then Foy found himself at the center of attention again when he correctly awarded United a penalty for Kolarov’s challenge on Welbeck in the City box. Costel Pantilimon, filling in for Joe Hart, was brilliant on the penalty by making the initial stop on Rooney, but Rooney wanted to score and was first to the rebound to fire it home and make it 3-0. By this point most would have expected the richly assembled, “passionless”, group of City players to throw in the towel and focus on the Premier League title, but the second half had a different story in the cards.

This is the game where Mancini proved he is a top manager. His halftime substitutions and his tactics for the rest of the match were spot on. City fought hard in the second half to scrape back two goals. The first, a brilliant free kick from Kolarov, was a deserved gift for City from Foy. The foul that lead to the free kick on Evra could have gone either way with Richards initiating the contact and doing some pulling of his own. However, Foy had done so much to hurt City’s chances in the first half that a few calls were bound to go their way. Then the second goal brought the blue half of the city to life. Persistence from Aguero and a mistake from Lindegaard set the stage for an exciting final 25 minutes. City came close to tying the game in the dying minutes when Kolarov had a second close range free kick and then were close to scoring again on a late corner. But despite their best efforts City couldn’t close the gap and it was United who went through.

In the end there were really three winners in this game. The United team, the United fans, and the City fans. United fans have to feel they deserved this win after the October beating. But the Citizens’ fans couldn’t have asked for a better display from their squad. United and their fans have grown accustomed to winning, especially against City. In this game they returned to the familiar win column, their fans will be happy, and their banter will be relentless as usual. City fans are used to it though, but now it will be much easier to bear after the second half performance that inspired City fans around the world. City fans have plenty of reason to be proud of their club after this performance. “Superbia In Proelia” , or Pride in Battle, is City’s motto and their squad embodied that in this game, they were very proud and battled to the very last whistle.

Manchester will forever be divided but if there’s one thing that fans from both sides can agree on it is that their clubs are giving them plenty to be proud of: United’s unprecedented success in the most difficult league in the world and City’s brilliant history, pride, fans, and bright future. Every time these two teams meet it gets more and more exciting and now, more than ever, there is so much at stake in these matches. This chapter has closed, City won’t be defending the cup and United are very much in the hunt for more silverware. Now it is about looking forward to the future. As a fan of either side you have a lot to be proud of and reason to be excited about the future of this fixture. Let’s hope that the April 28 derby is just as exciting.

14 thoughts on “Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United: England’s Best Two Clubs Give Us A Battle to Savor”

  1. So it wasn’t a red card because “he was in control of his body”. Simple fact is he left the ground with both feet up to win the ball which is considered dangerous play, it doesn’t matter if he won the ball or not it’s still dangerous play. The only reason he didn’t get the ball and the player is because nani managed to jump over the tackle first.

    It was a judgement call by the ref that could have gone either way and he saw it as a red card so end of story. Utd fans could easily sit and moan about the penalty we should have gotten but what good will it do now. In the end having one less competition to play may help City in the league

    1. Tackles like that are really dangerous. In my playing days I’ve seen at least one person crack a shinbone over a similar one to Kompany’s. If Nani hadn’t of jumped, he’d be looking at some time on the sidelines. There is no disputing it.

      1. Funny that as most seem to be disputing it!,19764,11065_3473268,00.html

        All these and many, many more describe the sending off controversial. If Nani hadn’t jumped Kompany’s shin from his left leg would have contacted him which is what happens in football as its a contact sport its just like saying if Ferdinand’s tackle from behind on Aguero caught his standing leg he could have broke it! But excessive force was not used in either tackle.

  2. There is absolutely nothing in the rules that say a player should be sent off for feet leaving the ground! You have made this up to suit yourself it doesn’t mater if one or two feet are used. The Ref can only say it was ‘serious foul’ play which means by the rule book Kompany must have used one of the following:

    1, ‘Uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.’

    2, make a ‘tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
    serious foul play’

    3, Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.’

    These are the ONLY things the ref can site in the sending off, Nani never had control ball to tackle in the first place Kompany controls the ball with studs down not using any excessive force he doesn’t lunge at the player who doesn’t complain at all in fact which for this player says it all as mostly he would try for a triple summersault. Foy only blows the whistle upon Rooney rising his arms and making a successful attempt to get a player sent off. Kompany had time to stand and pass before any whistle was blown if wasn’t even a foul. ‘Serious foul play’ is not a judgment call it is what it is and that wasn’t.

    I was impressed by City and feel this game again showed City to be ahead of Utd as if City would have got the draw I don’t think there would have been any complaints from anybody. City have 4 key players are Hart, Kompany, Yaya and Silva they in effect played this game with only one whereas Utd’s key players Vidic, Ferdinand, Nani and Rooney all but one played. How can Utd fans moan about a penalty they didn’t get and City’s couldn’t? Phil Jones handles stopping a cross going in, so all even there. City looked the much better side out of the two in the end but they don’t seem get the we will call it luck that Utds seem to i.e Barry off for shoulder to shoulder, Kompany on what you call a ‘judgement call by the ref that could have gone either way’ but is really supposed to be serious foul play. Utd put out the strongest side they could with the exception of Vidic and looked second best even with a one man advantage for 80 minutes of the game.

  3. Yeah if you aint got a clue what your talkin a bout it is, I prefer to us the rule book and the jugment of most ex players and refs.

  4. One of the commentators said it best, “it wasn’t even a foul”. Only when Rooney raised his hands and demonstrated to the referee that a red card was shown. This is the same referee that has been very poor in a couple of games I’ve watched this season, Stoke-Spurs and QPR-Chelsea.

    That said I don’t think the FA will overturn the red card as they always protect their own.

    1. If you were to quote, at least quote the whole sentence:
      “It wouldn’t have been a foul ten years ago.”
      A lot happened since then.

  5. No, the commentator did day he didn’t think it was even a foul. Yes, he also stated that it wouldn’t have been a foul ten years ago. These comments were made exclusive of one another. I have it on tape and have played it again.

    The problem is the inconsistency of the referees this season in particular. Lampard’s challenge against Wolves was much, much worse and yet he got away with just a yellow. If anything that deserved a red card.

  6. The referee was clearly influenced by Rooney’s reaction. Players will always try and influence referees but the good referees will not fall for it. This one did. Why Chris Foy was allowed to referee this match is beyond me. He has been one of the worst referees this year.

  7. Red card issue aside, if I was a United fan, I wouldn’t be any more confident after this result. There were a few moments of individual quality, but it didn’t look like a confident side. I saw lots of yelling at each other over missed assignments. And the way it turned out, City should have much confidence. I can’t see them losing this league this year.

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