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8 Highlights From the Manchester Carling Cup Semi-Final Derby, 1st Leg


Tuesday’s Manchester Derby, doubling as the first leg of the League Cup Semi-Final, was sleepy for certain stretches but produced plenty of encouraging highlights for supporters of both sides, including:

  1. Antonio Valencia. After receiving a gorgeous pass from Patrice Evra, thoroughly embarrassed Craig Bellamy, first with a neat nutmeg, then with a sensational step-around to set up Man United’s first goal. Valencia can be spotty, as evidenced by his absolute howl of a miss in the second half. But he’s shown enough flashes of brilliance flying down the right wing to make United supporters optimistic about their future midfield. Now if only West Ham could produce another dominant centre-back for them to poach.
  2. Should it have been a penalty or not? The red half may label the penalty call on Rafael Da Silva “controversial,” but we’ll leave it at “arguable.” No doubt, a wide-eyed Rafael tugged at Bellamy’s shirt outside the box, and at least tried to do so again inside the box before being shoved off. Replays seemed to show that no infraction occurred inside the box, but at full speed it seemed like a continuous offence that eventually led to Bellamy’s tumble inside the area. Again, at full speed, the call is justified. Would an additional assistant referee by the goal or a video assistant made the right call? Have at it.
  3. Carlos Tevez. Correct call or no, Carlos Tevez showed the proper way to take a penalty, a no-doubt-about-it hammering. His powerful shot could have doubled as a defibrillator and certainly must have sucked the flavor right out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s gum. Unlike Tevez’ former teammate Ronaldo, infamous for his twinkletoe-stutterstep penalty attempts, Tevez played his shot, not the keeper.

  4. Brazilian failure. Wither Robinho? Subbed in and out of Sunday’s desultory loss to Everton, he enjoyed Wednesday’s match from the City of Manchester Stadium’s priciest seat: ?32 million pounds.
  5. Three’s Company. Vincent Kompany did well to keep the ball alive for his flick to an unmarked Tevez. Well, sort of unmarked. Patrice Evra was there, but chose to try and toe at the ball, which could have easily resulted in an own goal had he gotten a touch on it.
  6. Bosom buddies. Michael Owen did a fantastic job consoling Valencia after his aforementioned howl of a miss. Touching.
  7. Wayne Rooney. United-haters will point to his flops, but it was remarkable to watch Wayne Rooney’s ability to fend off attack-after-attack to stay up with the ball, displaying his usual bulldog tenacity, as United upped the pressure late.
  8. Fun for the whole family. Fun propositional bet for you and your pals. Pool your money and pick a date by which you think it will be too warm for Roberto Mancini to wrap himself all snuggly in his sky blue-and-white scarf. Closest without going over wins.


The second leg will be played Wednesday, January 27th at Old Trafford.

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  1. mukasa badru

    January 20, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    i believe Eglish referees hate fegie because of his records,and that is why they keep on getting ways of cheating man u.

    • Huh

      January 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      Yes I belive he has a shocking record colletion including Abba and The Osmonds etc…

  2. John

    January 20, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Did anyone else catch Rooney mouth to Tevez “Watch that post” right before the penalty kick? Go back and watch the replay right before Tevez is about to kick, there is a close up of him with Rooney next to him and it’s pretty obvious what Rooney says. That’s why Tevez made the talk/mouth gesture after he scored…

    • Huh

      January 20, 2010 at 2:13 pm

      Good advice all the same though, cheers Rooney

  3. allen

    January 20, 2010 at 9:19 am

    let mnu inprove on the medfield for better result

  4. Jesse

    January 20, 2010 at 7:55 am

    The last time Manchester United went down 2-1 in a 2-leg tie, it was in the 06/2007 Champions League v. Roma. It was the quarters I think, but United snatched a vital away goal in Rome only to thrash one of the then best teams in Europe 7-1 at Old Trafford. 8-3 on agg.

    Where would we be without wishful thinking?

    • MNUfan1991

      January 20, 2010 at 8:12 am

      As Tyson said before, I hope United does NOT play their best team against MoneyBags in the second leg.
      The league game against Arsenal in the weekend is much more significant. The League Cup? Honestly who cares, except Citeh. United won the Cup so many times yet hardly anyone paid attention.
      But then, denying Citeh of any silverware is soooo satisfying.

      I’m thinking
      Rafael Brown Evans Fabio
      Park Gibson Anderson Obertan
      Owen Diouf

      • mlody.gryzek

        January 20, 2010 at 9:40 am

        It’s Kuszczak 😉

      • Lee

        January 20, 2010 at 9:50 am

        Fergie will play another experienced side. Despite his previous rumblings about City being a small club, the fact that he played a decent side, Neville says Tevez is not worth the money (ah-hem Berbaflop, anyone?), and wanna-be-red-again-Beckham says City will never be bigger than United, all point to the fact that despite the “money can’t buy the league” sentiment, the truth is quite the opposite. Chelsea did not buy the league, they just bought the best players and paid more than anyone else (including United) to get them. Prior to Chelsea, United had themselves been doing the same. Before buying Robinho, City had never paid over 15 million pounds for a player, I think you will find United have bough quite a few players before (and after) for that price.
        Any pragmatic United fan should look at Liverpool and be worried of following them. If Liverpool do not finish fourth they will likely become another Leeds. The similarities are striking. Liverpool’s success was derived from an in-house mentality – the majority of their success came from coaches appointed within the club. Obviously, Fergie was not initially from within the club but the successful line of coaches in his backroom have. When Fergie goes there will be an immediate culture shock. Furthermore, the debt is scary. Half of the Ronaldo proceeds went to interest payments. However you try and gloss this situation. it is not good. The fact is United cannot compete with Chelsea, City, Tottenham and a host of European clubs for the top players. Finally, I do not see a production line of Beckham’s, Nevilles (thank God), Giggs and Scholes, coming through the youth system. United have BOUGHT their recent success, and have neglected their youth program. I am not saying Obertan, Welbeck, Gibson etc will be bad players but they will not be sufficient to keep United at the top, because unlike previous years United cannot now attract the complimetary players like they used to.
        City may not finish fourth this year (I think they will), but they will within the next couple of years. Then both Manchester clubs will be able to offer the same prize, the difference being City can pay the top players more to achieve the same goals. Sentiment and history are nice but the majority of players will choose money AND opportunity over history and opportunity.
        So City may finish 10, 15, 20 poins behind United, but United will not win the league, and if City finish fourth they will have ultimately achieved the same goal as United, yet the repercussions of City entering the Champions League will just be another shift in the already moving balance of power in Manchester. It will be an intriguing few seasons!

  5. Richard The Red (Devil)

    January 20, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Gaffer, I am indebted to one of your posts. I downloaded the app for my iPhone. I was driving around in my UPS truck listening to the match yesterday. Some of my customers were looking at me as if I was insane contorting my face and body with each shot over the air. I have a question though, why didn’t Alan Green do the whole commentary? Do they normally switch over to different presenters during a radio broadcast? I am not the biggest Green fan. He’s is always moaning on about what manager he does and doesn’t along with. He always tries to make it about himself when he hosts 606.

    Cheers mate,
    Richard The Red

    • The Gaffer

      January 20, 2010 at 7:13 am

      The BBC has a policy of changing commentators every 20 minutes during a radio broadcast. I believe they do the same for cricket. The idea is to keep the commentaries interesting throughout instead of listening to one commentator droll on for 90 minutes.

      The Gaffer

  6. hedi

    January 20, 2010 at 1:41 am

    How about another highlight that Gary Neville showed bad gesture to Tevez as seen on Getty Images photo. If it was true, what a shame for pros. Feel free to search the photo by yourself.

    • Huh

      January 20, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Hedi, nobody cares what washed up has been Neville does or says. This is just another vain attempt to get into the papers. He does stuff like this every few months, I mean how else would we know he was’nt dead!

  7. Tyson

    January 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    I thought the match was interesting.

    Mancini did well to expose Manchester Uniteds defensive problems in the second half(shows United relaly can’t replace Rio and Vidic) but aside from that it was practically a United romp especially towards the end.

    The penalty on the other hand was a terrible decision the replay clearly showed he wasn’t tugged to the ground when he entered the box. There isn’t any dispute I was watching it on BBC Sports and all the commentators agreed it was flawed after reviewing footage from several different viewpoints.

    Bellamy running into Valencia should have been a yellow though. Bellamy shows his bad behaviour almost as often on the pitch as off. What he did there was outright wrong and Valencia nearly sent the midget to hospital in retalliation.

    All in all I don’t usually follow Carling Cup matches but I watched most of this match and it was pretty eventful.

    • MNUfan1991

      January 20, 2010 at 8:14 am

      Bellamy is nuts.
      I normally do not wish this on any player but it may just be a matter of time before someone does an Eduardo on him.

  8. Dave

    January 19, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    If Micah Richards’ tug on Louis Saha’s shirt last weekend was a penalty, so was Rafael’s tug on Bellamy’s shirt. The ruling on both is that even though the action began outside the box, it continued into the box and impacted the play there, and that constitutes a penalty.

    • MNUfan1991

      January 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

      Richards’ tug started outside the box and CONTINUED inside.
      Da Silva’s tug happened ENTIRELY outside the box and then he let go. He got close to Bellamy again but did not tug or touch Bellamy once inside the box. Bellamy just fell (dove).
      Therefore, no penalty.

      • Huh

        January 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm

        MNU you need to check that replay again, did’nt touch him my arse! You cannot use your hands to put a player off or tug at him its a foul how ever you look at it!

    • mlody.gryzek

      January 20, 2010 at 8:47 am

      The difference between Richards foul against Saha and Rafael v. Bellamy situation is that the young Brazilian never pulled Bellamy’s shirt in a penalty area, as “no infraction occurred inside the box”. So what was that penalty given for?

    • Bishopville Red

      January 20, 2010 at 11:48 am

      Neither were a penalty. Neither should have been called at all. Sometimes a footballer just has to stand up and fight through resistance. The game’s tough enough for defenders without these ticky-tacky pedantic fouls called.

  9. ngog

    January 19, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    If not a penalty for Bellamy, would that not be a red-card on Rafael instead, since he was the only defender to beat en route to the goal? Actually not sure, which is why I ask, of course?

    Second, was Tevez chirping at the United fans or players after his first goal? It seemed like Rooney was talking in his ear as he was prepared to shoot and VanderSar was carded for stalling. Again, not completely sure, but I’m not sure the first leg of a Carling Cup semi at home is the time to be doing that, especially after City lost an all-important game to United in the Premier League earlier this year and now face a tough task at Old Trafford knowing that United have to come out roaring and really only need a 1-0 win to advance to the final. Just saying…

    • Tyson

      January 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

      United won’t come roaring out against City they will lose that game.

      United go to the Emirates on Sunday they will not risk losing a league game for a Carling Cup game.

      The Premier League takes priority, the Carling Cup is more a novelty.

      • ngog

        January 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm

        I would have thought that until the lineup they had on the field today. It wasn’t as if they were outplayed today. They had more chances than City and were close to an equalizer. All they need is a goal to move on if they can keep City from scoring…is that not something they can do?

      • Jesse

        January 20, 2010 at 7:49 am

        United are at home to Hull City this Sunday. They’ll draw 1-1 with the Arsenal the following week after the 2nd leg of the Carling Cup.

    • LI Matt

      January 20, 2010 at 5:39 am

      … only need a 1-0 win to advance …

      1-0 after extra time, that is.

    • Jake

      January 20, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Tévez was giving Gary Neville what was either a “keep talking” or “shut your mouth” gesture — prompting Neville to give him a middle finger in return that is now the subject of an investigation by the FA.

    • Huh

      January 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      A 1-0 takes it to extra time as away goals do not count.

  10. The Gaffer

    January 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I’m looking forward to watching the highlights later on television, but after listening to the 5 Live commentary, it sounded like some of the commentators had a hard job catching a breath such was the onslaught by Manchester United to score an equalizer near the end of the game.

    The Gaffer

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