Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Derby Day loss

First of all, I have to apologise to anyone who may have read my previous posting, which I have since deleted.

I had mistakenly written that the Carling Cup game last night (or rather, early today) was being played at Old Trafford! I don't know what I was thinking at the time I wrote it as I actually did know the game was being played across town. Well, this is a lesson I know I will remember.

Missed the first half of the game because I went right back to sleep after switching off the alarm. Woke up at 5am and managed to switch on the TV just as the second half began. I don't know how the first 45 minutes were, but the second half was quite a match.

I thought United played well, despite the fact I hate the 4-5-1 formation Fergie seemed to have them in while the game was still tied at 1-1. The defence still needs work though. Tevez's second goal was just sloppy defending. When the ball came back in, the City player who was first to the ball (if I'm not mistaken it was Vincent Kompany) had actually slipped. Yet the United defence could not reach the ball before he did.

After Tevez scored, the game really picked up, especially when Fergie brought on Owen and MU reverted to a two-man strikeforce. We really piled the pressure on but Shay Given, one of the keepers for whom I have a lot of respect, was really playing a blinder, wasn't he? When he moved to City, I thought Mark Hughes had made a fantastic choice, and Given has proven that time and again.

Rooney missed a host of chances, sending the ball off target or watching Given pull off some superb saves. I especially liked the one where Rooney weaved his way around the City defence and then sent a shot with the outside of his right boot, only to see Given tip the ball away. What a move, what a shot, what a save!

The best chance, however, fell to Valencia, when Evra (I think it was the Frenchman) crossed from the left. With Given missing the cross and the goal gaping, Valencia somehow managed to not hit the target. To be fair, though, that cross did come in like a bullet, and at a height which was not an ideal one.

In the end, all credit to City. They played well and managed to take the two chances necessary to turn the game around after going down to a Giggs goal in the 17th minute. Apart from Given, I think credit must go to Tevez and Bellamy.

Now it's down to the second leg at Old Trafford. Giggsy's goal in the 17th minute may just prove crucial to the champions.

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