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It Was Worth Signing Owen Just For This

The best Manchester derby I've ever seen. Granted, we were majestic in the 5-0 win at Old Trafford and there was great drama when we came back from two behind but this tops them all.

Well, mostly because United insisted on digging City out of a hole every time we managed to push them into it. We started excellently, with a sharp finish from Rooney to put us in front. And we did not stop: we played at a high tempo, we pressed them, we tested them.

But this initial exuberance vanished quickly and not long after the first quarter of an hour passed, City were level thanks to an astonishing howler from Ben Foster who does not look like capable of being consistently good. And the goal killed us: for the remained of the first half, the football was turgid and it was City who almost took the lead when Tevez raced clear and hit the post from 13 yards.

But the second half. Well, that was magnificent, magnificent on the grand scale. United started brightly and snatched the lead again with a powerful header from Fletcher. Once again, we did not stop and created two more chances before disaster struck again: nobody bothered to make an effort of closing Bellamy down and he unleashed a quite gorgeous shot into the far corner.

United, in response, camped themselves in the City half for half an hour but an inspired Given saved just about everything: Berbatov's two firm headers, Giggs' close-range chance, Giggs' volley - but he could not save Darren Fletcher's header when the absolutely magnificent Ryan Giggs whipped in a freekick in the 81st minute.

But it still wasn't over. Richards missed a great chance to equalise then Rio carelessly gave the ball away to let Bellamy to race clear on the left and slot the ball home from a very, very difficult angle. Foster should have covered it better but the biggest part of the blame goes to Rio Ferdinand here.

In the meantime, the fourth official put up the board to show there will a MINIMUM of four minutes of added time. City celebrations lasted a minute and Fergie, somewhat surprisingly, made a substitution in the 92nd minute, introducing Carrick for Anderson. But still it was a bit baffling why the referee allowed us to play well into the 96th minute - and it was 95:28 when Giggs brought down a headed ball, threaded a beautiful pass to the unmarked Owen who slotted home coolly.

Oh God. I barely remember anything from the next few minutes, vaguely recall that a few men jumped on top of me, yelling in delight and I seem to remember that I did not mind it in the slightest. It was well worth signing Michael Owen just for this priceless moment. Cocky City, barely out of their own half for the entire second half, were put to their rightful place.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday September 20 2009

Time: 8:00PM

Your Comments

Given kept them in touching distance - if it hadnt been for him it would have been about 7/8 - 3
niteworlok
The additional time is fully accounted for when you take into account their celebrations and the substitution. It was great to see Owen score the winner. Makes the decision to dump Tevez all the sweeter for me - all those city fans bleating about how Tevez has scored every important goal for us since the beginning of time can now shut up and begin to appreciate how frustratingly wasteful he can be in front of goal.
tuscan3000
The official rules for stoppage time from the FA are: ----------- “Many stoppages in play are entirely natural (e.g. throw-ins, goal kicks). An allowance is to be made only when these delays are excessive. The fourth official indicates the minimum additional time decided by the referee at the end of the final minute of each period of play. The announcement of the additional time does not indicate the exact amount of time left in the match. The time may be increased if the referee considers it appropriate but never reduced. The referee must not compensate for a timekeeping error during the first half by increasing or reducing the length of the second half.” ------------- So was there really 5 and a half minutes of excessive celebrating and excessive time spent on substitutions? Because there were no injuries at all.
MCFC_Goatboy
You'll find in your own post goatboy that the rule says a 'minimum' of additional time.
gunnerkid107
"But still it was a bit baffling why the referee allowed us to play well into the 96th minute"- Obviously. Because the ref wanted to play on till you got the goal. Shocking and I wont be surprised if City take the FA to the courts over this!
JT_daniel
"You'll find in your own post goatboy that the rule says a 'minimum' of additional time. gunnerkid107' That is, you muppet, if there is a reason or furthur delay. There was no delay which championed a furthur added time of 3 minutes, TO THE ADDED TIME! Fixing. Blatant match fixing.
JT_daniel
So why werent City good enough to score again??
niteworlok
gunner kid - no injuries at all second half and no timewasting... no 'excessive' delays on subs or goals so where did the 4 minutes come from never mind the magic 3 minutes extra. And Worlock our understrength forward line was good enough to score 3 at the swamp and if the game stops on time that is enough.
MCFC_Goatboy
What further 3 mins are you talking about. 4 mins added time was shown - its irrelevant whether anyone agrees with that as it was 4 mins in which both sides had equal opportunity to score or conceed - and I think you'll find that city scored. They then took almost a full minute to celebrate their goal (56 seconds) and the rules state that the ref should add 30 seconds per sub so the added time was perfectly fair - get over it.
tuscan3000
JT_daniel... really?! He was gonna play on for say, half an hour cos United still hadn't scored?? We were the better team and deserved the points - we were well on top in teh second half. City had 6 minutes of added time to hold on. If they couldn't do that, how can they expect to win the title?! Keep the ball and United wouldn't have been able to get that goal. That we kept going till the final whistle (when games end) not the final minute, (and City apparently didn't) was why we got the goal. City only equalised in the 90th minute, there was always gonna be time added on. Holding on for six minutes shouldn't have been that hard. Tusacan3000, exactly. These match-fixing claims are totally misplaced - the amount of time extra was adequate considering there was a goal and substitution. Even if City had got the point, we still deserved to win the game, and that we ultimately did. That we scored 4 against a City defence that previously had only conceded once (against Arsenal) shows that we're getting into gear. On United, we're looking good if a little reliant on Rooney (who scored his 8th goal of the season yesterday) though other players are starting to perform. We've now beaten Arsenal, Spurs and City in a row (who all previously had perfect records) and had a tricky trip to Turkey in between (which we also won).
Man utd champions
Should have been 5 minutes and 26 seconds added on with the 4 minutes given and the 56 seconds for the goal as well as the 30 seconds that has to be given for a sub, as tuscan3000 said. Owen's goal was scored at 95:27 - hardly very much out-1 second doesn't make much difference does it...
Man utd champions
True it was definately worth getting Owen and getting taunted by the City fans for it to then score the winner against them. From me to City is a giant WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY.
One United 92
well, my ex used to say every second counts Man utd champions, not sure she was talking football though... I'll get me coat. :o)
The Fear
Enjoy it well it lasts as there won't be many moments like this from Owen and it must be a measure of how far that City have come in a short space of time that makes you think that this is as good as it gets.
Kevinho
 

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