United 1 City 6
Rampant City just blew us away!
Humble pie is the order of the day and then its time to lie low for a few days!
Team News - The biggest shock when it came to Sir Alex releasing the names of his starting eleven was the omission of Nemanja Vidic. Having started in the Champions League, it had been assumed he`d start in this crucial fixture, instead his place went to Jonny Evans. Up front, Sir Alex opted to play Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck. Another noticeable absentee was Phil Jones.
As for the opposition, Mancini decided to leave Nasri and Dzeko on the bench but an attacking trio of Balotelli, Silva and Aguero were selected.
United - De Gea, Smalling, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Nani, Fletcher, Anderson, Young, Rooney, Welbeck
Subs - Lindegaard, Jones, Berbatov, Parlk, Hernandez, Fabio, Valencia
City - Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Toure Y, Barry, Milner, Silva, Balotelli, Aguero
Subs - Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Dzeko, Kolarov, Nasri, Toure K, De Jong
First Half - United got the action underway and were more of the attacking threat early on. The early success came down the left flank with Young proving to be prominent winning three set-pieces. Sadly they came to nothing.
Young, as United threatened, saw a shot blocked on the edge of the box, before, as the fifteen minute mark approached, City finally put together an attack to talk about. The silky skills of Silva kept the ball alive and when it was fed back to Toure his shot was deflected wide for a corner.
Seven minutes later, City went ahead. Silva fed a ball out wide to Milner and hi slay-back was perfect for Balotelli to shoot past the despairing dive of De Gea and into the bottom corner of the net.
United 0 City 1 (Balotelli - 22 minutes)
The goal gave City added confidence and Clichy embarked on a fifty yard run with the ball, unopposed, which resulted in a cross just evading the head of Balotelli.
Richards burst out of defence carrying the ball and tried an audacious fifty yard lob, past De Gea, which drifted wide before a cross-cum-shot from Young drifted past the far post.
Yaya Toure drove a shot wide, from distance before United forced their third corner of the half which saw Hart push it clear and then comfortably save the resulting shot from Anderson.
Rooney had a shot from a similar distance but it was straight at Hart. As the half entered its latter stages, Balotelli drove a free kick, conceded by Anderson, into the United wall before Anderson drove a shot wide from twenty yards.
Half Time - United 0 City 1
Second Half - If United had any serious ideas of getting back into this game they were severely hampered in the first minute of the second half when Evans received a straight red card for a foul on Balotelli right on the edge of the area.
As United reshuffled their defence Balotelli drove the free kick into the wall. Richards thought he deserved a penalty after a challenge form Anderson but play was waved on. United`s plight was highlighted when a long ball from Rooney found Welbeck but he had no support whatsoever.
Richards, proving a thorn down the flank, drove between two defenders and shot wide whilst a cross from Milner just evaded Aguero at the far post. City were in control and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead.
Once again it came form our left flank with Silva feeding Milner and his cross was turned in at the far post by Balotelli.
United 0 City 2 (Balotelli - 60 minutes)
It was fast becoming a siege as Silva saw a shot deflected for a corner before Smalling cut out a dangerous cross from the same player. Hernandez, on as a substitute, earned a corner but it was far too easily cleared.
City, by now looking rampant, increased their lead further when Aguero netted after our defence was exposed down that same flank again.
United 0 City 3 (Aguero - 69 minutes)
United were relieved when Dzeko shot wide form a good position and Silva wasted a golden opportunity, after a build up involving Dzeko, with a wayward shot. There were now huge gaps appearing in the United rearguard and De Gea did well to save form Dzeko as City went three-on-three.
The arrears were reduced on when Fletcher scored a wonderful goal, curling home a shot from outside the box after exchanging passes with Hernandez.
United 1 City 3 (Fletcher - 80 minutes)
But to be fair it was only the calm before the storm. As we entered the final few minutes, City cut us to ribbons.
First Dzeko netted at the far post after a Barry header had been turned back into the danger are by Lescott.
United 1 City 4 (Dzeko - 89 minutes)
Seconds later a huge hole appeared in the rearguard for Silva to slot the ball through De Gea`s legs.
United 1 City 5 (Silva - 90 minutes)
And then in stoppage time, Dzeko raced onto a superb ball from Silva to beat De Gea.
United 1 City 6 (Dzeko - 93 minutes)
I think I need a large, stiff drink!
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