Date:Saturday December 9 2006
Manchester United paid back two years of frustration to their neighbours as the Reds recorded a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford.
The three points should be thanked to City's two central defenders, Dunne and Distin. Their brutal mistakes led to all three of United goals and thus we could enjoy the afternoon despite the team's inability to take their chances - I mean, the chances they've created for themselves.
It all started in the sixth minute when Ronaldo's low cross eluded Distin and Dunne though both could have cleared it but found Roooney who slid the ball into the net. The Reds eased off a bit after taking the lead but carved out some openings, most notably Rooney who latched onto Saha's fine through ball a couple of minutes after his goal but somehow the ball got stuck under his feet and defenders managed to clear.
On the other hand, Manchester City were struggling to make an impact on the game though some of our defensive mistakes allowed them opportunities to equalise but Richards and Corradi missed those. Then, at the end of the half, Heinze got the ball on the left, crossed it, Dunne mis-kicked it and Saha somehow squeezed it into the net.
It was clear after the interval that Stuart Pearce had not minced his words in the dressing-room. City were quite lively, they went for every ball and it started looking like a great derby. Their attacking intents did not result in anything exceptional and United were always the more dangerous team on the break but sloppy final passes denied us a third goal.
Then, a bit out of the blue, Trabelsi pulled one back twenty minutes from time. It was the second time in four days that a mediocre player scored the goal of his life at Old Trafford but we must admit the Tunesian defender's shot was powerful and spectacular.
City seemed to draw courage from this goal whilst United found it hard to raise themselves again and we had to survive nervous minutes as the visitors attacked and pressed for the equaliser. O'Shea replaced Saha at 2-0 and it looked like a pretty bad move as all our attacking fluence disappeared with the introduction of 4-5-1. Still, City came to our aid.
Rooney found his way into the box five minutes from time. His cross (or mis-hit shot) was going to Dunne who miskicked it again and it fell to Ronaldo who tucked it into the net, past a helpless Isaksson who excelled after coming on as a substitute at half-time.
The game was all over and it mattered little that Graham Poll sent of Corradi for a diving way too harshly - but I daresay the Italian deserved it for the way he was acting throughout the game.
It was another good day in the office despite United were not nearly as impressive as four days earlier but that can be attributed to tireness and less than sufficient concentration. We won, we're nine points clear and the pressure is on Chelsea now.
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Date:Saturday December 9 2006
|Man Utd||3||-||0||Hull City|
|Man Utd||1||-||0||Crystal Palace|
|2. Man City||16||11||3||2||+19||36|
|3. Man Utd||16||9||4||3||+12||31|
|4. West Ham||16||8||4||4||+8||28|
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