Kings of Manchester

Posted by Fiez | Posted in , | Posted on 6:07 PM

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ManUtd.com's Ben Hibbs was among the travelling Reds making the short trip to SportCity on Sunday...

It’s about time United beat City, and Sunday’s win was wholly merited after an excellent performance at Eastlands.

On the bus from town before the game I had to sit quietly and listen to all of City fans’ giddy pontificating and anti-United songs. Personally, there’s something I dislike about the term ‘bragging rights’, but if there is such a privilege it certainly lies with Reds in offices or on factory floors across Manchester today.

Last season saw our loveable neighbours do the double over United for the first time during Sir Alex's reign – the first defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium was completely undeserved after the Reds dominated the match, the second at Old Trafford was no doubt affected by the emotion of the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

'Time to put it right' was the attitude in the away end – and on the pitch, too. United completely dominated the first half. City’s muted supporters were reduced to cheering the odd throw-in or tackle won. I couldn’t even see who’d scored the goal when Rooney poked the ball home from Carrick’s saved shot.

In the second half the Reds weathered the inevitable spell of pressure from the home side, and battled through when Ronaldo got sent off in the game’s talking point. I thought a red card was inevitable with the way Howard Webb refereed the game. Derbies aren’t ordinary matches, and should be recognised as such. Start dishing out yellow cards left, right and centre and you disrupt the game’s flow, get players and fans agitated and you set a precedent - the only way to be consistent is to keep giving out yellow cards.

Ronaldo’s first booking simply wasn’t a foul - he got the ball - and Rafael’s booking, the first of the afternoon, was another case in point. He’s an 18-year-old lad playing in his first Derby. Yes, OK he threw the ball away, but just speak to him, tell him to calm down and get on with the game. Next time, you’ll go in the book.

Webb consistently got it wrong all afternoon – even at the end he gave a throw-in for United that should have gone to City, then seconds later gave a throw to City when it should have been United’s. Fortunately it didn’t contrive to deny United of a fully deserved victory, and Ronny misses Blackburn in the Carling Cup – a game he may well not have played in anyway.
Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov were all excellent for the Reds. In comparison, United fans finished the game singing “where was Robinho?” after the also impressive Rafael largely kept his countryman as quiet as his team's supporters.

The Blues may have added a few 0s to their bank account, but it’s still United that boast the wealth of talent. And where as City released their season review DVD last term celebrating their derby double, United move on from these victories looking at the wider picture: chasing the title.



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