Manchester is well and truly Red after today’s Manchester Derby. Manchester United ran out 4-2 winners in this game to go four points clear of Manchester City in third place in the Premier League table. This result ended a dismal run of Derby defeats against City and stopped City from making it four wins in a row at Old Trafford. United started the game with only one change to the starting line-up from the team that started against Aston Villa. Chris Smalling replaced Marcos Rojo at the centre of the defence and partner Phil Jones.
Manchester City started this game the better and deservedly took the lead after eight minutes from Sergio Aguero, who had a easy tap in after some good play from David Silva, who layed ball across the ball to Aguero to score and put City 1-0 up. Many United fans probably feared it was going to be same old for United in recent years in the Manchester Derby. United came back into the game gradually and hit back level on fourteen minutes through Ashley Young. Young met a cross from Ander Herrera from the left wing, his first attempt was blocked by Clichy but Young was quickest to the rebound to put United level.
Manchester United made it 2-1 on twenty seven through Marouane Fellaini, United attacked the left wing, through Daley Blind and he got to the by line before laying the ball back to Ashley Young on the edge of the area, Young crossed to the far post where Fellaini beat Clichy in the air to head home and make it 2-1. On the brink of half-time City captain Vincent Kompany was lucky to stay on the pitch after a two-footed challenge on Blind and after conferring with his assistant referee Clattenburg opted just to give him a yellow card. Kompany was replaced at half-time due to injury and probably partly to stop him seeing red in the Manchester Derby once again.
The start of the second even was pretty even with both sides desperate to score the fourth goal in this match and it came on sixty seven minutes for United through Juan Mata. The ball was played into Wayne Rooney, who then played a ball around the corner to an on running Mata who was clear through on the City goal and he calmly slotted the ball through Joe Hart’s legs into the City net to make it 3-1. six minutes later United made it 4-1 through Chris Smalling, what a difference from the last Manchester Derby for Smalling, who saw red in the game at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season. Smalling has come a long way since that red card. He was a man under pressure for his place in the team at that time and since cemented his place in the United starting eleven. His goal came after Ashley Young was fouled to earn United free-kick. Young himself took the free-kick. He whipped the ball into the City and an on running Smalling found himself free in the City area to head home. City got a consolation of a second goal late on through Aguero but they couldn’t live with Manchester United today.
For me its difficult to choose a man of the match for this game. It was a real team performance with every player playing for the badge on their chest and showing real passion for the club. This is something that has been missing in the recent Derby defeats. In recent Derby games it was evident to every Manchester United fan that the City players wanted it more than the United Players. Three players who I think deserve a special mention are Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young and Ander Herrera.
Fellaini and Young are two players that we scapegoats for many United fans last season and were widely expected to be some of the first players out of the exit door at Old Trafford once Louis Van Gaal was appointed the manager. They have been two of the outstanding performers this year and have recently developed a good understanding along with Daley Blind on the left hand side of United’ team. Ander Herrera struggled to earn a place in United’s starting line-up early in season, this despite some good performances when he did play. In recent months he has been a ever present in the United team and has regularly played a hand in United’s goals and found himself on the score sheet on a regular basis. Herrera has an almost telepathic understanding with Juan Mata. they regularly link up with neat one-touch passes in the United midfield.
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