So it’s finally over. After all the build up, hype and predictions was it what everyone expected?
Whilst it may not have been the most entertaining fixture in terms of goals, goals and red cards it was, I thought a tactically excellent game. From the manager mind games of this week right through to Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry’s magnificent performances in the middle on the night.
Now I’ll openly admit I have a soft spot for Manchester City, unusual because I’m a typical supporter of a small (ish) club in that I hate pretty much every ‘big team’.
United – YES
Arsenal – YES
Chelsea – YES
However despite this I did think that the Derby was there for Manchester Utd to take. They stifled City easily for the first 15 minutes and up until the goal looked to be doing a Chelsea, soaking up pressure, ready to hit a surprise knockout blow at the expense of possession. Once City grabbed the goal though Mancini tactically destroyed any chance Utd has by bringing on Nigel De Jong. Admittedly I was slightly curious about this decision but as it showed he gave Toure the space to decimate Utd from within, surging runs and ridiculous strength were just two of the qualities that the red half of Manchester could not cope with.
Despite tonight’s/this mornings encounter I do think that Utd are still in with arguably a better chance for the title, they have the easier run in and you cannot argue with the big game experience that they have within their locker. Again as with Chelsea though is this just papering over the cracks. If I was a Utd fan I would be demanding they bring in solid central midfielder, especially if the sad rumours about Darren Fletcher are true. As Henry Winter and Robbie Savage both said on 5Live after the game a Bastian Schweinsteiger style player would be perfect, and could rejuvenate a tired looking side. A positive note for Utd fans would have to be their bench, arguably players that should be starting but I’m sure any football fan would be struggling to dismiss the quality of Young, Valencia and Hernandez. Back to signing players and another player being linked with a move to the Red Devils is Dortmund’s Japanese playmaker Shinji Jawaga, but can you buy the quality needed to win trophies for only 5 million pounds nowadays.
Back to the present and in reality despite all of the build up and adamant opinions that this game will decide the title, both City and Utd have two more massive games to come with the first set potentially bigger title wise than this encounter.