Premier League News
City in control as United lose 1-0 in ‘title-decider’
Manchester City are now firmly in control of their own destiny after their narrow 1-0 victory in the Manchester derby at the Etihad drew the blue half of Manchester level with rivals Manchester United on points, with a significantly better goal difference. City now have a distinct advantage over United with two games remaining with 8 goals dividing the teams.
The most important derby in Premier League history was watched by over 47,000 on a Monday night which could go down as pivotal in Mancunian football history. The power shift that City fans, players and their manager have been talking of in recent years seems to be about to complete it’s move. City boss Roberto Mancini is still playing down his side’s chances of lifting their first title since 1968, but only a fool would write City off now. The momentum and confidence from the derby victory is surely enough to give them the final push they need to cross the finish line.
What was worrying for Manchester United fans, it that Sir Alex Ferguson lined up with a very defensive team, leaving Wayne Rooney stranded on his own for large periods of the game. And after United conceded the first and only goal of the game, they seemed unable to change their strategy to find a way through City, when an equaliser was a must. Goalscorer and City captain Vincent Kompany did a fantastic job of bullying Rooney throughout the game with hard, but fair challenges and the United striker who is usually United’s most powerful weapon, did not have an answer, given that he was largely left alone upfront with no support from his midfield. The difference between the two teams was simple – City created chances, and United didn’t. With Carlos Tevez playing as an attacking midfielder along with David Silva and Samir Nasri, City had the support for their main striker Sergio Aguero. Even when Tevez was replaced in the second half, Yaya Toure became their support man, powering forward and helping create numerous City attacks.
United on the other hand did not have the same attacking threat. Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs all played too deep, and Nani was out of the game for large portions. With United’s usual width missing through Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to bench Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, they just couldn’t find a way to hurt City, and must surely look at strengthening their central midfield options in the summer if they want to continue to compete with their local rivals.
Patrice Evra’s battle cry to stop City now, before they win a league title and gather the momentum to win many more was a warning to all United’s players. Having failed, they’ve handed the advantage back to City who will surely now go on to lift the trophy on May 13th. With the first 20 season’s of the Premier League being dominated by United, it could be City’s turn to dominate for the next decade at least.
PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE WITH TWO GAMES REMAINING
|Remaining Man City Fixtures: Man City (A) vs Newcastle United & (H) vs QPRRemaining Man United Fixtures: Man United (H) vs Swansea City & (A) vs Sunderland|