Man United 1 Man City 2

Phil Jones

Man­chester Uni­ted 1 Man­chester City 2, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, April 8, 2013. Pre­mier Lea­gue ta­ble top­pers Man­chester Uni­ted suf­fered a closely con­tested 2-1 de­feat at the hands of Rob­erto Mancini´s Man­chester City. Af­ter los­ing to City, Uni­ted were now twelve points in front of their cross­town rivals wi­th sev­en ga­mes left to be played.

Man­chester Uni­ted played host to sec­ond pla­ced Man­chester City at Old Traf­ford on the 8th of April 2013 in what prom­ised to be a crack­er of a der­by mat­ch. And for those who cared to re­mem­ber, Sir Al­ex Ferguson’s men had suf­fered a pain­ful 6-1 de­feat at ho­me to The Light Blues in the cor­res­pond­ing fix­ture of the 2011-12 sea­son. The Man­chester Uni­ted in­jury list was slowly bur surely get­ting short­er and Way­ne Roo­ney re­turned for the highly an­ti­cip­ated en­counter wi­th Man­chester City af­ter a two-mat­ch ab­sence, but key cent­ral de­fenders Jon­ny Evans and Ne­manja Vid­ic were still side­lined wi­th in­jur­ies. The East­lands club, for their part, had to make do with­out the ser­vices of de­fens­ive minded mid­field play­er Jack Rod­well be­cause of a per­sist­ent ham­string in­jury. Uni­ted had edged out Sun­der­land by 1-0 at The Sta­dium of Light in their pre­vi­ous Pre­mier Lea­gue ga­me thanks to an own goal from un­for­tu­nate Eng­land U21 in­ter­na­tion­al de­fender Tit­us Bramble, whi­le City had trashed New­castle Uni­ted by 4-0 at Eti­had Sta­dium. The last time Man­chester City and Man­chester Uni­ted had locked horns in the Pre­mier Lea­gue, the red shirts had ma­naged to be­at their Man­chester coun­ter­parts by 3-2 at East­lands on the 9th of Dec­ember 2012 cour­tesy of a brace by Roo­ney and a goal from Robin van Per­sie. As for the his­tor­ic­al re­cord, there had be­en 165 meet­ings be­tween City and Uni­ted, wi­th the Old Traf­ford club ahead wi­th 69 vic­tor­ies ag­ainst The Citizens´s 45. For Man­chester City, the away clash wi­th The Man­chester Reds was a must win ga­me as they look­ed to keep their dreams of back-to-back titles alive. But there was non­ethe­less little doubt that Uni­ted held the key to the Pre­mier Lea­gue title.

The 166th Man­chester Der­by star­ted on a lively note wi­th bo­th Man­chester Uni­ted and Man­chester City will­ing to at­tack. But des­pite plenty of de­cent op­por­tun­it­ies dur­ing the fir­st pe­riod, neither te­am failed to score be­fore the ha­lf-time whistle went. City took the lead a mere six min­utes in­to the sec­ond pe­riod, how­ever, when French in­ter­na­tion­al Samir Nasri fou­nd Three Li­ons mid­fielder Ja­mes Mil­ner who rifled a fe­ro­cious and well pla­ced twenty-yard shot pa­st Uni­ted cus­todi­an Da­vid de Gea to make the score 1-0 in fa­vour of The Sky Blues. On­ly eight min­utes la­ter, tho­ugh, Man­chester Uni­ted equal­ised as Robin van Per­sie cros­sed the ball per­fectly for ver­sat­ile de­fender Phil Jones who­se power­ful head­er went in­to the back of the net via Man­chester City and Bel­gi­um stop­per Vin­cent Kom­pany. But it was City who sco­red the win­ning goal thro­ugh Samir Nasri re­place­ment Ser­gio Aguero who made the Uni­ted de­fenders look like school boys be­fore the tricky-footed for­ward power­ed a stun­ning ef­fort in­to the right top cor­ner in the 78th min­ute of the battle. Man­chester Uni­ted had plenty of chances to even the score in the clos­ing sta­ges, but the East­lands si­de ma­naged to keep the hosts at bay. Af­ter los­ing by the nar­row­est of mar­gins to sec­ond pla­ced Man­chester City, Pre­mier Lea­gue lead­ers Man­chester Uni­ted had their lead cut to twelve points. But des­pite of the 2-1 de­feat, Uni­ted could clinch their 20th Cham­pi­on­ship title if they ma­naged to col­lect on­ly ten points from their re­maining sev­en ga­mes of the sea­son. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Da­vid de Gea, Ra­fael da Silva, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Rio Fer­dinand, Phil Jones, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ry­an Gig­gs, Dan­ny Wel­beck, Way­ne Roo­ney, Ash­ley Young, Robin van Per­sie. Sub­stitutes: An­tonio Va­lencia, Shinji Ka­gawa, Al­ex­an­der Buttner, Tom Clev­er­ley, Javi­er Her­nandez, Lu­is Nani, An­ders Linde­gaard. Man­chester City Te­am: Joe Hart, Pablo Za­baleta, Vin­cent Kom­pany, Matija Nastas­ic, Gael Clichy, Yaya Tou­re, Ja­mes Mil­ner, Gar­eth Bar­ry, Da­vid Silva, Samir Nasri, Car­los Tev­ez. Sub­stitutes: Ser­gio Aguero, Jo­leon Le­scott, Javi­er Gar­cia, Costel Pantili­mon, Aleksander Kolarov, Kolo Habib Tou­re, Ed­in Dzeko.


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