Man United 3 Man City 1

Paul Scholes

Man­chester Uni­ted 3 Man­chester City 1, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Cup Semi-Fi­nal Sec­ond Leg, Jan­uary 27, 2010. Man­chester City´s search for their fir­st ma­jor trophy since the 1975-76 sea­son con­tin­ued af­ter the 3-1 de­feat ag­ainst Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Man­chester Uni­ted at Old Traf­ford. The Eastland´s club were 2-1 ahead from the fir­st leg of the semi-fi­nals the week be­fore, but a Way­ne Roo­ney head­er saw Uni­ted reach the fi­nal 4–3 on aggregate.

Whenev­er Man­chester City and Man­chester Uni­ted find them­selves play­ing ag­ainst each oth­er, a who­le lot of fire­works are an­ti­cip­ated, and the Foot­ball Lea­gue Cup Semi-Fi­nal en­counter be­tween the two Pre­mier Lea­gue gi­ants at The Theatre of Dreams on Wed­nesday the 27th of Jan­uary 2010 was no ex­cep­tion to the rule. In their pre­vi­ous meet­ing at Old Traf­ford on Sunday the 20th of Septem­ber 2009, Uni­ted had ma­naged to edge out City by a hard earned and nar­row 4–3 mar­gin cour­tesy of a late stop­page time win­ner from for­mer Liver­pool, Re­al Mad­rid, and New­castle Uni­ted goal plun­der­er Mi­chael Owen. Man­chester Uni­ted went in­to the sec­ond leg of the semi fi­nal fresh from a re­spect­able 4-0 Pre­mier Lea­gue tri­umph ag­ainst re­leg­a­tion can­did­ates Hull City at their Old Traf­ford fort­ress wi­th the in­form Way­ne Roo­ney re­gis­ter­ing all four goals for the high fly­ing club. The East­landers, for their part, entered the ga­me on the back of a 4-2 FA Cup Fourth Ro­und vic­tory ag­ainst Foot­ball Lea­gue Cham­pi­on­ship si­de Scun­thorpe Uni­ted at Glan­ford Park thanks to one goal apiece from Mar­tin Pet­rov, Nedum Onuoha, Sylv­inho, and Robinho re­spect­ively. Ahead of the Carling Cup Semi Fi­nal Sec­ond Leg, how­ever, Man­chester Uni­ted boss Sir Al­ex Fer­guson had be­en hell­bent on beat­ing Man­chester City fol­low­ing the closely con­tested 2-1 de­feat which his te­am had suf­fered at the hands of their long­time en­emies at the City of Man­chester Sta­dium in the fir­st leg the pre­vi­ous week, whi­le his ma­na­geri­al coun­ter­part Rob­erto Manci­ni look­ed for­ward to give the Old Traf­ford out­fit a re­al trash­ing on their own soil.

Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al Dar­ren Fletch­er en­joyed an ex­cel­lent mat­ch along wi­th the rest of the Man­chester Uni­ted mid­field, and the en­er­get­ic box-to-box play­maker was one of the main prot­ag­on­ists of the ga­me. And al­though no goals were pro­duced by either te­am dur­ing the open­ing forty-five min­utes of the tussle, The Man­chester Der­by was ac­tion packed and fast paced right from the very be­gin­ning of the battle. And as the high pro­file and much an­ti­cip­ated mid­week fix­ture pro­gressed fur­ther, Man­chester Uni­ted gradu­ally settled down and got well in­to their stride wi­th some mag­ni­fi­cent foot­ball played ag­ainst their cross-to­wn nou­veau riche neigh­bours. Ferguson´s troops made the strong­er start to the sec­ond pe­riod of ac­tion, and just sev­en min­utes af­ter the ha­lf time re­fresh­ments, the red shirts fi­nally went ahead as of­fens­ive ori­ented mid­field ar­chi­tect Paul Scho­les re­gistered his fourth goal of the 2009-10 cam­paign, bril­liantly steer­ing the ball pa­st Man­chester City and Re­pub­lic of Ire­land goal­keeper Shay Giv­en and in­to the back of the net from over eight­een yards out. The early sec­ond frame goal from Scho­les was then fol­lowed by a long pe­riod of some in­tense pres­sure from Man­chester Uni­ted and the ag­gress­ive and de­term­ined ho­me si­de look­ed to have sealed the tie when Fletch­er ma­naged to con­trol the ball in­side the eight­een-yard area and laid it off for Three Li­ons mid­fielder Mi­chael Car­rick who shot The Reds in­to a de­served 2-0 lead in the 70th min­ute of the Lea­gue Cup clash.

Things may have ap­peared some­what grim for Man­chester City, but Rob­erto Mancini´s plucky te­am ma­naged to hit back a mere six min­utes la­ter in the con­test when con­tro­ver­sial and flam­boy­ant for­ward Car­los Tev­ez fou­nd the net for the vis­it­ors af­ter beat­ing Man­chester Uni­ted and Eng­land de­fender Rio Fer­dinand to the ball and then flick­ing it pa­st Neth­er­lands in­ter­na­tion­al Ed­win van der Sar to equal­ise for The Sky Blues. The goal look­ed to have en­sured ex­tra time un­til a beau­ti­ful and pre­cise cross from Ry­an Gig­gs fou­nd dan­ger­man Way­ne Roo­ney who head­ed the ball pa­st the City net­mind­er and in­to the goal from on­ly six yards out to make the score­board at Old Traf­ford read 3-1 in fa­vour of Uni­ted. And shortly af­ter­wards the fi­nal whistle loudly pro­claimed that Man­chester City re­mained the poor re­la­tions of foot­ball. A wi­se man once said that if you really want to an­noy your neigh­bour, all that you have to do is to tell the truth about him. How very true he was. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Rio Fer­dinand, Ra­fael, Jon­ny Evans, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ry­an Gig­gs, Paul Scho­les, Nani, Mi­chael Car­rick, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: To­masz Kusz­czak, Wes Bro­wn, Ne­manja Vid­ic, An­tonio Va­lencia, Ji-Sung Park, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, Mi­chael Owen. Man­chester City Te­am: Shay Giv­en, Dedryck Boy­ata, Micah Richards, Pablo Za­baleta, Vin­cent Kom­pany, Gar­eth Bar­ry, Javi­er Gar­rido, Nigel de Jong, Shaun Wright-Phil­lips, Craig Bel­lamy, Car­los Tev­ez. Sub­stitutes: Stu­art Tay­lor, Nedum Onuoha, Silv­inho, Abdi Ibrahim, Steph­en Ire­land, Em­manuel Ad­e­bay­or, Mar­tin Petrov.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted over­came Man­chester City by 1-0 in a Lea­gue Cup Third Ro­und fix­ture at Old Traf­ford on the 9th of Oct­ober 1974. The mat­ch was dead­locked at ha­lf-time at 0-0, but a pen­alty goal from Ger­ry Da­ly wi­th twelve min­utes left of nor­mal time han­ded Tom­my Docherty´s te­am the win.


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