Man City 0 Man United 1

Paul Scholes

Man­chester City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 1, The City of Man­chester Sta­dium, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, April 17, 2010. A highly mo­tiv­ated Man­chester Uni­ted si­de be­at Man­chester City by 1-0 at East­lands thro­ugh an amaz­ing goal from Paul Scho­les in the last min­ute of the clash.

Man­chester Uni­ted entered the fix­ture on the back of a dis­ap­point­ing non scor­ing draw ag­ainst Black­burn Rov­ers at Ew­ood Park, whi­le Man­chester City had out­classed Birm­ing­ham City to the tune of a 5-1 score at the City of Man­chester Sta­dium in their pre­vi­ous mat­ch. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson had to make do with­out Oli­veira An­der­son, Wes Bro­wn, Rio Fer­dinand, Owen Har­greaves, Mi­chael Owen, and Dan­ny Wel­beck who were all out be­cause of dif­fer­ent in­jur­ies. But Way­ne Roo­ney, who­se avail­ab­il­ity had be­en ap­proved by the Man­chester Uni­ted Med­ic­al Staff, was back in ac­tion for The Reds and his re­turn was a tre­mend­ous boost to the club af­ter their title hopes had vir­tu­ally van­ished in­to thin air dur­ing the time span of a single week. And Man­chester Uni­ted were fur­ther boos­ted by the facts that Ry­an Gig­gs, who ap­peared to have strained his ham­string ag­ainst Black­burn, was also ready for the fix­ture which the Old Traf­ford out­fit simply had to win if they were to have any hope of keep­ing up wi­th Chel­sea in the race for the Pre­mier Lea­gue title. Rob­erto Manci­ni, for his part, was mis­sing the phys­ic­al pres­ence of Micah Richards and Sylv­inho who were bo­th side­lined wi­th in­jury prob­lems, but Way­ne Bridge re­turned to the si­de af­ter a five-mat­ch ab­sence fol­low­ing her­nia sur­gery. Man­chester United´s start­ing el­ev­en in­cluded Ed­win van der Sar, Ga­ry Ne­ville, Jon­athan Evans, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Pat­rice Ev­ra, An­tonio Va­lencia, Ry­an Gig­gs, Paul Scho­les, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Dar­ron Gib­son, and Way­ne Roo­ney, whi­le Man­chester City´s start­ing lineup con­tained Shay Giv­en, Nedum Onuoha, Vin­cent Kom­pany, Gar­eth Bar­ry, Kolo Tou­re, Way­ne Bridge, Nigel de Jong, Ad­am John­son, Car­los Tev­ez, Craig Bel­lamy, and Em­manuel Adebayor.

The se­cur­ity op­er­a­tion ahead of the Man­chester Der­by was huge as the battles be­tween the two gi­ants al­ways seemed to bring out the kind of people who­se men­tal acu­men was well be­low par. And it was no hid­den secret that a vast ma­jor­ity of the East­lands faith­ful look­ed upon the en­counter as some kind of al­tern­at­ive to cup fi­nals. De­fend­ing Pre­mier Lea­gue Cham­pi­ons Man­chester Uni­ted had de­feated Sheikh Mansour’s Man­chester City 4-3 at The Theatre of Dreams in the cor­res­pond­ing Pre­miership meet­ing earli­er in the 2009-10 cam­paign thanks to a double by mid­field mo­tor Dar­ren Fletch­er and one goal each from for­wards Way­ne Roo­ney and Mi­chael Owen and the vis­it­ing te­am were mar­gin­al fa­vour­ites to emerge tri­umphant from the mat­ch. But des­pite of the fact that Sir Al­ex Ferguson´s Uni­ted troops dom­in­ated the pos­ses­sion of the ball for much of the fir­st pe­riod, The Red Dev­ils failed to take ad­vant­age of in­nu­mer­able de­cent goal scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies to put them­selves ahead be­fore the sound of the ha­lf time whistle. Man­chester City, who were fight­ing for a place in the Cham­pons Lea­gue, also had their chances and the hosts came clo­se to scor­ing dur­ing the early sta­ges of the high pro­file fix­ture when for­mer Man­chester Uni­ted play­er Car­los Tev­ez ma­naged to buy him­self a free kick in a dan­ger­ous po­s­i­tion. The Ar­gen­tine marks­man then bent the ball to­wards the top right cor­ner of the net on­ly to watch his try be­ing stopped by a fully stret­ched Ed­win van der Sar in the Uni­ted goal.

Shortly af­ter the re­sump­tion, Man­chester City de­fender Vin­cent Kom­pany was in­volved in a duel wi­th golden boy Way­ne Roo­ney, and to the great an­ger of the City of Man­chester Sta­dium sup­port­ers, the mas­sive de­fens­ive bul­wark ended up re­ceiv­ing a yel­low card. On­ly some ten min­utes in­to the sec­ond ha­lf of the tie, how­ever, Wales in­ter­na­tion­al stri­ker Craig Bel­lamy had the chan­ce to put The Man­chester Blues ahead, but the pre­vi­ous West Ham Uni­ted fa­vour­ite ma­naged to blast his ef­fort wide of the tar­get. Then, wi­th a mere fif­teen min­utes left on ref­er­ee Mar­tin Atkinson´s watch, Sir Al­ex Fer­guson fi­nally de­cided to hand Bul­gari­an at­tack­er Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov yet an­oth­er chan­ce as the ex­per­i­enced head coach re­placed Roo­ney wi­th the nat­ur­al born sharp­shoot­er. The Man­chester City play­ers had a pen­alty ap­peal cor­rectly waved away by Atkin­son soon af­ter as Gar­eth Barry’s thespi­an tal­ent failed him whi­le per­form­ing a Fran­nie Lee dive, and it most cer­tainly was foot­ball for des­per­ate people, but then you do not get more des­per­ate than The Cit­izens when they play Uni­ted. The der­by tussle look­ed to be head­ing to­wards a draw, but wi­th just a few sec­onds re­maining of nor­mal time Fran­ce U21 wing­er Gab­riel Ober­tan sent the ball wide to fel­low coun­try­man Pat­rice Ev­ra and his cross was met by Paul Scho­les who­se stun­ning head­er went pa­st Man­chester City and Re­pub­lic of Ire­land goal­keeper Shay Giv­en and in­to the net to give Man­chester Uni­ted a 1-0 vic­tory over Rob­erto Mancini´s boys. Man­chester City Te­am: Shay Giv­en, Nedum Onuoha, Vin­cent Kom­pany, Gar­eth Bar­ry, Kolo Tou­re, Way­ne Bridge, Nigel de Jong, Ad­am John­son, Car­los Tev­ez, Craig Bel­lamy, Em­manuel Ad­e­bay­or. Sub­stitutes: Dedryck Boy­ata, Steph­en Ire­land, Pablo Za­baleta, Patrick Vie­ira, Shaun Wright-Phil­lips, Roque Santa Cruz, Gun­nar Nielsen. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ga­ry Ne­ville, Jon­athan Evans, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Pat­rice Ev­ra, An­tonio Va­lencia, Ry­an Gig­gs, Paul Scho­les, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Dar­ron Gib­son, Way­ne Roo­ney. Sub­stitutes: Lu­is Nani, Gab­riel Ober­tan, Mi­chael Car­rick, Ra­fael da Silva, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, John O’Shea, To­masz Kuszczak.

 

Paul Scholes Quickfacts

Born and grow­ing up in Great­er Man­chester, Paul Scho­les agreed to his fir­st pro­fes­sion­al con­tract wi­th his loc­al te­am Man­chester Uni­ted in the middle of the 1993–94 cam­paign at the age of eight­een. The Man­cuni­an was giv­en his Pre­mier Lea­gue de­but for the si­de in a 3–2 de­feat ag­ainst Ips­wich To­wn at Port­man Road on the 24th of Septem­ber 1994, and went on to win every­thing that could be won wi­th his boy­hood club. An Eng­land play­er, Scho­les made his fir­st full in­ter­na­tion­al ap­pear­ance for The Three Li­ons as a sec­ond ha­lf re­place­ment for Teddy Sher­ing­ham in a 2–1 friendly tri­umph over So­uth Africa at Old Traf­ford on the 24th of May 1997, and was ev­entually to col­lect an im­press­ive 66 seni­or caps for his country.

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