The Battle of Manchester: Red Or Blue?
Manchester City, also known as The Noisy Neighbours, won their first English League Title in forty-four years in 2012. It was indeed the most dramatic scene ever experienced in the history of Premier League. Arch rivals Manchester United were left empty-handed that season trophy as City snatched the title from their hand in the final seconds of the season.
The Old Trafford club and its fans were left devastated as Manchester City were declared Champions. It was more painful for Sir Alex Ferguson and his men because they missed out the title on only goal difference of. It is clear as crystal now that the two Manchester Derbies of the season cost United the title.
23rd October, 2011.
Manchester City stunned rivals United with a 6-1 derby battering at Old Trafford. Manchester United were humiliated at home. It was the biggest Manchester United home defeat ever. Sir Alex Ferguson described it as the ‘worst day ever’. Much later that season, on 30th April, 2012, it was time for the second Manchester derby of the season.
However, it was very much a title decider. For Manchester United, it was not only about the title, but also about revenge from the humiliation faced at Old Trafford. On the other hand, Manchester City were desperate for the three points to help them secure the title and the dominance of not only Manchester, but also England. Again, United faced defeat at the hands of their local rivals at the Etihad stadium.
However, it was a narrow 1-0 defeat. These two matches between the Manchester clubs United cost a goal difference of 6. As a result, after beating QPR in the final game of the season, City were crowned English Champions for having a greater goal difference than United.
As far as the 2012/13 season is concerned, in the beginning, it seemed that the title race would be a three horse one between the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea FC. But since the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea have lost their spark and have dropped more points. Indeed, it doesn’t seems a good journey for Chelsea this season.
Apparently, just like last season, this season is all about Manchester’s local rivals. Manchester City were left humiliated in Europe by setting the record of becoming the only Premier League club to get knocked out of the Champions League without a win. Arch rivals Manchester United have already qualified for the knockout stage by winning all the first four Champions League games.
For Manchester United, club captain Nemanja Vidic and Shinji Kagawa could return since from their respective injuries. Wing men Antonio Valencia and Luis Nani are still sidelined with their injuries. On the other hand, City’s creative spark David Silva is doubtful for the derby game due to his hamstring injury.
For years now, this particular fixture has created numerous devastating matches with United winning many of them.
The famous 4-3 victory for United at Old Trafford with a 96th minute strike from Michael Owen, the 1-0 United win at the Etihad stadium with Paul Scholes heading in the last minute of injury time. The Wayne Rooney overhead kick in the 2-1 victory of the Old Trafford Club.
For years, its been Manchester United who have been dominating, but Manchester City have at last arrived, with their trophy cabinet now containing a Barclays Premier League title. Manager Roberto Mancini should be concerned about team morale since their European misery.
But for Manchester United, it’s been a great start for the season in Europe. United players will be on a high with impressive displays in Europe as well as England, with the Red Devils leading the league table by three points.
The Manchester Derby on the 8th of December, 2012 is about more than just three points, its more than just a domestic league game, its more than just 90 minutes, it more than just those 48,000 seats filled at Etihad stadium. Its about dominance, its about rivalry, its about pride, its about respect.
Its about Revenge!