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Reactions To Victory Over City

1. Like a lot of fans, I would have happily taken a point from Sunday’s game ahead of kick-off, with City having not lost at home in the league for two years and us just needing to draw to stay top of the league. With ten minutes played it looked as though we were going to have our work cut out to get a result. When Mario Balotelli lashed the ball over the bar, when really he should have scored, you had to wonder how long it would be until they took the lead. We have been conceding first to pretty much everyone so surely it was only a matter of time. Thankfully, United pulled their finger out, Ferguson got his team selection and tactics spot on and our players worked incredibly hard to get the game won. After the dismal display at the Etihad last sesason with Ferguson playing for the draw it was such a relief when the team news came out. If we’d lost we would’ve had to take it on the chin and at least been proud of the fact we gave it a go. The fact we won obviously makes it all the sweeter though.

2. In the match preview I said our success on Sunday depended entirely on Wayne Rooney. I wasn’t necessarily talking about his goals, although of course we know he tends to do well against them, but his overall contribution. He put in a great performance and worked tirelessly for the team. He’s our most important player and it’s great to see him on form. Rooney opened the scoring for us with a scuffed shot that Ashley Young did fantastically well to set up. The ball trickled over the line with Joe Hart rooted to the spot. Rooney then put us 2-0 up ten minutes later thanks to a perfect ball from Rafael da Silva. Kolo Toure, who had replaced the injured Vincent Kompany, didn’t get tight enough to Rooney, which presented him with a simple enough tap in.

3. We’ve been without our captain and best defender for the best part of a year. It was interesting to see how City got on on with just one game without Kompany. The decision to replace him with Toure instead of Lescott was a strange one from Roberto Mancini. It was also strange that he opted to start Balotelli and leave Carlos Tevez, their top scorer, on the bench. They had so much more urgency and played with lots more purpose when he was on the pitch. It was his efforts that lead to their first goal, after two top saves from David de Gea, and you have to wonder how the match would have finished if he’d been on from the start. Still, another league game where we’ve faced that horrible troll without him scoring against us. This is his fourth season at City and the only goals he’s scored against us were those in the two legs of the League Cup in his first season, when we knocked them out.

4. Tevez wasn’t the only player who had dabbled with both Manchester clubs though. Samir Nasri had a choice between United and City and opted for the blues. The same can be said of Robin van Persie and he picked us. The game was won because of both of these players though, with Nasri cowardly hiding behind the City wall as Van Persie curled his freekick in for the winner, with a delicate deflection from Nasri’s toe. “We only had two and a half players in the wall,” Mancini said after the game. With Tevez tripping Rafael to concede the match-winning freekick, you couldn’t ask for better opponents to help us on our way to victory. Van Persie has now scored against City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. Don’t you just love it when a gamble pays off?

5. On a different day, Young would have grabbed more headlines for himself, after he put United 3-0 up with less than a hour played, which would have put the game out of site. When you add this to his contribution to our first goal, as well as his all round hard working display, there would have been more shouts for him to be Man of the Match. Unfortunately, the linesman incorrectly ruled it out for offside and City were off the hook. Young’s been fairly dire for most of this season but it looks as though he might be hitting the levels he managed in his first few games after signing. Nani’s out of the team and may never get back in it, so it’s really important for Young to keep building on this.

6. Anders Lindegaard wasn’t in the match day squad because his wife very inconveniently went in to labour. I’d like to think that De Gea would have been starting on Sunday regardless, but if he wasn’t, surely the manager has to keep him as our first choice now. There was nothing he could have done about either of their goals but he was far more in control of the box. He was shoving opposition players out of the way, outjumping them to punch away, and collecting crosses at ease (with the exception of one dropped cross without any blue shirts nearby to make it costly). He even saved one attempt on goal with his shoulder!

7. The biggest worry whenever we play teams close to us in the league is getting overpowered in midfield. Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry form a decent partnership, with one attempting to shut the opposition out whilst the other charges forward. It was brilliant to see Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley hold their own.

8. Whilst City’s substitutions weren’t a complete success, ours worked out fairly well. Chris Smalling was strong and composed at the back after coming on very early in to the second half for Jonny Evans. With City going for the win, Smalling did well to keep Edin Dzeko out, whilst it was Danny Welbeck who robbed Clichy before Rafael won the injury time freekick. Welbeck has a real skill for pinching the ball from the opposition in his positions he has no right to. It was great for our Longsight lad to get on the pitch and be able to celebrate with our fans.

9. So, who would have thought it? 16 games in and we’re actually on exactly the same number of points as we were at this stage last season. The difference then was that we had stiffer competition, with City two points ahead of us, instead of the six points behind they now find themselves. If we were six points behind now I wouldn’t be too worried, so there’s no point getting too excited about being clear at the top, but picking up wins against City, Chelsea and Liverpool, all away from home, means we’ve got our most difficult games of the season out of the way with maximum points. I’m so proud of the performance on Sunday though. It’s great to see what they’re capable of when they’re up for it. We wanted it more than City did and we got the result we deserved. Onwards and upwards…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Gaffer says:

    RvP was never a gamble though, top class over the years

  2. malice_mizer says:

    Waz goal!! :-)

  3. Costas says:

    We are also have more points in these 16 games compared to the same 16 games from last season. Not bad all things considering.

    The winning goal was symbolic in itself. One ex Arsenal player showed the hunger and desire that made him join one Manchester club while the other showed the money grabbing mercenary attitude that made him join the other Manchester club.

    Happy times. But like I said last year when we were 8 points ahead, we still have a lot to do.

  4. Costas says:

    *We also have more points* I meant.

  5. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Still bubbling! Really pleased with the formation, the team and the desire.

    Still seething about the refereeing though. But water under the bridge.

    Brilliant fans view of RvP goal, Could watch it over and over!

    @Costas, you ok mate? Though you were going come unglued this week. That win should help eh!

    City, Who?! :lol:

  6. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    SUPER ROBIN VAN PERSIE!!!! but I agree with Scott and have said this for ages. Wayne Rooney is the IT man for United. He has been the IT man for United since the day Ronaldo left. When he plays well, the entire team plays well. His energy, his drive is very infectious and he plays with the passion of a fan (when he is on his game). Robin van Persie, one of the greatest finishers on this planet is just an added bonus to the fire that Wayne Rooney has inside him. I am thankful that we have a strike force as LETHAL as this.

  7. Samsammy says:

    Great article as always Scott. I think Sunday was the first match this season where all 11 players plus the subs worked extremely hard and put out a great TEAM performance.

    I thought someone would write a piece on Mancini and his ludicrous post-match comments. Everything he said was just so idiotic and class-less in my opinion. From the basic “Aaaaaa This is a football” to the outrageous statements such as “We played, they won”. Not only was he so arrogant to give even a little bit of credit to United, but he was also very indifferent towards the Rio incident, as if nothing had happened. Also, as much as I can’t stand Balotelli, I’m on his side in his spat with Mancini. Time and time again, Mancini talks up Balotelli and how great he is, only show displeasure towards him with the cameras on and to later put him down in public. It’s not his fault he started ahead of Tevez. Who made that decision??! Mancini took no responsibility for the defeat and tried really hard to convince (quite unconvincingly) his team were the better. Absolutely pathetic and shameful.

  8. Tom R says:

    Fergie got the team right cleverly good energy and ball retention … Thought Smalling was class

  9. cleggster says:

    I reckon Van Persie was aiming for Nasri’s head and he knew it [might of done it in training once]. I thought the ref had a great game. He let it flow, allowing a great game to proceed.

  10. jay4manutd says:

    Seems to remember(vividly)someone on here saying RvP signing wasn’t necessary,a gamble(waste of money),when even a non-football lover knows its a no brainer…nice victory yersterday,game on though.nowhere near over #GGMU

  11. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Agree with the worry about classless comments from Mancini.

    But this from Ashley Cole’s mum has to be out of context. What would Cole’s mum care about the derby? Anyway, if true, explains alot about the sun 8O

  12. FletchTHEMAN says:

    ** about the son***

  13. TheCANTONA says:

    ref had a great game? r u fucking kiddin’ me? that cunt atkinson almost ruins us yesterday (just like he did in fa cup 07/08 & league 09/10). heck even silly graham poll agrees that was one of worst refereeing performance….

  14. Daniel88 says:

    Finally Fergie got the team selection right its not hard two central midfielders under thirty five, two wingers with two strikers.

    - Antonio Valencia blatantly wasn’t fit.
    - Ashley Young played very well.
    - I would like to see Carrick – Cleverley – Anderson midfield trio away from home against the top teams especially in Europe.


    You are fucking hilarious on Twitter.

  15. Gentlekez says:

    Good article!
    Carrick had a decent game though but I still dream of Ando and Clev combo
    The high line implored by our defence was impressive and Evans did great

  16. Hans says:

    Great victory. If we had played with an attitude like this in every match, we would have been at least 12 points clear.

    Anyway, we should now built on this and go on a great festive run.

    Off topic, at the end the last day of the last season, I wished QPR and Sunderland to go down on the next one. Now I am more than hopeful that my wish will come true! That would please me as much as our own no 20!

  17. irishred says:

    been waiting for this all day!!! top result

  18. jay jay says:

    @ Gentlekez sorry but carrick is a starter for me. And why??? SIMPLE cos the guys short passing is on point!! and against teams we need to keep position against you need a player like carrick and his 1 touch football in tight spots is another 1 of his strong points. And you know those long passes across the floor through the holes of the center mid are so effective too, and yh he might not have the dribble skills that ando possesses and the aggressiveness but his passing and experience counts for alot Gentlekez.

  19. Mitch Kramer says:

    most thrilling football match i have watched in some time. in regard to martin atkinson (the ref), he obviously screwed us a bit and got some crucial decisions wrong, but other than those key decisions (really only the disallowed Young goal), which were in all honesty very difficult decisions, he did well to keep the game flowing while maintaining the necessary control over the match. perhaps we got screwed on a couple of calls, but the smalling handball was pretty obvious and it wasn’t called, so although people aren’t mentioning this it did even out to an extent. evra may have been fouled in the box for a PK but the way the match was going i don’t think atkinson would have given a PK for either side after that sort of incident.

    we played well, we played with heart & spirit, and you can only hope that this result will give all of our lads a big confidence boost as the season progresses.

    rather than lighting a fire under city’s arses, i hope to god this match demoralizes them. one thing is for sure, it will definitely demoralize that selfish c*nt nasri. i would LOVVVVEEEE to see footage of nasri walking into the city locker room after the match. if i were him i woulda just walked straight home, maybe even consider swimming back to france. overpriced pussy…

  20. WeAreUnited says:


    that video made my hmmmm day?

    anyway great video, you can see how much it meant for the players and the supporters, goal celebration should always be like that.

    I also think we should include celebrating with supporters after every game, like in Germany, you can see how after each and every match they go and thank the supporters. RVP has done this alot.

    what do you think? it would be much better, win or lose, in our case win, but still. Supporters needs recognision.

  21. SingaporeIsRed says:

    Spot on with the reactions. You should get the GIF of RvP’s goal showing Nasrii cowering behind Dzeko in fear!

  22. Redhot Concepts says:

    2 days on and I am still fuckin Hell Yeah ahhh Robin Van Persie
    In my head!! Amazing players, amazing fans, amazing club.
    Thank you players for Believing in yourselves, every single one of you on
    that eventful Sunday! We can win the lot again. Quietly confident!!

  23. Toms says:

    Scott, you should look at our christmas fixtures. We did the hard work earlier and so now we have a great shot at picking up a lot of momentum.

  24. McQueen says:

    Great stuff. Rooney was crucial, not only was he clinical in attack but when City broke on us he was always the first one sprinting back to cover any missing defensive players. Quality.

    Nice to see De Gea continue progressing, he has to start above Anders now, as much as i like the guy DDG pretty much outclasses him in all areas. His save with the shoulder was vital, and he got no credit from the commentators apparently it just fucking ‘hit’ him. He was perfectly positioned and stood strong, you can see him actually flick it over with his shoulder. Schmeichel used to make those kind of saves off all parts of his body.

  25. Dark Knight says:

    Great performance…………..Hope we maintain this lead till the end of the season……………..It would demoralise City if we win the title by a big margin.

  26. tom c says:


    fucking spot on about DeGea, fucking commentators giving him no credit; he knew it was coming and moved his shoulder to meet it. if he’d stayed static odds are it would’ve been in. the lad will grow to be class, and surely after that, and the double save against Tevez and Silva, his place in the team must be cemented.

  27. andromeda says:

    There are many football clubs in the world, playing and working hard until the last minutes of the game.But there is only one team in the entire universe that can passionately roam the pitch until the final SECOND, and that is of course MANCHESTER UNITED…..hunger, desire, class.

  28. Red Devils says:

    Why no investigation of Tevez kicking Jones… anyone know the reason..? That guy deserve 3 matches ban..

  29. dazbomber says:

    A lot of good comments , I think Fergie will be showing the lads the video of Sunderland fans taking the piss in the last match of the season , he actually commentated that he will never forget what they did.I do think that Sir Alex may hold a grudge.ha

  30. Stenis says:

    I don’t get the extreme bashing Young’s been receiving the last few weeks. Even at poor form he always works hard, keeps the ball well and has a very good delivery into the box. On form he beats players and scores wonderful goals. Unlike our other wingers, he’s got a bit of everything and can adapt to different situations and positions.

  31. andromeda says:

    THERE’S TWO GREAT TEASMS IN MANCHESTER- Man united and man united reserves

  32. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Good comments about Rooney’s work. All the forwards were sensational.
    I think I counted at least 5 crucial defensive clearances from Robin on corners. Phenomenal!

    Credit to Scott for pointing out Danny Welbecks role, but it hardly does the lad justice.
    Plainly put, Danny won us the game.
    City might have run out the clock or worse but Danny goes and gets the ball, off a defender!!! Clean as a pick pocket in Piccadilly. Nobody could believe it all the other lads were set up to defend the draw. Danny had the ball and had to beg the other lads to switch on and attack!

    Get in Danny!

  33. Dark Knight says:

    Confirmed news coming in……………….Man city have almost finalized their deal on Falcao in the January transfer window. They had been playing this close to their chest. Guess Chelsea have lost out on this one. They seem to be having a surplus of forwards and still cant score goals.

  34. andromeda says:

    Watch this Arabic commentator :) )

  35. Adamcy says:

    Great points as always Scott, forgot to mention Tony V’s immense contribution which hept them pegged back at times and also was reaaly glad to see Cleverly step up to the occasion been giving the nod ahead of experienced players,. De Gea truly deserves a shot at the 1st choice for some games wih his immense contribution all round. Great win and advantage for us so early in the season.

    PS: Please any update to Valencia’s injury whether he is out for a couple of weeks or available for the next game.

  36. Proverb says:

    Like someone said, they started throwing missiles
    long before RVP scored that goal which led to our
    lads go bankers, rio got hit while celebrating with the
    away fans not what the ABU’s cunts would have you
    Its no surprise they don’t mention the penalty
    incident and that scarface would of got sent off on
    Another day in their post match analysis
    its a
    disgraceful treatments our lads have to endure in every big
    game they play
    I doubt it if we were on the benefiting end the ABUs
    would remain shut or try to cover it up.
    Blaming rio for the almost eye cracking incident is
    the most pathetic excuses I have heard
    Fuck everyone saying united were at fault for that
    we’re top of the league baby!!!!! Get in lads

  37. Diego says:

    Rooney is the IT man at United? Really, could bet my house on the fact that he isn’t very handy with technology or computers… Guess you learn something every day…

  38. gaz says:


    fucking spot on about that perma tanned waivy haired, scarf wearing cock sucker wankini, he is a bitter fucking jock strap, whats going on with his hands fucker is like a fucking sock puppet. shit manager and even shitter man! hope the cunt stays at the council house for a long time yet fucking rat munching justin bieber looking fucker. Hah Naseri fucking shark faced cunt little fucking piece of ejaculation faggotty bitch! GGMU!!!

  39. Proverb says:

    Now rooney is the best thing since dry bread ha!
    How this place operates
    Not ages ago, he was labeled as the shittest of players
    Next week 9 & 6

  40. parryheid says:

    Knew if we played the long line midfield,we would seriously hurt them when we broke with our ace finishers and so it turned out.Let’s not be kidded by the score they were comprehensively beaten and I enjoyed that.

  41. kk says:

    Young was my man of the match. This game was personal. Rio and Evans just headed everything out. Carrick handled Yaya very well.
    Zabaleta kneeling next to the post after the 3rd goal went in was priceless

  42. BSF OHA says:

    Fuck shitty and fuck atkinson, we are the Reds, we score whenever we want. Kudos to the lads, they were really up for it. GGMU

  43. denton davey says:

    kk @ 12:01: “Zabaleta kneeling next to the post after the 3rd goal went in was priceless”

    Why ? The guy is a warrior – he really plays hard. He wanted to win; he didn’t want to lose because of “2 1/2 men” in the wall. It was a tough blow for them to absorb – well, a tough blow for those of them who actually care about the team as opposed to their pay-check.

    Like Scott wrote above, it’s going to be interesting to see how they cope against Newcastle with injuries to Kompany and GreatBigHugeYaYa as well as non-defending from Nasri and Silva. C’mon you bar-codes !

  44. United Till I Die says:

    Well written Scott, and well worth the wait. Im still buzzing off the victory. Without a gimmick in sight that performance defined teamwork, right down to Rooney shouting at Young for missing a chance to assist his hat-trick. For all the injuries and missed players, we were class away from home and deserved the points. End of.

    Spot on about Tevez. Since his League Cup heroics (in vain) he hasn’t scored against us, but he always tries his best bless him. When Balotelli had his t-shirt ready he made the difference that day, but he wasn’t up for it Sunday so he missed the chance to bury a similar chance. Thats how tight the 6-1 was imo, nevermind 10 men for half the match and our lads playing for pride.

    We still put up a fight till the end of the season, and could’ve regained our Title, which is why the “capitulation” at the Emptyhad left us all “very bemused” to put it respectfully. So hats off to Ferguson getting it absolutely spot on this time, against the “goal difference champions” no less.

    Given the injuries he’s dealing with and whats at stake, it should rank up their among his greatest 3 points at the helm. Long may it continue. All that oil-money, with a full strength team, undefeated at home, and we still took a 3-0 lead at a canter with a dodgy ref. And we looked like scoring for fun once RVP hit the woodwork. 11 v 11.

    Says a lot imo. Especially when you consider we’re yet to hit top form.

    Our lads did us proud on Sunday, we’ve been class this season and we can play even better.

  45. chicaole says:

    I think Sir Alex dedicated that win to Arsenal for without them we would have had no RVP and city would not have had their frightened 8 year old on the pitch

  46. samuel - united WE stand says:

    “bashing”? What bashing has young been getting? He’s 27, at his peak and more assured performances like he produced should be hoped to come from him. Apart from his first two games and a,couple,of cracking goals,against,spurs, young hasn’t shown the form he had at villa. He has looked predictable, his crosses have constantly hit the first man, rarely goes with his left foot, generally looked physically weak and out of ideas but recently we’ve seen an upturn in terms of form with him, made an impact against city and we can only hope his confidence has risen. The question mark on him has not left and rightly so, he’s far from justifying the 16mill outlay on him. His performance against city is a fantastic start.

  47. MarkoWire says:

    Rooney was amazing!!! Its the first time this season I have seen him play so far forward. Him and RVP could be on to a winning combo….


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