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Reactions To Victory Over City

1. Well, that was piss easy, wasn’t it? Hmm. What should have been a walk in the part for United following the first half was worryingly more difficult than it needed to be, but we got the result and that’s all that matters. United have knocked our local rivals, our noisy neighbours, and current holders, Manchester City, out of the FA Cup at their own ground. Good day to be a red.

2. After absorbing a lot of pressure from City in the first ten minutes, United were the first to score after a great attack. A perfect ball in from Antonio Valencia found Wayne Rooney’s head and left the keeper with no chance. It was very 2009-2010, when these two combined all the time. Rooney ran away kissing his badge following a week when the papers have claimed he’s looking for a move away from the club again. In his post-match interview, after being named Man of the Match, he again reiterated that these stories were nonsense and that he wanted to stay at United for a long time.

3. Danny Welbeck made as much impact as Rooney up front though, putting United 2-0 up with a superb goal. Like plenty of reds, whilst recognising Welbeck would get a Premier League career, I used to wonder whether he had the ability to make it at United. He’s quality and I love watching him play. It was his run in to the box which won us the decisive penalty, getting his toe to the ball just before he was brought down. Rooney’s execution was poor but he did really well to then head past the diving keeper. Seeing local lad Danny play such an important role in a Cup derby, scoring a goal like that and winning the penalty, is what makes us dreamy about football. It’s also a sight that City fans won’t ever get to enjoy.

4. Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley, Will and Michael Keane and Ashley Young were all in the away end today. As well as Welbeck, we had Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes on the pitch, and then Jonny Evans on the bench. In contrast, City, the supposed proper Mancunian’s team, only had Micah Richards, a Brummie who spent his youth at Leeds and Oldham’s academies before joining City (and Oldham still have a 20% sell on clause for him). Makes you proud eh.

5. The sending off has been described as a “contentious decision” which I find fairly baffling. Kompany had both feet of the ground, studs up, and scissored the ball away from Nani, who had to get out of the way. No doubt that he won the ball but anyone complaining about the decision should probably read the Laws of the game. You don’t have to actually break a player’s leg with a dangerous challenge to be sent off. But maybe we shouldn’t let facts get in the way of an ickle City cry off. If Rooney had made a challenge like that, not a single journalist would be fighting his corner. They would say he lost his head and it was just good fortune he didn’t cause any damage. It was a clear sending off, just as Evans’ was at Old Trafford in the league game. The only big decision Chris Foy got wrong was not awarding a penalty to United at 3-1 when Antonio Valencia was brought down in the box.

6. The story that distracted everyone away from the Manchester derby this morning was Paul Scholes returning to the United squad. Insane. After not playing football for 8 months, Scholes came on with half an hour to play and did a good job. According to Opta Stats, Scholes made 71 passes in that time, completing 97% of them, which was more than any City player in the entire game.

7. Lots of fans were singing the praises of Anders Lindegaard ahead of the Newcastle game, hailing his cleansheets record and saying he was a better keeper than David de Gea. What these people were ignoring is that Lindegaard had played against average sides, whilst de Gea had already made class saves against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. There wasn’t anything Lindegaard could have done against the three goals against Newcastle but he failed his first big test today. He looked nervous and rattled for much of the game. The Aguero goal was an easy save which he fumbled. Ferguson has now set us up nicely for a repeat of Tim Howard/Roy Carroll shambles, where we play one keeper until they fuck up, then drop and swap them, meaning both keepers have shattered confidence and give nervy performances.

8. The game should not have been that difficult. Both the manager and Rooney conceded we took our foot off the gas. We had gone in 3-0 up at half time playing against ten men and maybe they could be forgiven for thinking it would be plain sailing in the second half. In contrast to United, when we went down to ten men, City went for an entirely defensive approach, and it was successful. They brought off their most exciting attacking players, Silva and Johnson, and replaced them with two defenders. A set piece and a good break allowed City back in the game. We should never have been in that situation though. It was really frustrating not to go out and batter them. Essentially though, who gives a fuck? I don’t. We won the game and I couldn’t care less if we did that on the back of City having ten stonewall penalties denied, Anderson scoring with his arse, and Rooney avoiding a booking for snapping Hargreaves’ leg. If there’s fuss made about the sending off, so be it, but it’s irrelevant. We won the game and we’re through to the next round. City lost and they’re out. Well done United.

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. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:


    Of course mate but 2nd at times city were chasing shadows. Both their goals was down to us doing stupid things and outside that we was not threatened. Remember being nervous and threatened are different things and we controlled the game.

  2. smartalex says:


    He’s a legend in my eyes, many Reds disagree, fair enough.
    I wouldn’t bring him back, but if he were to play, my heart will soar unrestrainedly!

  3. smartalex says:

    mufc m41

    You lucky bastard! So Fletcher was stood next to you and Young about 2 seats in front?
    Thanks for carrying our hearts and being our voices at the game!

    And Fletch you say was top? Tell us more!

  4. gaurav12931 says:

    yea exactly when i saw scholes about to enter the pitch it just felt soo good,i’m still caught up in that feeling and i guess i want beckham to be back in the squad for that reason,it would be great to see beckham in united colours again as a sentimental point of view,though it may not work out on the pitch,anyway i havent seen him play for a long time so he probably isnt good enough for united now anyway

  5. Clint-iamyourpapii says:

    Zibbie – I’ve missed you and RoM.Only came on because I couldnt give my email last time. seems someone tried to hack my account so it got closed and opened weeks later. Won’t be on again for a while because I have too much going on to be addicted again


    Take Care, keep up the perversity on my part, I regularly visit RoM but don’t comment because of its negative aspects. ;)

    Someone pass on to KingEric – Congrats mate, enjoy fatherhood.

  6. denton davey says:

    JamieT @ 17:53: “Scholes is an excellent signing for us. His experience will definitely help, and why not have him available so we dont have to ever play rafeal in midfield again.”

    You mean the Rafael da Silva who was brilliant in midfield last season against TheArse ?

    As a stop-gap, Paul Scholes is an excellent addition to the squad but his presence also raises two real questions:

    first, what message does this send to Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba ? these kids never seem to get meaningful game time. Are they over-hyped ?

    second, I have to hope that SAF resists the temptation to lean on the GingerNinja. When I saw SirRyanGiggs in the starting team-sheet, I was worried but he was the single biggest recipient of Kompany’s sending off. Instead of facing another high-tempo pressing midfield, BobbyMancs reined in his troops and this gave Giggs time and space.

    Both of these guys are real, true legends for UTD but – let’s get real – it’s would be just amazing for them to roll back the years. Both are shadows of their legendary selves. So, what I wonder is if SAF is going to give them a lot of playing time in the same way that he gave Henrik Larsson time at LouisLouis’ expense a few years ago. Today, SAF played his trump cards and got out alive by the-skin-of-his-teeth; next time there might be too much jeopardy. Both Scholes and Giggs are now suited to be “situational substitutes”, coming on in circumstances in which their vast experience outweighs their starkly dimishined physical abilities.

  7. smartalex says:

    Giggs12Gerrard0 – Remember being nervous and threatened are different things and we controlled the game; that’s a good way of putting it. I WAS nervous until the end, but we always looked too strong. They would get chances, but it seemed they’d be few-and-far-between. Turned out like that, and we were comfortable enough to retain the ball for minutes at a time.

    I noticed that Aguero was found time and again by their players clearing the ball, and it seemed to me that Aguero was always on an imaginary line running centrally up the field. Did you notice that? It enabled them to know his position, but it should have been easy to read. I guess that Rio(& co) could not risk being turned.

  8. gaurav12931 says:

    the second half according to me wasnt as bad as people are making it out to be,I think it was done in purpose,the reasons for that could be to keep the players from having any injuries,keeping them fresh and most importantly making city chase around for the ball and tiring them,it worked as city now dont have their best defender and they will be relatively more tired after all the chasing around the pitch.

  9. Red Letter says:


    Every now and then we allow Citeh a 5-1 or 6-1 win just to cheer them up and give them something to talk about for the next twenty years and then put them back in their place LOL

  10. dasilvatwins says:

    new qpr manager better not send macheda back!

  11. WillieRedNut says:

    denton davey – What message does it send to the kids? That Sir Alex is managing United to the best of his ability. He isn’t running a popularity contest. Nor does he wish it that way. I’m all for opinions. It’s how we vent our spleens. This blog is ideal for that purpose. But, for goodness sake, let Fergie get on with managing the club. Scholes is a short term option. We won’t buying anyone in January. Pogba and Ravel(the latter is injured atm) will get their chance. I put much stock in fans like King Eric who watch the reserves regularly. I don’t have that benefit. From what KE has been saying about Pogba, the kid ain’t ready for first team action yet. The bits and pieces have seen of him, I would tend to agree with assertion. Also, I wonder if the contract situation with Pobga, is curtailing his chances as well? Will he be here come the summer?

  12. Paul Parker says:

    Exactly Scott, end of the day who gives a fuck? Returning to the League with a win is the real issue. Hell I’ll even say hats off to Mancini’s “inspired” substitution, not that it mattered mind as we should’ve gone 4-1 clear with the second pen. We deserved the win, and all the giddy City fans will realise the loss of their Cup in the morning. Kompany is daft for calling it a moral victory, obviously as captain he’s consoling the “masses” but we did sod all wrong the whole game! True Rio had a cert yellow, but all the others we’re bollocks in my book. More to the point these moral victors conceded 2 pens FFS. Gotta laugh.

    As for Welbeck, said it while he was at Sunderland lads he always had the potential to build on THAT goal against Norwich. This lad can be as good as Rooney, O thought he had the better match today, and he’s been consist whenever fit this season. Only 21, and even when we under perform he brings energy and a great first touch to the team. His all round finishing isn’t too bad either, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t look likely to turn up pissed either. Based on talent alone I’d take Welbeck over Balotelli or Pato any day of the season – not forgetting that Danny is yet to earn season after season in the first team.. We needed that effort from him today, and all we need now are Tom and the Twins back sharply, then we’ll begin to see our manager’s intentions. A well deserved result today, yeh we made it difficult and those yellows didn’t help – but it is about fucking time we progressed in the Cup. City are lucky we didn’t go 4-1 up the jammy sods. Im delighted with the win.

  13. utd_fc says:

    Couldnt agree more with point 3 you made STR, but regarding your last statement I do feel we would’ve regained much much more confidence and shattered theirs in the process had we at least scored one more goal, which we could’ve might I add.

  14. Ez says:

    Awesome win. But I agree with Red Nation to have 50-50% ball possession against a 10 man team, is worrying.

  15. Fred says:

    Today dispelled the Lindegaard myth. Bring back De Gea, once and for all. 8)

  16. StatesideAussie says:

    Balaji … G’day mate, good comment about our defensive walls at free kicks. I have noticed that too. Cheers!

  17. says:

    Dont think Beckham is available, he is in the middle of negotiating his new contract with LA Galaxy so I doubt he or they would entertain him playing on loan. His old contract expired at the end of 2011, but looks like he is staying in LA. Besides, Tom Cruise would never let him leave LA :-)

  18. NBI Red Onion says:

    GREAT first half, frustrating tense second half. City played well, their goals came from good pressure. However, I think even with 11 men United having scored first could have done the business. Rooney-Welbeck-Valencia link works. Tough game in pissing Mancunian weather. Come on Liverpuds!!! In analysis, my view;

    Linegraad made a top save from Augero, not much he could have done about their first goal, second goal maybe but it was hit with pace in wet condition and is his first fumble and an understandable one. People say Lindegraad looked nervous, if I was behind his defence I would be too. Jones and Smalling ran into each other twice, Jones was all over the pace position wise, Evra had some sloppy moments, Ferdinand was frustrated and told both of them off, his positioning is still great but his pace has gone. I do not understand how Jones plays ahead of Rafael. He is nowhere near as good at RB. I would hate to lose Rafael. SAF may have been thinking about height but seriously, Jones looked out of it on the pitch and a bit like a headless chicken running into his own players, diabolical positioning, yet he is young, but he looks less like a defender every day, Smalling has played CB and RB and does fine at both. CM may be Jones place. Rafael needs a game. Smalling is in a different league and the true heir to Rio. Need Vidic back. No one steps forward and gets the ball away like he does and him and Ferdinand read each other games.

    In MF, great to see Scholes back, I was surprised at how little rust he’s picked up. Nani had a poor game on the left, would like to see what he is like swapping more centrally. He did put in a decent defensive shift though. Valencia was the MF star together with Carrick who was solid as usual. Giggs had a decent game. Anderson’s new haircut is definately better, he seemed more poised that before his injury and more comfortable next to Scholes/Cleverly type players.

    Rooney was a start, he really worked his socks off. Loved the badge kissing after a goal infront of City fans. Blew him a kiss straight back.

    Welbeck is our seasons star. He really has come into his own, beautiful goal and he could have had a second just before half time. The one area he needs to improve are his runs and positioning off defenders as Valancia and Rooney were unable to pass to him at times because he was stood right behind a defender – Hernandez is better in that respect as moving defenders around in the box and running into tight positions.

    Overall a good game. Playing City will only improved United. With Arsenal and Chelsea falling behind and Liverpool a joke, United need to play a top top team with top players if they are to beat Barcelona and take the crown that is truly ours. We may poo poo on Shitty, but they make us better and they raise the standard and if United want to be the best in the world again that is no bad thing. I thin City are not far off Madrid and Barca some of their players are just class, beating and outplaying players like that will be the making of United players.

    However, depth in MF is a huge huge worry. Great to see Scholes, but sad at the same time that we have no depth of exciting talent in this area to call on. Defence is extremely vulnerable too. I would love to see the twins get more of a game, Smalling stay fit and Evans and Rio rotate. Evra also needs a break, he plays every game as there in no back up and the wear and tear shows, he has done it for years and it is dulling is edge. Hopefully Fabio can step in for the odd game.

  19. Saad says:

    What? No mention of Lindy’s diving save of Aguero’s shot in the first half??? One of the most beautiful things I’d seen in football.

  20. Alom says:

    “Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley, Will and Michael Keane and Ashley Young were all in the away end today.”

    now that is awesome support.. anyone got a link or video showing this?

  21. Alom says:

    oh and great post btw ;)

  22. raenyu says:

    So will Scholes use 22 for the rest of the season then?

  23. Stavmc says:

    Bring on the car thieves

  24. denton davey says:

    WillieRedNut @ 19:27: “Sir Alex is managing United to the best of his ability. He isn’t running a popularity contest. Nor does he wish it that way.”

    I understand that – and I understand that neither Pogba nor Morrison might be ready-for-prime-time. But, surely, they’ll be pissed to see two aged geezers standing in their way. I suppose that “dem’s da breaks” and they can either suck-it-up or bugger off. If they’re not up for challenging Scholes/Giggs for playing time then they won’t have the “character” to make it at UTD.

  25. redbilly says:

    The win , in my opinion was due to the pressure leading to the first fantastic goal.. The pressuer on City when behind-and its not uncommon of them – appears to make them foul more frequently. As I mentioned on another thread, Kompany may not have made such a rash tackle if he was not feeling the pressure of trailing united.. They often, this season seem to lose control when on the back foot.

    How many expected to be posting ‘philisophical posts’ after a loss tonight. Never underestimate the underdog, for many thats what we were today.

    Keep it real keep it red.

  26. Sad Ole Red says:

    Hey Everyone, Great piece as always Scott and though I dont post on a regular basis I did say that United would win today on a Suarez thread a few days ago. Great performance today and the boys did us proud. A very hairy ending but would we have it any other way? Been a bit of a warzone on here of late so its great to see everyone putting their differences aside and celebrating this fantastic win. Always read most comments and especially Giles and I believe we are a similar age. We knocked Ciddy out the FA Cup and trust me we will destroy the scousers. LUHG

  27. ggmu_manu says:

    10-men city scored two against us. Whats with our defence? What would have happened if they were 11?? We need additions in january. We still are 3 points behind in the league.

  28. reddevil101 says:

    great day to be a red. Now city know there’s only one club in manchester. Silva and aguero are big hypes who cannot perform. Rooney!!! scholsey!!! You made my dayy!!!

  29. Red Dave says:

    Ravel is not injured – he has been dropped for being late to several training sessions in the last few weeks. Stupid boy – his attitude stinks. All the talent in the world being squandered.

  30. chidambaram says:

    sadly we have yet to prove that we are still the best club in england. i still do not think we could beat 11-man city. Well atleast they won’t win the fa cup this season.

  31. JC says:

    Was travelling so I couldn’t watch it live but the household was in a media blackout until I could watch the Tivo… Let’s be clear that was as much of a red as any I’ve seen only difference being Nani threw himself blindly out of the way to avoid losing a leg or 2, if Kompany connects Nani probably doesn’t play the rest of the year. Great flowing counterattacking football in the first half, took the foot of the pedal in the second.

    IMO, the 1st city goal came from a shocking free kick decision with Evra being drug to the ground and somehow getting himself booked just after Foy blew a stone cold penalty call on the take down of Valencia (where are the worthless assistants helping out Foy on these). The 2nd was a combination of a sloppy throwin, lackadaisical defending and a blooper palming away of an easy save. After that I don’t blame SAF in the least for flooding the midfield and playing keep ball with a man advantage and running out the clock.

    My last point echos StRs: We won, who the fuck cares how or by how much.

  32. lordrt says:

    the bitters have just found out that payback can be a bitch, and like we had a player sent off against them (Evans), it was their turn to have Kompany off, but I regret we did not put pressure on them in the second half and give them the taste of their own medicine, scoring some more in the process, and instead Utd became sloppy, and gave away a sloppy 2nd goal, which should have never gone in… I think it is time we get Schmeichel and/or VDS in the keeping staff and make our keepers become quality ones, as such mistakes (DDG’s against Blackburn and AL’s sloppy handling yesterday) are inadmissible at this level of football. Jones as well disappointed at times, may be we have over-hyped the lad, and now it got to his head, if he really wants to impose himself in the squad he needs to work harder

    BTW hats off to Scholes for his comeback to help the team in troubled times, but I am still wishing we could at least buy someone younger but with experience to fill in the role, while keeping Scholes till the end of the season…

  33. Dillan says:

    Fergie putting Scholes is a spit in the face to players like Ando and Park and just stinks of desperation.Its also a goodbye present to Pogba.COME ON FERGIE WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

  34. Red Devil says:

    Scott the Red

    Quite brilliant on mate

  35. Howie says:

    Shouldn’t have been this hard. In the second half, united were just shocking. Phil Jones was just sloppy and the midfield was giving away a lot of balls with bad passes. I don’t think they took their feet of the gas, it’s just a matter of concentration and confidence, there wasn’t any in the second half for United.

    I think a lot of United fans are holding their breath right to the final whistle. We really rode our luck.

  36. Sparkz says:

    First and foremost – I said that this game was as big as when Arsenal came to Old Trafford on the back of a 49 game unbeaten run. We couldn’t afford to lose IMO, psychologically more than anything. For that reason – this is a friggin huge result, I’m still buzzing today (and not just coz my all time favourite is back!)

    Obviously disappointed with the second half slacking, however all that’s done is give City a bit of momentum. I don’t think it’ll affect the momentum WE gained – and that’s all I care about. Fergie’s post match comments will serve as a reminder to the players.

    Major plusses – Smalling was fuckin immense. The other 3 defenders looked shaky but he was class, especially considering he hasn’t trained. Him and Rio HAS to be our main centre back combo until the end of the season.

    Valencia – ripped them to shreds for the full 90. Really come back into form, lost count of how many assists he’s racked up recently.

    Rooney & Welbeck – Rooney was brilliant, played a very deep midfield role for the most part (as he did in the Champions League last season), worked his socks off and class on the ball. That header was a bullet as well.

    As for Welbeck – I said in the summer that he should be getting a big run in the first team and I got a bit of stick for it. But he has been excellent this season, brings so much to our play – energy, vibrancy, pace, power and intelligent link up play. Absolutely love watching him play.

  37. dragonslayer says:

    It was a needed win for United. Our team has been devastated by back-to-back defeat in the hands of Newcastle and Blackburn. Although a win is still a win, we still need to know that Manchester City is after all playing with 10 men and we had 11. In situation like this, it would have been much reassuring if United had a more consistent team with a solid defence and goalkeeping. If United were to be Champions in the 3 competitions, players will need to play better and be more consistent in their gameplay. Not sure if the back-to-back loses going to cost us in the end of BPL, but I really hope that they will be more consistent in their game play from this game onward.

    Anyway, congratulation and hope they keep up their hunger and fiery spirit for the rest of the season.

  38. parryheid says:

    Back from my one day self imposed abscence and delighted with the win that I predicted on Friday.

  39. Manchuchu says:


    We’re in the business of making words tasty.

    People end up eating their words everywhere

  40. Hotwheels says:

    Scholes was brought in to play possession football. He remains United’s only midfield player who can fit into the current Barca side with ease.
    He does seem a little off in his long range passing though.
    That being said, the short time he spent in the 2nd half illustrates what United had been missing this season: a midfield general to whom you pass the ball to whenever you run out of options. It is incredible that Scholes can expose this frailty with such clarity in such a short time.


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