To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Apostolos Lambrianides has spoken about one of his favourite memories.
Just over a year after the ADUG takeover of Citeh, the start of 2009-10 season was the first time their new team began to really take shape and the first time we all started taking them seriously. With Tevez now added to the mix, much to the (initial) disgruntlement of United fans, this was his first trip back to OT. And what a trip it turned out to be.
We started the derby swimmingly, with Rooney grabbing a goal in the 2nd minute, but when Barry equalised a little over 10 minutes later – with you-know-who making a fool of Foster and setting up the goal – we knew we had a game on our hands. We found ourselves up again a few minutes after the break…only for Craig “YSB” Bellamy to make it 2-2 three minutes later. When Fletcher scored his second and United’s third on the 80th minute, we thought that was surely the end of what was an epic encounter between the old rivals. Yet Bellamy did it again bang on 90 minutes thanks to some ludicrous defending by Ferdinand. A gift of an equaliser. Surely that was that…we had blown the lead three times and City, with all the millions they had spent in the summer as well as the embarrassing “Welcome to Manchester” taunt that followed the Tevez signing, had again been allowed to unjustifiably feel like the most dominant team in the city. The tide was turning.
But no. As we’ve witnessed too many times at United (to the annoyance of my heart), there was to be a final twist, and from the most unlikely of sources. Michael Owen, the surprising and hugely underwhelming summer signing who replaced the great Cristiano Ronaldo as our no.7, was fairly anonymous after being introduced late in the game, but when he received Giggsy’s sumptuous pass on the 96th minute, history was made and derby-day hero was born. 4-3. Heart attack. Hugging and kissing and pouncing all over strangers in the East Stand. Truly a feeling I have never experienced prior or since. That is what football is all about. I wrote several blog posts following the game however what I enjoyed reading most in preparation for the above write-up is one that highlighted some of the key quotes surrounding the game. Some absolute beauties:
Manchester United: A blend of costly superstars, youth products and bargain buys such as Patrice Evra. Manchester City: A blend of costly superstars, Stephen Ireland and Micah Richards.
Oliver Kay, The Times (Saturday, 19th September)
“Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour. You cannot do anything about that. They will always be noisy, you just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder. Today the players showed their form. That is the best answer of all.”
Sir Alex Ferguson (Sunday, 20th)
“It could have been one of the defining moments of a momentous match (Barry’s goal; set-up by Tevez). Instead, this was probably the day that Owen’s Manchester United career started in earnest and Tévez’s contribution was consigned to the small print.”
Daniel Taylor, The Guardian (Monday, 21st)
“At a rough estimate, there was probably £400million worth of talent on the Old Trafford pitch. Yet it was a man snatched from City at youth level for nothing (Giggs), and groomed to become a teenage star, who shone above the rest in his footballing twilight.”
Neil Custis, The Sun (Monday, 21st)
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