City had put away a lucky deflection in the first half, after Nemanja Vidic uncharacteristically shied away from the ball instead of putting in a tackle. The few blues that were in there were getting pretty giddy as the second half rolled out, despite seeing their team absolutely battered. Even if they could hang on for a draw at home against us, it would be a good result.
United had drawn their opening two games of the season against Reading and Portsmouth, so losing against City was not part of the plan. The defence of our league title was not off to a great start.
Carlos Tevez had made his debut for United just days before, following the injury to Wayne Rooney in the opening match of the season. Fergie was forced in to throwing him in at the deep end, with Tevez severely lacking match fitness after missing out on a pre-season because of his lengthy transfer resolution.
With minutes to go, the United fans are on their feet. Tevez has just equalised against the bitters! Jubilation! But as the side-netting stopped moving it was clear that the ball was not in young Schmeichel’s goal and Tevez had missed a sitter.
The Carlos Tevez we’re seeing a year is totally unrecognisable. Of all our players, he has arguably had the best pre-season. He is electric. Chasing down every ball, unleashing wicked shots from range, running the ball through numerous opponents, winning the ball in situations he has no right to, and generally just looking bloody fantastic on the pitch!
Following our victory against Portsmouth yesterday and Tevez’s man of the match performance, Sir Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on our Argentinian.
“Carlos came to us a year ago, straight after the Copa America,” said Ferguson. “His fitness now is light years ahead of where it was then and we are expecting big things from him. The great thing about Tevez is that he has a heart to play the game. He is not intimidated at all, he fights for every ball and is a real handful. The decision to make him man of the match was fully justified. It was a superb performance. He was a constant thorn to Portsmouth and it is just a pity he did not get a goal.”
Whilst much of the talk this summer has revolved around Cristiano Ronaldo, Tevez has quietly got on with his job. He has been a real terrier on the pitch, causing problems for all our opponents. Whilst the media will continue to focus on what impact Ronaldo will make on our season once he has recovered from his injury, our attention should be drawn to Tevez, who, if his pre-season is anything to go by, could be our most important player.