Michael Ball, remember him? The day before United won the league the season before last, United travelled to Far East Lands (formerly known as Wastelands) knowing that a win would mean Chelsea had to beat Arsenal the following day to still be in the running.

In the first half, with Ronaldo lying on his back following a challenge, Ball stamped his foot in to Ronaldo’s chest. The bitters booed furiously, telling Ronaldo to get on his feet. It was only when they watched Match of the Day that evening they realised they had a thug in their midst.

It was rather fitting that it was Ball who gave away the penalty, fouling Ronaldo, that won us the game, and essentially, the Premier League title.

Looks like he’s blown it again…

Whilst United got their 3rd Round game out of the way yesterday, beating fellow Premiership side Middlesbrough, our east Manchester friends saw their team knocked out at the 2nd Round by Brighton. Yes, that’s right, Brighton & Hove Albion, some two divisions below City.

The bitters started Dunne, Jo, Kompany, Ireland and Johnson, and things seemed to be going to plan for Mark Hughes when his side took the lead with just over an hour played.

However, with less than two minutes to go, Brighton pulled one back, taking the game in to extra time. Things went from bad to worse for City, with Brighton then taking the lead a few minutes later. Steven Ireland saved the blues’ blushes, temporarily mind, with a goal ten minutes later.

The game went to a penalty shoot out, with the first three penalty takers on each team scoring. Brighton made it 4-3, before Ball stepped up. Striking the ball to the left of the goal, the Bright keeper, former Dutch marine Michel Kuipers, saving. City’s fate was sealed when Brighton scored their 5th penalty, winning the shoot out 5-3.

“We are going to be the biggest club in the world, bigger than both Real Madrid and Manchester United,” said the new City owner, Dr Sulaiman al-Fahim, a few weeks ago.

“We consider Mark Hughes to be one of the prime assets of the club,” he said today. “We will back his judgement and we look forward to working more closely with him in the future.”

“We are really looking forward to our next few games coming up with the form that we are in,” Steven Ireland said two days ago. “At the moment we feel we are invincible, we are going from strength to strength and we’re in great form.”

Back to the drawing board, eh bitters?