Manchester City's Derby Domination Finds Sky Blues Rewriting History
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Granted, that City fan is either a six-year-old whose parents have assiduously shielded him from any mention of United's glorious history—or City's inglorious one for that matter—or perhaps a 42-year-old City fan in Topeka, Kansas who started watching Premier League football a few years ago on Fox Soccer (R.I.P.)
Even pain-hardened City fans have to be tempted at this point to start looking at the derby matches with a tinge of anticipation and excitement, instead of the dread that accompanied them for decades.
The most recent installment of Manchester's version of blue versus red ended the way four of the last five Premier League derbies have ended—with City banking three crucial points.
And the only blip on that United flat line came courtesy of a Robin van Persie free kick in extra time at last year's Etihad derby. While United have one lone victory nipped at the death in that five-game span, City lay claim to two of the most decisive thrashings United have received in recent memory.
When it happened on October 23, 2011, Manchester United 1-Manchester City 6 was either celebrated or rued—depending on viewpoint—as a result that neither United nor City fans were apt to see the likes of again in their lifetimes.
Except, you know, that City went out with a couple of new players and a new manager and did essentially the same thing again this time.
United's bold strategy of spending all their resources and energy in the forward and rear thirds of the pitch, neglecting the midfield entirely—save for the recent acquisition of Marouane Fellaini—might require some tinkering.
Especially when last season's messiah, Van Persie, could not go on Sunday.
Wayne Rooney is capable of great things, but even he cannot carry the ball from a defensive position through four midfielders and four defenders to score on a keeper like Joe Hart at will.
So, in just the past five Premier League derbies, two of them have featured City administering outright canings to mighty Man United, whose lone triumph came on a miraculous late free kick.
It requires willful suspension of disbelief, but if you close your eyes and focus only on the past five league derbies, you can convince yourself pretty easily that City have the combination to United's locker.
Wizened City fans will warn you not to fly too close to the sun of the Sky Blues' recent and ongoing bullying of United. These are the same people who hear suspicious noises downstairs in the dark of night and think that history always repeats itself.
You have my blessing to tell them to put a sock in it.
Take this latest lopsided City win over United, throw it on your bed and roll around in it giggling. If the scoreline was reversed, you know the opposition's fans would.
Besides, if City are indeed writing a new chapter in what until recently was a sad old history book, the least you can do is enjoy it.
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