OK, so no-one can deny, despite the 'controversial' 96th minute goal, this was still one of the best derby's of all time. From early on it was obvious Tevez has gone from hero to zero at the fortress which is Old Trafford and Michael Owen has done pretty much the opposite. Rooney's opening goal was just the best opener a United fan could hope for. Rooney held the ball perfectly in the tight situation and came out on top, he calmly slid the ball past Shay Given and wheeled off for his celebration. In my opinion what came next was the worst mistake by any United player so far this season. Foster allowed his new enemy Tevez to tackle him, quite easily, as he fumbled about with the ball. Tevez passed the ball back to Gareth Barry who slammed the blur of a ball into the bottom right corner... Game on. The ball was knocked around a bit, going from one to the other in a blink of an eye, it was a real game, a classic. Tevez could have so badly, so unexpectedly put Man City in front on the heart beat of half time, but just, and I really do mean just, missed, he thundered the post, it was a wasted chance, not just a chance for a goal, but a chance to get back at his Uniteds hero to zero status.
After half time United regained their composure with a cross from Ryan Giggs and a head, an unlikely head from that of Darren Fletcher's at the far post. United once again took the lead, to the major disappointment of the hopeful blue corner of Old Trafford. Then just three minutes later, whilst the dominant Red Devil's were still celebrating, Craig Bellamy made a wondrous strike, and even to me a red through and through my mouth dropped, the ball just flew perfectly into the right hand side of the net, it was the best goal of the month, hands down. It was the best move Man City have pulled out of no-where this season. Now United once again had to hold their heads high and play on, they absolutely dominated, a goal, more accurately a Berbatov goal looked likely, almost certain, the skill of Shay Given, the real man of the match if I may say so, saved shot after shot, header after header, the defence was poor, but he shined. Berbatov was surprisingly swapped for one Michael Owen. Then a free kick was given and straight away Giggs went to take it, he put the ball smoothly into the box and again the head of the young Scot was there to head the ball into the net. Sir Alex Ferguson came onto the touchline and made quite clearly that he expected his team not to let there lead slip again. Then Rio Ferdinand received the ball. He then made a horrible, diabolical, down right stupid flick straight to Martin Petrov who collected the ball at the half way line and then proceeded to release Craig Bellamy who unleashed another blistering run straight past Ferdinand, who struggled to keep up with Bellamy at all. Then Bellamy ran smoothly into the penalty area with a frantic Ferdinand being left behind to run the ball into the 6 yard box and pass the ball effortlessly past an outstretched Foster. Sir Alex Ferguson was furious and his infamous 'hair dryer' was collaborating his words. Four minutes were shown for extra time, City just wanted to hold on, United wanted, needed the win it seemed, they had dominated city for the last 20 minutes, how can there lead slip for the third time? Four minutes added time had been shown for extra time just before Ferdinand's child's error. Four came and went, Hughes was obviously not impressed. The Five minutes came, there was a United free kick at the halfway line, every possible United player was forward, but the free kick came to nothing... Initially, the ball was played to Giggs, who placed a pass through to Michael Owen, who made a run through the box, splitting the defence and then smashed the ball into the back net. The 99 year old stadiums foundations shook, United fans went into ecstasy, old Sir Alex didn't know what to do with himself. Apparently Gary Neville did as he wheeled off to celebrate in front of the Manchester City fans. Mark Hughes was enraged, disappointed, and confused. How did the opposing side, in the best derby in living memory snatch away just one point from his undefeated side in the sixth minute of extra time? That will be a point long debated.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!