The Manchester Derby started with the hope that we were going to get a game featuring two top teams who don’t like each other in a battle for 3rd place. The Manchester Derby ended in such a way that would make George R. R. Martin think was too brutal for someone to endure.
When it was all said and done, Manchester United won 4-2 and all but cemented their place in the Champions League being nine points clear in the top four. They did it at the expense of Manchester City, who look like they are about to “clean house” this summer and get rid of just about everyone.
It wasn’t always ugly for Manchester City. The guys in blue actually had the lead in the beginning of the game. Sergio Aguero got a nice tap in goal from David Silva. Silva was able to make a run and that run was what made the goal.
Then about five minutes later, Ashley Young made an acrobatic spin to equalize. Some would call it luck, some would call it skill but everyone had to call it as 1-1.
Manchester United then scored again to make it 2-1, thanks to a powerful Marouane Fellaini header. I have to disagree with Lee Dixon, Fellaini’s upper body was offside. It was certainly a missed call but when the linesman doesn’t have the luxury of instant replay and the ability to stop time to see if Fellaini was off, that can happen.
In the second half, things really went off the rails for Manchester City. Juan Mata exploited the open space in Man City’s back line and went one-on-one with Joe Hart. Mata finished it off to make the game 3-1 and pretty much out of reach for City. Just like Fellaini’s goal, Mata was offside. This probably should’ve been called. I know it’s a quick play but Mata just about has his entire body offside. This one was a bit more obvious than Fellaini’s no call.
Manchester United put the final nail into the coffin for Manchester City in this Manchester Derby with this Chris Smalling goal. Smalling headed in the free kick, got it to 4-1 in the 74th minute and Old Trafford was rocking after that. After a meaningless goal by Aguero in the 89th minute, the game finally ended and the pain brought on by Man United was over…for now.
For Manchester City, the pain from the game may be over but their pain is just beginning. They are now in fourth place and depending on the result from Liverpool/Newcastle tomorrow, it could be a real fight for fourth place between Manchester City, Southampton and Liverpool with Tottenham on the fringe of the battle. A win from Liverpool tomorrow will put them four points behind Man City while Southampton is five points behind with six games left. With Manchester City/Southampton to close out the season, this could be a bigger fight than we expected it to be when we previewed this game just 24 hours ago.