City Wins the Battle of Manchester: The Race is On!
Manchester United made their yearly visit to the Etihad Stadium to engage their cross-town rival, Manchester City. In years past the game was very competitive, however this year’s version had just a little more on the line. The match had huge implications as the result likely has decided the winner of this years English Premier League Title. Earlier in the season, City visited Old Trafford and trounced Sir Alex Ferguson’s boys 6-1, in one of the most humiliating loses in club history.
With only three points separating the two coming into the match, and with only three matches remaining, the atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium was one of pure frenzy and tension. City had their basks to the wall, as going down six points to United would completely end their hopes of hoisting the trophy. Even a draw would have been disastrous. However a win by City would put the club in first place and in the driver’s seat with just 2 games to go in the Premier League Schedule. City would hold the tiebreaker over United on Goal Difference.
The game started slowly and tentatively as both clubs seemed to be feeling each other out. However City would soon take control, carrying the possession throughout the half and generating a number of chances in the first half. It looked like United would soak up the pressure and keep the game scoreless, however an injury time header by City’s Vincent Kompany, off a David Silva cross broke the deadlock and sent the hosts to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
United started the second half strongly, and had a number of dangerous chances off early corners, but Joe Hart was equal to the task and kept City ahead on the scoreboard. However, City would not go back into a defensive shell, and made their own forays up the pitch attempting to add to the lead. They would again begin to assert their control on the match with good ball control and possession. As City took more and more control of the match, things became heated on the United sideline, with Sir Alex Ferguson even getting into a shouting match with Roberto Mancini at one point.
In the 82nd minute Yaya Toure nearly ended the suspense and came oh so close to giving City the insurance goal they craved. Toure split through the United defence, but his hard shot went just wide of the United net. With mounting pressure from United, and a timely save from DeGea, the equalizer looked imminent. But, alas, today belonged to Mancini’s crew.
The race for the EPL crown is neck and neck. With City having to play Newcastle away next week, they certainly have the tougher of the two schedules. Nothing is for certain, except that things just got A LOT more interesting!
…and that is the last word.