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Sunday, February 13, 2011

It’s Red, It’s ManU......

Rooney's magical shot to seal the derby's fate

The 144th Manchester Derby in the premier league held greater significance than all the earlier derbys not only because of the fact that it was a Manchester derby, not only because Tevez was playing for MCFC quitting MUFC two seasons ago but for a fact that in a long long time Manchester City seemed to be serious title contenders which I don’t think any ManU player or ManU fan will relish and also that in Tevez and Berbatov this game had the highest goal scorers in the league for this season till date. But it all came down to Rooney’s jaw dropping overhead kick 13 minutes from time which settled a pulsating Manchester Derby.

ManU came into the game with the absence of their central defending duo of Rio Ferdinand and Johnny Evans while Man City came into the game with a confidence exuberating Tevez who scored a hatrick in their last game. Sir Alex Ferguson had Berbatov on the bench which seemed really surprising considering that he has been ManU’s best player this season and it did threaten to backfire with ManU seemingly being less threatening than Man City in the early part of the game. Silva missed a chance very early in the game to score a goal from a beautiful Tevez through ball which otherwise would have done them a world of good. They missed a lot of chances which if finished would have put ManU out of the game. And rightly Man City were punished by Nani near the end of the 1st half when a long ball upfield by VanderSar was flicked on to Giggs by Rooney and a neat pass from the Welshman was intercepted by Nani, fooling the in position Zabaleta and a brilliant 2 touch goal by Nani put ManU ahead just before half time. Nani as a player has really come of age and he has perfectly filled the void which was created last season after the departure of Ronaldo and which did threaten to hamper their title aspirations.

Man City seemed to comeback into the game when a shot by Edin Dzeko deflected off the back of David Silva with the later having no idea about it. This could have been a moment from where Mancini’s side should have dominated but they faltered from time to time making no attempt to compliment their defence who were valiantly fighting to keep the opposition strikers at bay. And 13 minutes from time a deflected cross from Nani found an unmarked Rooney who hit an overhead shot into the top corner of the net. Not a soul moved. Joe Hart rooted to the ground. Such was the aura of the goal that there is nothing even Mancini could have done but appreciate the genius in Rooney. This goal was the last straw in Man City’s comeback efforts and maybe even in their efforts to win the premier League title this season.

This was a much improved game than the one played earlier in the season at Eastlands. City were marginally the better side throughout the 90 minutes of the game but it counts for nothing when you don’t take your chances. Man City themselves are to be blamed for letting go of such a good opportunity of carrying forward the challenge for the title. Mancini has to realize that individual stars are not around just to make the numbers or to be paid huge wages. He as manager has to repay the faith shown in him by the club’s fans and owners. Rooney for my part has silenced his critics with this performance. His play may not have been sparkling, but the goal, people, the goal!! This is Rooney's best goal considering that it came at a time when his morale was down and to surpass this effort this season would need an extraordinary effort. At Old Trafford, at the end of 90 minutes it was only red, it was only Manchester United!!


  1. It was an incredible moment for Rooney personally as this was one of the few goals he's scored all season in open play. Not to mention that there was ask the turmoil considering if he'd leave manu and when he came back, he may not be the same but just a shadow of his former self. As you have mentioned, this definitely was not one of his better games til l then and even in the build up to the goal, he had a horrible miscued pass. But what a goal! That was something he had to do to silence his critics and get rid of his inner demons. Now we should see him coming into his own and showing us once again why he it's considered to be one of the greatest strikers to ever play for this illustrious club!

  2. Thanks Rohan for the comment.. I do agree that Rooney has to come into his own before there are more fingers pointing towards him. I personally am not a Rooney fan but this mindboggling goal will have zipped everyone's mouths atleast till the end of this season.