Clash Of Manchester – A Drab Draw




Manchester Derby

Manchester Derby

There were no last minute goals or heartbreaks this time as Manchester’s finest played out a dull boring stalemate in what was the most highly awaited clash of the season so far. Both the teams failed to create enough chances in a match that never went into second gear. The result meant that United now trail leaders Chelsea by 4 points who beat Fulham by a solitary goal.

United had been rocked by a viral infection in the days preceding the match with several players falling ill. However there was the thrill of a Manchester derby at stake and nobody was going to surrender easily and many of the hardest hit started the game at the City of Manchester Stadium. Nani passed a late fitness test and was also included in the starting line-up but Giggs failed to recover in time from his hamstring strain and missed the derby for the first time since he made his debut in 1991.

It was the home team that dominated play early on.  In the 3rd minute, Tevez found himself some space but delayed his shot and Vidic stole the ball from his legs. United’s first opportunity came only in the 16th minute when Evra, making a dashing run, combined well with Park on the edge of the box but his shot with his weaker right foot was not good enough to beat the keeper. But the first real chance of the game came when Paul Scholes tripped Milner near the area. Tevez made sure the freekick was solely his responsibility. He got the kick over the wall and it had enough curve on it but Van Der Sar’s diving save ensured that both teams remained goalless in the first half.

5 minutes into the second half, United’s right back Rafael limped out with an injury. Wes Brown, his replacement, did not take much time to get into action. He made a run on the right providing Berbatov with a cross which Berbatov, playing his 100th game for the Red Devils, expertly volleyed with his back towards the net. But the shot failed to test Joe Hart and went right into his hands. In the 69th minute, Evra joined Rafael on the sidelines after taking a knock on his ankle and was replaced by O’Shea. Mancini made his first change a few minutes later as he brought on Adam Johnson on the right flank to take on the tiring United defence. Ferguson responded with a substitution of his own, bringing on Hernandez for Berbatov. But there certainly was not much intent from either side as they looked to avoid a face-saving defeat rather than going for victory and the match lacked the last minute drama and action which characterized the fixture last season. The result – A drab draw!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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