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United Hit for Six as City Run Riot

United’s unbeaten record at home came to an end in incredible fashion as a second half collapse saw them conceding 5 goals.

For the last couple of seasons this fixture has been surrounded by an ever-growing hype and this year was no exception. City and United went into the game 1st and 2nd respectively both unbeaten with Mancini’s side grabbing the most unthinkable of victories (at least in terms of scoreline), which will, no doubt, strengthen their belief that they can challenge for the title. With the money City have spent they have to be challenging for titles but, today, United’s ineptitude played as big a role in the result as City’s expensively assembled team.

United have played some amazing football this season and dished out some lessons, but were on the receiving end today as Old Trafford watched on in disbelief. Fergie described this defeat as his “worst day ever” and United fans would surely agree. United lacked tempo, concentration and urgency, three essential requirements to win any game, let alone a derby of this importance.

Ferguson chose Evans to partner Ferdinand and opted for Anderson and Fletcher in the middle of the park, with Welbeck getting the nod ahead of Hernandez up front. City replied with a 4-5-1 formation, with Aguero the only nominal striker.

United dominated possession in the early stages but City struck with their first attack. Milner squared a ball into the box from the left and a poor clearance allowed Balotelli to sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner. United’s reaction never came, as they again enjoyed the majority of the possession without causing any troubles to Joe Hart.

A lot has been said about United needing a creative midfielder and, watching from the stands today, you had the impression that it’s really an issue that Fergie needs to address. Time and again Fletcher and Anderson came unstuck at the edge of City’s box, highlighting United’s lack of creativity in the engine room.

The second half got off to the worst possible start for United, with Evans getting sent for bringing down Balotelli at the edge of the box despite being ahead of the Italian when the ball was played through. Evans has come on a long way since making his debut, but he’s still occasionally prone to this kind of costly mistakes, which could turn a game. And turn the game it did.

United had their best chance after 55 minutes when Young made a meal of Fletcher’s pass after a well timed run by the Scot, but that wasn’t a sign of things to come, quite the opposite.

Despite the introduction of Jones and Hernandez, City doubled their lead on the hour mark, when Milner and Silva combined down the right wing before the former Villa man set Balotelli up for the simplest of finish. United’s defence got torn apart again less than ten minutes later, as Milner sent Richards clear – Evra would be furious with himself today – and Aguero slotted the ball home from the following cross.

United looked dead and buried but managed to, momentarily, restore some pride when Fletcher curled a wonderful shot into the top right corner of Hart’s goal after a quick exchange of passes with Hernandez.

United’s wonderful “Attack, attack, attack” attitude has been the vital ingredient to so many successes in the past but today it was their downfall as they charged forward desperately seeking to save something from the game but they were punished three times on the counter attack by Dzeko and David Silva (definitely City’s best player, and a class above all his team mates). One might argue that United didn’t have anything to lose at that point and a loss is a loss, but those 3 late goals made the score line humiliating for United fans.

In any other teams a 6-1 defeat at home on derby day against title contenders would spark panic and chaos, but United and Fergie – the hairdryer would have been on the dressing room, and will remain on for another few months – are different. As odd as it might sound, this game could prove pivotal for United’s season even more than for City’s as they’ll do everything they possibly can to bounce back, just as they’ve always done. If you need an example look no further than three seasons ago when United lost 4-1 at home against Liverpool, yet went on to win the title. Today’s result will surely help United to raise the bar even further in the following months, a 5 points lead in October counts for nothing. Fergie knows it, and he knows that United normally kick in after the Christmas period. City might have won the battle, but the war is very much still on.

Daniele

36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. ash is the man

    October 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I am just not sure how good we actually are! Hype and over rating might be playing tricks on our minds and maybe we are expecting to much.

    WE HAVE good strikers and wingers but no midfield and a very dodgy defence. RIO just isnt rio any more, EVRA is always caught far too high up the picth, evans is never a united player and jones is still one for the future.

  2. Daniele

    October 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I think that it’s just a combination of different factors. Every season we come across the odd game when we are completely battered and kind of kick-starts our season. Unfortunately when that happens against them (i won’t even mention their name unless i have to) it hurts even more.I hated every single minute of the game today. Personally i think it’d be harsh to single out Evra or anybody else really, it was just a total and collective failure today. I do think that this is gonna be a huge boost for us, a wake up call if you like. We obviously need a CM, but we’ve known that for a few seasons now, and press the panic button now wouldn’t help at all. Let those bitters gloat for a while, they have never experienced what it feels like to be under pressure in the league. The thing that really pissed me off today was that we made them look like Barcelona when, in truth, they weren’t so outstanding – they played much better than us but that’s about it. Next stop Everton away, be within 3-5 pts over Christmas and it’s on.

    There’s nothing on Earth like being a RED.

  3. Ian

    October 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    TonyMontana….I didn’t see your question on the other post, I just answered it.

    Thanks mate.

    • tonymontanna4united

      October 24, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Yeah, i quite like the look of michael keane myself. A touch of gary neville about him when ive seen with the way he gets up and down that touchline, his pin point deliveries. Dunno if thats just me though, but yeah he, and his brother, both look very promising along with larnell cole, and the usual, pogba, morrison, tunners etc.

  4. godzilla

    October 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    What a terrible weekend this has been. Close friend got admitted in hospital yesterday. I have been down with a bad headache all day, then United get royally raped and even worse Marco Simoncelli, the young Italian MotoGP rider passes away due to an on-track collison!! Terrible weekend 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

  5. colver

    October 24, 2011 at 12:55 am

    I am still in total shock at the manner of the defeat. It was a tactical masterclass from City. They shut us out defensively making our early possession meaningless. While we were slinging hopeful balls into the box they were playing it Continental style keeping the ball along the ground, clever passing and movement and ruthless counter attacks.

    I hate it when we get picked apart on the counter attack because that is OUR thing. That was US in 2007/8. Defend doggedly then launch lighting fast counter attacks. OK their counters are based more on short passing than pace. But same principle.

    I never thought I’d say that Manchester City are playing a more advanced brand of football than us. But that is the truth. Their wide players cut inside. They are effective on the counter. They are defensively solid and can soak up pressure.

    People were raving about our football early this season. But it was just high tempo 90s football. When it works it is a dream. But once you drop the tempo and stop the pressing you leave yourself totally open and it just becomes horribly predictable.

    We need Quieroz back. We need a return to 4-3-3 with Rooney Welbeck and Nani as an interchangeable forward line. We need someone like Sneijder or Goetze ahead of defensive players like Carrick or Fletcher. And we need our defenders to do their job.

    This is indeed a wake up call and the manner of the defeat is exactly what we needed.

    Whether Ferguson will actually do anything to correct all the flaws City so masterfully exposed is quite another matter.

    • Rahul

      October 24, 2011 at 6:48 am

      Quieroz has probably gone out one too many times to come back. Pity cuz out teams in his 2nd era were tactically superb and defensively monsters.

    • Daniele

      October 24, 2011 at 8:32 am

      We don’t have the men to play 4-3-3 or an offensive 4-5-1. Unless Cleverley develops into a playmaker, there’s no way we can accomodate 3 midfielders, that’d mean that the burden of creativity will be all on Rooney and Nani because Carrick, Fletcher and Ando aren’t playmakers at all. Although i’d like to see us playing with Carrick or Fletcher in front of the back 4, Cleverley and Ando in front of him with Nani and Young out wide and Rooney up front. Although that’d mean that we’ll have to leave out Hernandez. Anyway, i still feel gutted and humiliated but it’s not the time to panic yet. Fergie WILL sort it out.

  6. Al

    October 24, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Evans should be offloaded. How many more mistakes he will be allowed to do, he is no Man Utd player, no class whtsoever & i fail to understand why SAF likes him so much 🙁

  7. Rahul

    October 24, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Last night was a bad night. Was watching the match at a Sunderland fan’s place and I called his team out as Man Utd B team. After the match couldn’t stand the stick I got. Even being drunk throughout watching the match could not numb the pain.

  8. PissedOffRed

    October 24, 2011 at 7:20 am

    It just showed how having a good midfield helps. City had Nasri and Silva running rings around our midfield which has been bad for the longest time

  9. Craig Mc

    October 24, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Am I wrong or is a massive part of Manchester United problems mainly due to FERGIE’S jobs for the boys mentality? I mean what have our backroom staff actually got to contribute? Have any of them truly got tactical acumen and knowledge on TECHNICAL BASIC ABILITY? Too many of our players have no first touch and that our supposed big name players. They invariably let the ball run away from them – to kill it dead and control in one action – well not there is it? Shouldn’t a club like Man Utd have europes BEST TOP CLASS coaches? I personally hate JOBS FOR THE BOYS MENTALITY. I mean Scholesy, Red Nev, Giggsy – walk from team into backroom staff, but being a good player doesn’t qualify you as top coach or Manager for that matter. Am I wrong here lads, or should LOYALTY to some of our players and backroom staff be rewarded with plumb jobs that they are not fitly qualified for. Please your thoughts, or tell me I am wrong – because jobs for the boys mentality is pissing me right off – anybody else feel this way?

    • tonymontanna4united

      October 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Agree 100% mate. Im not going to overplay quieroz’s importance when he was still a member of the backroom staff here, but i do know how highly regarded he was by fergie, alot of our players, and the jobs he did recruiting young prospects (not of them good granted) and proceeding over training sessions, tactics, almost single handedly, tells you he played a bloody big part.
      Again im probably walking a fine line here, and im probably going to get alot of people saying im over exagerating his importance, but is it much of a surprise, weve become so much more british in our approach. Dogged, determined to see out a lead, never giving up. All admirable qualities, but theres no doubt watching us now, we are a million miles less entertaining then we were post 2008.
      I cant put the whole blame onto phelan, but do i have faith in his talent spotting abilities, his training sessions, tactics etc? Not really. Still definitely think we need another continental coach to add to the backroom, because for far too long now, weve looked completely lost, and have been tactically outdone (probably why weve reverted back to a simple 4-4-2 again).

      Oh and another note on fergie and his words pre match, was anyone else disappointed by his incredibly negative outlook regarding the importance of the city game. I mean, all i heard in the week preceeding the game, was how it didnt matter if we lost. We could still win the league, and this game decided nothing.
      Well i do agree with that, its not over, but what sort of message does that send out to the players, staff, where several times fergie comes out with such negative crap, about losing, before weve even played the bloody game. Then came the predictable same stuff from fletcher, who again mirrored the bosses words, and went on about what a tough game it would be, and how even if we were defeated, it meant nothing.
      In direct comparison to city and their positive, maybe over cocky, outlook, that made out they were well up for this, and coming to win. And win they did.

  10. Stephen

    October 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Terrible perfromance, has Rio’s legs gone? Getting out paces by Dzeko?! Yet again our midfield was totally outplayed, how many times do I have post the same thing?!?! Our midfield should be playing for Sunderland. Anderson was awful, Fletch was very poor, sorry to keep going on but how long do we as fans have to suffer?!
    We need t bounce back against Everton, we were also out sung by City, the fans need to take a long hard look at themselves too.

    • Daniele

      October 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      I totally agree with you mate. The fans need to take a look at themselves, but we’ve known that for years. It’s an old issue, and quite wide spread all over the country but i get your point. We should have (or rather make) a rocking atmosphere at every home game, but particularly in games such as yesterday. It seems to me though that the number of day trippers is increasing at an alarmingly quick rate. The Glazers see us as a business and if they think that selling pink scarves and half and half scarves is profitable they’ll keep going down the road and, from a purely financial point of view, it’s the obvious choice. The solution is to eradicate the morons that buy into this system, which is hard, i know, but not impossible. I haven’t bought anything with a United badge for years now, and i renewed my season ticket only because i think that the team would be damaged by playing in an empty stadium, much more than Glazers’pockets would. It amuses me when people are surprised by how noisy the away ends are, obviously these people have never been to a game. Away ends are noisier because real fans aren’t spread on a big area such as at it happens with home games, and that happens at Anfield, Stamford Bridge and in any other ground in the country. For people like me, and i guess most of the readers here, United are a part of life, while for others it’s just a different way to spend a saturday afternoon. I do hope that the government will embrace the campaign for safe standing, then we might see a change.

    • AndyCR7

      October 24, 2011 at 4:39 pm

      And some fans left with 20 still to play…

      • Ian

        October 24, 2011 at 4:52 pm

        The whole ‘fans leaving early’ thing is as old as worms, it’s been the same in grounds up n down the country for decades.

        Personally I don’t blame anyone for going yesterday, who wants to sit there watching your team get ripped apart? The last few times I went before I give it up I was back in one of the boozers at HT even when winning, I just couldn’t hack it for many reasons, one of which is the people sat near me.

        Honestly, what does it matter? I understand it mattered years ago when the atmosphere was great week in week out but nowadays what’s the difference, the place sounds empty whether it’s full or empty and until the club actively do something about it that’s the way it’ll remain.

        • Stephen

          October 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

          I have never in my life left a game early, but honestly why would I want to see us getting spanked by City? I stayed to the end when we lost to Liverpool a few seasons back, but this was humiliating. There was no atmosphere and no hope, truthfully the fans away are brilliant but at home the support is getting a joke, prawn sandwich anyone?

        • tonymontanna4united

          October 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm

          The clubs dont care. They fill their stadiums, they get their money, their accounts look good. Thats all they give a shit about.
          The weeding out of the local working classes, who like a drink, like a sing song, the massive price increases putting off young supporters, the introductions of dozens of poncey boxes, over zealous stewards who chuck you at for standing up or singing too loud. Bloody joke.
          I havent been to OT since stoke in may 2010, and that was my first game home for a good few months. I just cant be arsed with it tbh, much prefer away games when i can get em, always quality. But with this stupid bloody ticket scheme the glazers have introduced, it makes it so hard to get a ticket anymore.
          Sucks to be a fan these days.

  11. Craig Mc

    October 24, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Look I’m a Fergie fan – I have always supported him, even when I haven’t been a fan of his tactics or certain team choices – yet I find myself asking if Sir Ferg is running out of ideas? Or is he just stubborn and too loyal perhaps to his players? Set in his ways? Or is it really just down to not having the right players to make things work any longer. We have lost a lot of experienced players, and the young ones who have replaced them are more than a tad naive? We haven’t bought experience for our money like City have – but then the Glazers have so laden us with debt we can’t compete with City and Chelseas available funds anymore. I know many of you keep saying that Fergie will sort it out – and maybe he will, but does he have the resources AND THE TIME ANYMORE. How long before Sir Alex will retire, and same with Giggs, Rio, Evra and even Vidic. I mean how much longer do these players have in 1st class top level football. I am NOT being negative – I believe I am asking legitimate questions so please don’t all jump on me. Just give your thoughts even if you disagree wildly with me – because it needs to be talked about IMHO.

    • Stephen

      October 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

      The issue is obvious mate, the midfield. The side it certainly still full of quality, bar the centre of the park. I hate keep going on about the same issue, but Anderson and Fletch were totally out played yesterday by Barry and Silva. You can only go so far, we simply do not have a World Class player in that position. I am starting to sound like a broken record with Anderson, but even his biggest supporters must be having doubts now. It is not just him, Fletch and Carrick are not of a standard which can dominate the best sides in Europe, I am afraid this is were games are won and lost.

      • Craig Mc

        October 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

        Well the whole world, Jack and his dog know that we cannot compete in MF, but what about our defence Stephen? We have a very poor left back in my honest opinion – I would swap Evra anyday, and Rio is just turning up and not able to put in great performances anymore – admittedly due to persistent injuries – but his age and outside interests are also against him these days. We have no established Rt back and we are all over the place defensively as a result. So it is not just MF which is MASSIVE non existent problem, but the defence on which everything else was always built at United is now as dodgy as fookin dodgy can be. Is this a kneejerk reaction to 6-0 hammering? I think not as most of us have been complaining about our MF for 4 seasons and also now our defense is moribund it seems and in dire need of renewal. I just hope Sir Ferg can get it sorted quickly, but I am not confident mate. I feel for Fergie right now. I am thinking we won’t beat Everton next weekend either – I have a bad feeling about that! But the lads will get more support than they did from the terraces on saturday at OT – our away fans never fail to produce whether we win or lose – they still outshout the opponent!

        • Stephen

          October 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

          Craig, I think there is genuine quality in our defence though mate. Jones and Smalling are going to be top centre half’s, Vida is World Class and lets hope Rio’s form is just a blip. Evra is a worry but he does get over hammered, for me he has done well of late. I for the life cannot understand why we cannot have a settled right back, Smalling is not athletic enough to play there. We were poor yesterday, but I have to say in the first 30 mins, we were good, City scored against the run of play. I am still to be convinced with Welbeck, is he really United quality? I am not sure.

        • tonymontanna4united

          October 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

          Probably a combination of things craig.
          Fergie, for all his genius, is getting on, and with his age your obviously going to lose some of your fierceness you once possessed.
          Thus, i suppose hes going to be more tolerant (see rooney with the contract debacle, evra, rio with his focus on being a celebrity, our obvious midfield woes). Wouldnt have let half of that happen 10 years ago.
          Also i think he desperately lacks a right hand man, someone whose a dab hand with tactics, formations etc, as i think weve being tactically outclassed with absolutely no answer, too many times the last few years.
          Then theres the glazers (you know whats coming here mate 😆 ). Bloody leeching bastards, who will always weigh us down like a 10 tonne anchor whilst they remain in charge. Its only the genius of fergie, and his ability to get the most of his players (however limited they may be) and his ability to spot a player, thats kept us successful the last few years.
          Were also, in my opinion, far too slow to ease in the next generation of young players, whilst getting rid of the old. Yes jones, hernandez, nani etc have all being given chances, but i still think weve given far too much time to the evras, carricks, giggs’, scholes’, nevilles of this world, and with some of the young next generation weve got coming on right now, im sure we wont be seeing any of them until theyre in their early 20s (arsenal, barca, dortmund meanwhile havent been afraid to throw their young players in from the age of 18.
          Sounds like alot really, but i can assure you this isnt a knee jerk reaction, as a result of the game yesterday.
          Just concerns i have about the club, and feel will hurt us long term, especially with fergies retirement drawing nearer and nearer.

  12. Ian

    October 24, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Here’s an example of the kind of shit trolls are trying to post on our blog after yesterdays debacle:

    Well well, you red shite were well-stuffed today, weren’t you! Dicked, hung, drawn and quartered by your Manchester rivals who many of you thought weren’t good enough to clean granny-shagger Rooney’s boots!
    Well you got it right up the arse didn’t you, you Manc gobshites!

    It came from this email address with the username – Scouse Connection – tideswell27@hotmail.com

    You’ll be pleased to know I registered him with mcfc.co.uk because he’s obviously supporting them nowadays (which you can’t blame him really, I mean, who the fook would want to support the dippers?).

    Here’s a shot of his registration screen.

    http://redrants.com/idiot/

    😆 😆 😆 😆

    oh and btw Mrs S.T – if you need your password to access the account it’s:

    SCOUSETWAT1

  13. ash is the man

    October 24, 2011 at 11:26 am

    STEPHAN you are completely right- our fans at home are a disgrace!! I was watching the match and telling the lads on numerous occassions that the crowd needs to get behind the boys and use their voices. Anfield puts our crowd to shame 😥

    • Stephen

      October 24, 2011 at 11:42 am

      I was there and it was an embarrassement, Ash. City fans totally outsung us, for the first time ever I left early….

      • Ian

        October 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

        As if pink scarves weren’t bad enough, I see some people were wearing split united/city scarves yesterday…..if that’s what the club wants and think’s for the best then they’re welcome to it.

        As a side note to that Ste:

        I would never support FC United whereas some people with mine and I think your views are ideal candidates to have jumped ship and gone over to ‘the other side’ due to the Glazer issue. I could never support any other team other than United, simple. That’s despite my absolute dismay at what’s happened to the club that doesn’t fit in with my beliefs and wishes for the club.

        Where do you stand on it? I know a few lads who started going but stopped, I know 1 or 2 or still go and I went once to see for myself (one of their first games) what the deal was. I saw lads there I never thought I’d see, turns out they were doing what I was doing and having a few beers along the way (the metro was great fun back into the city btw!).

        They had sky sports news on the TVs at half-time and they were selling food at over inflated prices, not to mention some of the songs being about MUFC…..how’s that for hypocritical?

        The Glazers had their car surrounded or something yesterday, little bit of trouble, but not enough by the sounds of it.

        The problem for me is, if they sell up it will be to oil rich tycoons or similar and tbh, I don’t want that. I don’t want the club to be owned by the filthy rich, I just want it to be looked after and treated the way it should be….a dream I know.

        • Stephen

          October 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

          I was born a red and will die a red. I could never support another club, it would be imposible. I would be concerned if Mourinho took over at the club and have stated my views in the past.
          United are a massive part of my life, I hate the way the club gone recently. For me it has lost its soul, but we all know that. The Glazers have ruined our club, they are in it for the money and not the football.

        • Ian

          October 24, 2011 at 2:37 pm

          Ste? Are you me? lol

          Mourihno would concern me too, especially as I’m a believer in developing youth from within.

        • Stephen

          October 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

          Two Mancs, same pond mate! 😆

        • tonymontanna4united

          October 24, 2011 at 9:08 pm

          Id be eager to get to a FCUM game one time, purely because ive heard the whole atmosphere is like a throwback to united in the good old days, and id love to sample that, but i agree with you both, theres only 1 club for me and thats united. Very much a believer in you pick 1 club, and you stick with it, regardless of where they are. Suppose its easy to say that right now, as ive been a right spoilt git, what with united having always been successful in my lifetime, but i know from my dads stories about united back in the bleak days of the 70s, early 80s, whilst not being successful times, they were always good fun, and the atmosphere was always mint.
          Such a contrast to today.

      • tonymontanna4united

        October 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm

        Alot of fans elsewhere, going on about fans who left early yesterday, questioning their loyalty. Erm hello, how about the loyalty of the players who were on the bloody pitch yesterday, who looked like they couldnt give a bloody shit. Fining them all this weeks wages is the least they deserve imo.
        The fans are the easy targets though, as always. If i was in their position though i think id have done the same thing and left early, and ive never left a game early in my life.

  14. godzilla

    October 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I wouldnt say this was as surprising. It was waiting to happen, except that the last 3 goals makes it look way too terrible. but there were signs of a beating coming up especially going through our last 4-5 games where we have looked like a mediocre team. we dont have anyone who can take on a player (except nani maybe) and we have a midfield which will never get into the starting 11 of top clubs so we have had a good start and now we are looking terrible. I am not sure where that SOMETHING SPECIAL will come from to chase down the 5 point lead.

  15. Ian

    October 24, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    This is how rich and financially care-free/irresponsible the owners and their counterparts over at City are:

    there’s 2 lads on my coaching course who work for City doing work coaching in the local community.

    One of the lads told me about a night out their employers took them on. They got to Circle (which for anyone who doesn’t know is ‘fairly’ exclusive and visited by most of the players who go round town). They hire tables and there were only the highest spec ones at approx £600 each for the night. The main bloke said yes that’ll do and put 2 bottles each of these on the table for when we get to it. Vodka, Champagne, Jaegermeister, (and others I can’t remember exactly) totalling about a dozen bottles. The bill was approx £1200

    The lad spoke to the guy who was paying and mentioned the cost, the guy turned to him and said….

    “You see what I just spent, in the time it takes me to get to the table I’ll have earned 5 times that”

    Not sure exactly who the representatives were but they were part of the Arab owners in some way.

    Coincidentally he told the lads to help themselves to the drinks but also to the bar where he’d sorted a tab for that table. Obviously the lads went mad getting beers for birds etc with stories of how this was their world etc (as you do at 22), so fook knows what the final bill came to.

    • gator

      October 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

      its all good fun till balotelli shows up and sets the place on fire… 🙄

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