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Will United deliver decisive blow in derby epic?

In case you weren’t aware – and if you weren’t, you’ve been living under a giant rock in the remotest of places – there’s a match of some importance tonight in Manchester.

The Premier League title race has been a two-team tussle between United and City for much of the season, and it’s been expected for some time that it could all come down to tonight’s showdown at the Etihad. And after many a twist and turn, we’ve finally reached the match everyone’s been waiting for, and it stands to have as much meaning as many thought it would.

Is it the most important match in Premier League history? Many have billed it as much. While that might be up for debate, it certainly has an argument for being the most important Manchester derby of all time.

It’s been previewed from almost every angle possible, many a statistic has been thrown out, many quotes have been given and analyzed. Along with the thousands packing into the Etihad tonight, millions upon millions around the world will be watching, United supporters, City supporters, neutrals.

Will it live up to the hype and be a classic? That would give people more to talk about, but when it comes down to it, the result is all that matters. For United, a draw would do, but United are going for the win, as they should.



  1. Yang

    May 1, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Team selection was not a problem, We lost title at Everton Home game, it seems. We hope draw at first half and plan to push second half I guess. Conceding set piece goal just before the half time was big blunder.

    The main problem is when we play 433 variation, we don’t have proper personal to play three men mid attacking system mainly due ti Rooney is second striker. Our attacking is keep misfired when we played three men system.

    Main problem is that we overrun in midfield when we play two men mid. We need solid DM and one top striker, defender need to improve big time too.

    So sad, I guess, Fergie doesn’t expect too much from this season, he over expose some of young players too much and stick too many youngsters at the same time and neglect reinforce CM area.

    • AndyCR7

      May 1, 2012 at 5:46 am

      @Yang: Our regular and stronger XI would have put up at least a fight. Last night we made city look like Barca.

    • Ian

      May 1, 2012 at 6:21 am

      Zero shots on target suggests team selection *might* have been a problem. 🙄

  2. Rahul

    May 1, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Honestly if City slip up against Newcastle which they wouldn’t we should return the title to City. We don’t deserve it this season.
    Hopefully Ferguson will see the problems we’ve had this season and probably come stronger next season. We desperately need some signings in key position and I was considering whether it is time for Ferguson to leave and may be Guardiola to join us? Unlikely but…

  3. AndyCR7

    May 1, 2012 at 8:34 am

    And why the hell was fergie fighting with Mancini on the sidelines?

  4. Stephen

    May 1, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Morning guys, what a terrible waste of money that was. No shots on target, no ambition and no points.
    If do get somehow seek the title it will be down to default, Fergie “claimed” he was going there to attack. Well he lied, bar the first 10 mins we were outplayed by the better side. We need to stop talking about “value” Spend dome money and you get players like Silva and Toure.
    Very disapointing all round.

    • tonymontanna4united

      May 1, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      @Stephen: I really hope you werent one of the poor sods who paid nearly £2k for a ticket mate.
      Fergie and the players should donate their wages for this week to reinburse you all, after having to sit through that cack.

  5. Stephen

    May 1, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Time for a re-think Mr Ferguson. We can’t keep playing 20 year olds with 37 year olds. The side needs established players with International pedigree in their mid twenties. Last night was a spineless performance, we tried to strangle the game when the game was there to be won. Where is the spark? Where is the future? Rooney is really our only World Class player, who knows if Vida will be the same again after his injury. I am fed up with excuses, spend in the summer on genuine top class players, not youth or punts, just proven quality.

    • Nelson

      May 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

      @Stephen: Trust me. I will be highly surprised if Sir Alex says there is no value in the summer. He has no choice this time around. No matter the outcome of the title race, if we don’t strengthen in the summer then we can forget any serious challenge next season.

      Seems Sir Alex took the lessons from Barcelona lightly. Maybe City winning the title will finally wake him up. And while shopping for quality players, he better not forget a tactical coach who is not a yes man. Me thinks he needs someone who will disagree with his tactical choices and advice him appropriately otherwise be prepared for tactical howlers next season

      • Stephen

        May 1, 2012 at 11:56 am

        @Nelson: I have to say it would be very difficult to argue with that Nelson. The concern for me is that we have punched above our weight really this season and are fortunate to be in the position we are. If we don’t strengthen and substantially strengthen I can see us slipping further down the table. Chelsea will buy big in the Summer, City obviously will and Arsenal we get stronger.
        If we hadn’t brought back Scholes in the second half of the season we would be in big trouble, that means we are relying on a 37 year old to carry our midfield. The failure to secure a proven World Class player in that position really was negligence. Anderson is a waste of space and Fletch’s future looks bleak and he is far from World Class.
        This season should be a big wake up call for the manager, I think Young was a good buy, all be it not a necessity, Jones for me will come good if he gets given a settled position and matures. We have fritted money away on players like Bebe, Tosic, Diouf, Manucho and big money signings like Berba have either been poor judgement or not used correctly.
        I am saying the end is nigh, but we still rely on Giggs, Scholes and a creaking Rio. Fergie needs to wake up and smell the coffee, Smalling and Hernandez have suffered second season syndrome and we have been lucky with the improvement in Evans.

        • Nelson

          May 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm

          @Stephen: The end is nigh… for mediocrity. We can’t afford it next season if we are to seriously challenge on all fronts.

          Maybe I am playing too much football manager but I think a formation change is long overdue. We need to start trying out a new system. With exception of the Premier League, Many teams in Germany, Spain and France use a 4-2-3-1 formation hence a tendency to produce a lot of players in the positions of AMC, AML and AMR. Think of the Hazards, the Gotzes, the Di Marias of this world. it is no wonder that getting a natural central midfielder who can play well in 4-4-2 is proving difficult. Am not a scout but I think Sir Alex should take this into consideration this summer. Many of this players won’t be that effective if we try to fit them into our system

        • Nelson

          May 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm

          @Nelson: Having said that.One player we can truly get on the cheap if we are interested is Nuri Sahin. Watching him last season at dortmund he could well prove a bargain although his injury record is another matter. He is a natural deep lying playmaker like scholes, Good passing range almost like scholes, deadly at set pieces (something not present in our ranks) and the boy can tackle.

          I bet we can have him for less than 12 million euros

        • tonymontanna4united

          May 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm

          @Nelson: Sahin would be an unbelievable signing. I bet if we actually made an enquiry, and had a chat with him, we could actually convince him to dump madrid for us, and could get him for a knock down price as well.
          But these days, we just seem resigned to being rejected, so dont even bother enquiring. Where is the “were man utd, if we want him we’ll get him” mentality we used to have, when we’d come in and take players from where ever we wanted(including our rivals, rio, cantona, cole etc).
          Its just not there anymore. Why try and take a couple of madrids players who arent getting games who might turn us down, when we can just take a few young lads from wigan and norwich eh 🙄

        • Nelson

          May 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

          @tonymontanna4united: We should at least try. it is better than just shutting up and hoping that this players will declare they want to join Manchester United.

          I think the reason why we somehow seem not to be attracting players is because we live in an era of mercenaries. Of course pride and heritage still matters but I think we better get used to the fact that it is all about ‘Show me the money’ and I offer you my skills

          Speaking of Dortmund, I had Kagawa rejected a new contract and wants a move to the premiership (Chelsea,United rumored to be interested). He is skillful but a tad bit lightweight. I would take Hazard over him

        • Onkar

          May 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm

          @Stephen: See before we are investing any player if at we are then we should first invest in getting a No TWO. Because our current NO TWOs have taken us as much as they could. See point is simple we should not end up Berba like situation where we have an undisputed quality player but then we dont know how to use him.Hence for No TWO who can actually use players in a right way is a priority.

  6. Craig Mc

    May 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    With Fergie’s instructive penchant from the G;azers to only buy young up and supposedly coming players with unproven talent as yet, then if we finish potless this season are we going the same way as Le arse? Just asking like 🙄 . Watching the game again (foolish yes), I saw that we have players who having instructed the fans to keep the faith – well they didn’t believe themselves, and they NEVER looked like they believed they could win that game. Having said that Carrick did, likewise scholesy, Wazza lat himself down with his poor field play and passing, but at least he bloody well tried. The defence didn’t let us down in the 2nd half, the forwards and wingers did I thought. None of them beat the last man, or had the ability to put a fellow forward thru one on one with Hart. Hart the tart for going down and writhing when we had opportunity to score, and Welbeck never fookin touched him. I am hearing from the Geordies that they are going to be full out, all guns blazing against City next week, because they are determined to give their all to obtain CL football. So hope they give the same do or die effort the Evertonians did against us. City will be doing all the play gamesmanship they can to get the decisions, and the way they were continually waving imaginary cards and foulmouthing the ref last night – shame on them. Toure tried to get scholesy sent off, but Rio came charging out and gave it big time to Toure to shut his big gob and get on with his own game and not the ref’s.

    • tonymontanna4united

      May 1, 2012 at 1:48 pm

      @Craig Mc: When you set up with only 2 attacking players who can cause defences problems (nani and rooney) and fill the rest of the side with workman like players, you know its gonna be a night to forget.
      I can see why rooney gets frustrated. When hes relying on service from the likes of park, giggs and evra 😯
      The lad looks really annoyed, and hasnt looked like hes enjoyed his football all season. Cant help but feel his agent is gonna be popping up again in the next few months, getting in wazzas ear about looking for a move.
      Not that you could blame him tbh, if we go another season bringing nobody in and relying on giggs and scholes for another year, well who could blame him.

      As for newcastle, well im expecting no favours there. They play chelski tomorrow dont they? If they lose that, well cant see them getting their spirits up to beat city. If they were playing us on the other hand 🙄 but we all know were everyones cup final though dont we. Everyone tries that bit harder when its us theyre playing.

  7. Traverse

    May 1, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    We’ve been saying it since 2009 that we need a new midfield to compete with Barcelona. Three years later and no midfielders added and we need a midfield to compete with Basel.

    This season Fletcher has retired, and finally Scholes and Giggs should be allowed to retire. Park should simply be moved on, and Pogba has left for Juventus.

    That leaves us with only Carrick, Anderson and Cleverley, and from that Anderson and Cleverley have missed most of the season through injury. We need complete midfield revolution to help us continue our squad evolution.

    We have 4 places in that midfield line up. Are we seriously going to give them to Tunicliffe, Norwood, Petrucci and Lingard??

    I just don’t believe it. As bad as Glazernomics is (and it is bad) they can’t afford for us to not be successful. Even if we somehow nick the league this season our European record can hardly be called a success.

    We’re battling with City for Eden Hazard, and it’ll come down whether he wants double the wages or to play regularly. We saw how that went with Nasri. Kagawa looks like a done deal for £15mil and there is a great deal to suggest that a deal for Gaitan has been done too. That still leaves one important role to fill in our midfielder.

    An enforcer. Even Barca have a Busquets.

    We’ve missed one since Hargreaves got crocked and Fletcher filled in with varying degrees of success. Now he’s gone too. Javi Martinez would be a great option on this in the £23mil range.

    So yes, based on our recent transfer activity calling for 4 players at a combined cost of £85million seems unrealistic, but with City, Arsenal and Chelsea all set to strengthen the bigger question is can we afford not to?

    • Nelson

      May 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      @Traverse: If Kagawa is a done deal then I don’t see Hazard coming. I don’t see us fitting in 2 AMCs.

      Do you think there will be a formation change or will Kagawa somehow thrust deeeper into midfield? What do you think Traverse?

      • Traverse

        May 2, 2012 at 12:05 am

        @Nelson: If I had to guess I’d say Hazard would play left wing or behind the striker. He can basically play anywhere across the top. That 4 would give us incredible strength in depth to compete at all levels. We’d have 2 completely different front lines available to us.

        Carrick Cleverley
        Valencia Gaitan Young

        Martinez Anderson
        Nani Kagawa Hazard

        Completely interchangable. Genuine midfield threat. I know all this is massive hyperbole on my part, but why not? 2 of these signings already look done (kagawa/gaitan), Fergie is talking about Hazard in the papers (something he rarely does (and Martin Ferguson has scouted him to death this season)) and the other (Martinez) is a bit out of thin air from me ut makes sense due to his performances against us (even though he was filling in at CB) and our lack of a player or understudy for that position with Fletcher retiring and Pogba gone.

        It may not be Martinez. A year ago I’d have said Rodwell was nailed on to do that role for us eventually but he has again been hit by injury all season.

        • Nelson

          May 2, 2012 at 7:04 am

          @Traverse: That will be incredible depth. Even though I don’t doubt Sir Alex’s Man management skills, I wonder if he will be able to keep them all happy. Given Berba’s situation, there is a high chance someone won’t be happy come December

        • gator

          May 2, 2012 at 7:58 am

          @Traverse: agree. Wanted rodwell but he is hargo 2. We need graft. All season we have been pushed off the ball and kicked and only look to the ref for help. Well the reffs aren’t going to protect our players as we have seen an injury ravaged season go by hope Welly isn’t out too long 👿 We are not getting any love we have to make our own. We need a work class dm that knows Judo and can kick ass.

    • Opti

      May 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      @Traverse: Can Kagawa, Gaitan, or Hazard play as striker too??? My guess is that IF we spend big sums of money this summer (BIG IF), then it will be for versatile players who can do both midfield, winger, and forward roles…

      Poor fletcher!

      • Traverse

        May 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm

        @Opti: Hazard can play anywhere across the front. It should be 4 in 4 out in midfield this summer.

        I think we’ll pick up Clyne from Palace on a free (impressed all season and can play either LB or RB) and then we’ve got Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, Smalling, Jones, Evans, Rafael, Clyne in Defence. Don’t need anything there. Defence should be beast mode for us.

        Up front if Rooney doesn’t kick off again we’ll have Rooney, Welbeck, Hernandez as first choice strikers. Berbatov is definitely off, and I expect Owen to be let go. If we sign anyone here it’ll be Del Piero or Raul as back up on a free.

        As far as the wings go we’ve got 3 of the best in the league if you ask me (which makes it even stupider that we only started one against Citeh) so no need for anything there either (although I’d have Matt Jarvis from Wolves in a heartbeat).

        That ONLY leaves CM that needs strengthening. Our defence is fine, our attack is fine, it’s providing the link between the two we’ve been sorely missing.

        This season we started with Carrick, Giggs, Fletcher, Park, Anderson, Cleverley, Pogba and eventually Scholes as our options. Next season we could conceivably have 3 of those 8 left. That’s a fat chunk of wages down for one.

        In all honesty I think Hazard will go to Citeh, like Nasri did. If we’ve got Kagawa and Gaitan coming in then great, but I still think we need Martinez type (especially with Pogba and Fletcher gone… nobody to do the job and nobody to come through) and if we can’t get Hazard I’d go for Jarvis because I think I have a footballing man-crush on him.

        What we’ll PROBABLY do though is extend Giggs, Scholes and Parks contracts, sign nobody and have this conversation next season when we finish 4th behind City, Chelsea and Newcastle.


        • Nelson

          May 2, 2012 at 7:13 am

          @Traverse: Hehe “What we’ll PROBABLY do though is extend Giggs, Scholes and Parks contracts, sign nobody and have this conversation next season when we finish 4th behind City, Chelsea and Newcastle.”

          I also shudder.Come to think of it. we have had this conversation for over 3 years now but this time I feel it will genuinely change. IF losing the title to city doesn’t wake up Sir Alex then nothing will ever be able to do so. He now has to contend with the fact that we are not only chasing Barca, we now have the noisy neighbors and a resurgent Chelsea (Arsenal will always self implode come february). It is not going to be easy next season

        • Craig Mc

          May 2, 2012 at 8:18 am

          @Traverse: Trav Hazard is in Manchester according to reports, but who is he here for that is the question. You heard anything there mate?

  8. vida dollar

    May 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm


  9. AndyCR7

    May 2, 2012 at 4:13 am

    So Sneijder would have hindered the development of Pogba… 🙄

    • Moscow

      May 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      @AndyCR7: Gotta say not paying Sneijder that extra £10-20k was a great business decision 🙄

  10. RedDevilEddy

    May 2, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Guys, just chill! We’ll still win the title, even if City manage to beat Newcastle we will just hammer 14 past Swansea and win it on goal difference! 8) It will be Legen, wait for it… DARY!

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