Man United 3-1 Man City

Sports News - January 27, 2010
Last night a stoppage time goal by Wayne Rooney took Man United through to the final of the Carling Cup, at the expense of neighbours Manchester City. City had taken a 2-1 lead into yesterday’s game, mainly down to a dodgy penalty but that doesn’t matter now.

The Carling Cup isn’t at any Man United fans list of priorities; it is probably at the bottom but when Man United and Man City were drawn together for the semi-finals that flew out of the window. Beating the ‘noisy neighbours’ to get to the final was and still is a fantastic feeling.

After the 2-1 loss at the City Of Manchester Stadium there was a feeling of injustice, we shouldn’t have lost the game. The interviews that Carlos Tevez did after the game just built the game up even more. United were ready for a passionate, fiery game.

Rio Ferdinand denied the FA charge of violent conduct, which meant that he could play for United. Sir Alex went with five in midfield, leaving Rooney up front and Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen on the bench.

Man United starting XI- Edwin Van Der Sar, Rafael da Silva, Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes, Luis Nani, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

Rooney is a striker full of confidence and that showed, nine minutes in he managed to turn away from Micah Richards and unleash a strike at goal, which Shay Given saved. Three minutes later Scholes was all set up and ready to score a cracker but unfortunately the ball was blasted over the bar.

Around the 19 minute mark there was a slight clash between Ferdinand and Tevez. Both players were tussling with the ball, which ended in Tevez on the floor holding his face. There was nothing in, maybe Tevez’ face was caught slightly by Ferdinand’s elbow but it didn’t warrant Tevez making a meal out of it.

City’s first meaningful attempt on goal came in the 22nd minute. Craig Bellamy headed the ball towards goal, which Van Der Sar easily plucked out of the air. That was quickly followed by a good run by Tevez, the United players backed off him but Ferdinand was there to put a stop to it.
City were starting to get into the game and on the half hour mark Van Der Sar did well to push a Tevez header away from goal.

That slight domination didn’t last long, minutes later Giggs had a stinging effort saved by Given. 10 minutes until the break and we all saw what we already knew- Scholes can’t tackle. The midfielder went straight into the back of City’s Shaun Wright-Phillips, which resulted in a booking for Scholes.

Before half time, referee Howard Webb had a few dodgy minutes. First Rafael was booked for a challenge on Bellamy, it was a free-kick but it was never a booking. Then in the City penalty area, Fletcher was penalised for absolutely nothing.

Second half and neither manager made a change. City got off to the brighter start with Richards cutting inside and unleashing a powerful strike at goal, which was wonderfully saved by Van Der Sar. That was followed by a shot by Bellamy but it was straight at the United keeper.

50 minutes into the game and there was a disappointing moment. Bellamy went to take a corner and a few United fans decided to throw a coin, bottle and some other stuff at him. The coin hit Bellamy and he was down on the ground for a bit. Van Der Sar ran over to his aid and told the fans to stop. I can’t stand Bellamy but seriously, that’s not on.

Two minutes later and United were level on aggregate. Rooney found Giggs who ran at the City defence, he found Nani in the penalty area. Nani was unable to do anything due to being surrounded by City players but he managed to pick out Carrick, he managed to poke the ball to Scholes who was waiting to stick the ball into the back of the net.

That goal pulled us level on aggregate, away goals wouldn’t have counted until the end of extra time, which meant if the score stayed the same at this point, we would be heading to extra time. The only score line that would have taken us to penalties would have been Man United 2-1 Man City.

Football - Manchester United v Manchester City Carling Cup Semi Final Second LegThat goal woke United back up again and we started looking for the second. Fletcher came close but his shot was blocked by a United player. 65 minutes in and Howard Webb showed Nani a very soft yellow card and not for the first time in the game. But that was followed later by some good refereeing. There was a slight clash between Richards and Fletcher, other players pulled them apart and the referee kept a calm head and just talked to them.

With less that 20 minutes to go United did grab their second goal. Nani cut in on the right and found Fletcher, he was unable to get a shot but that didn’t matter, Fletcher managed to lay the ball off to Carrick and he did manage to get a shot. Carrick found the far corner of the goal and United had a 2-0 lead.

Rooney came so close to grabbing United with a third not long from the re-start. Evra crossed the ball in and Rooney sliced a sitter. With 15 minutes to go, Sir Alex Ferguson made his first substitution- Wes Brown came on for Rafael.

The game wasn’t over and who else would score for City but Tevez? It was bound to happen with all the hype ahead of the game. Tevez beat Ferdinand to the ball and put the ball past Van Der Sar. With the game at 2-1 (3-3 on aggregate) the game was going to extra time and possibly penalties.

With 10 minutes to go Roberto Mancini brought Emmanuel Adebayor on for the first time since the terror attack on the Togo team bus, he came on for Wright-Phillips.

Rooney was guilty of missing a sitter before the City goal and Carrick was guilty of missing one after the City goal. After some good play by Giggs, Carrick had two chances to shot but the second went for a goal kick. United’s second substitution came 89 minutes in, Antonio Valencia came on for Nani. A quick note on Nani- since returning from injury he has looked better, hopefully he can keep it up.

3 minutes were added on by the referee and it did look like we were going to go to extra time. Two minutes into stoppage time and Old Trafford erupted. Giggs cross into the penalty area was headed past Given to give United a 3-1 lead by Rooney.

That goal gave United a 3-1 win (4-3 on aggregate) and on the 28th February Man United will be playing Aston Villa in the Carling Cup final.

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