Saturday, December 09, 2006

Narrow derby win seals nine point lead at the top..

United got the breaks today in the Manchester derby and the victory they needed to take a nine point lead over Chelsea. To their credit City and came and took the game to United but where rocked on their heals on just five minutes when United carved open the city back four with a stunning ball in from the right from Ronaldo - who was once again United's best player- Rooney made no mistake gliding his first time left foot drive past Weaver into the keepers bottom left hand corner of the net. For the remainder of the first half it was nip and tuck as both sides had further chances to score. Saha missed an open goal, but on 45 minutes it was the home side who struck after Thatcher made a mistake and gifted United the ball on the edge of his own box, the ball was fired into the City area and Saha finished from six yards out.

United had the better of the early second half exchanges and Rooney had a couple of good chances to extend the reds lead, but it was City who hit back on 72 through Trabelsi. The goal was well deserved given the pressure City had put on the home side, it came after United allowed City to work the ball down the reds left flank and the defender fired home from the edge of the box, Carrick made a half hearted challenge and should have closed down the man on the ball much quicker.

What happened next was quite simply ridiculous, City were chasing the game but Ferguson played right into the visitors hands by taking off his centre forward, thus allowing City to push even further forward. Quite simply it was a crazy move which gifted the ball and the majority of the remainder of play to Stuart Pearce's side as United were left with just Rooney up front. As a direct result of Ferguson's lunacy City picked up the ball time and time again as United lost possesion. Somehow United got lucky late on with some nice build up play down United's right and when the ball was eventually played into the visitors box, it found its way to Ronaldo who looked to be offside - the boy wonder made no mistake and sealed a hard fought win.

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