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Manchester Derby's Just Deserts

12:34 PMAleks Vee

United's win over their local rivals came as sweet revenge. Only last fall, Manchester City trounced the Red Devils in a 6:1 defeat for Sir Alex's side, their worst loss at Old Trafford since 1955. Not only that, but City won the title on goal difference. The team hasn't lost a home game for 2 years, and this season, it hasn't lost a single match, vying for the top spot with United. But as they say, all good things come to an end, and so did City's unbeaten streak. The Citizens started off strong, but were unable to pose a major threat. Their lack of chances ultimately led them to concede on the 16th minute. Wayne Rooney's right-footed shot wasn't as accurate on the ball as it should have been, but still nutmegged Gareth Barry and rolled past Joe Hart into the near post. The game opened up, and both teams looked to be solid contenders. A great chance came for City when Kun Aguero ran past a defense of 6, only to be denied by David De Gea. Unfortunately for the hosts, Rooney soon got his double. Rafael ran on the right flank and nutmegged Clichy in his delivery to Rooney. The striker didn't fail to net the ball into the lower corner once more. Yet City had no intention of letting things slide, and were able to create a few chances before the halftime whistle. David Silva's great delivery to Barry carried much potential, as did Balotelli's pass that De Gea cut short. United were seemingly denied a penalty for Aguero's challenge on Ferdinand. Scoreboard aside, the game had evened out.

Rio Ferdinand holds up the coin that was thrown at him.
Rooney's second goal brought about a melancholic Manicini, but the halftime break served to motivate the Italian manager. Carlos Tevez came on for Balotelli, and City was back in the game. Strangely enough, the hosts picked up more yellow cards after Balotelli left the pitch than when he was on it, yet they made up for it by playing brilliantly. Aguero had several great attempts, coming  close to scoring from a Nasri delivery. The latter was fantastic as well, and was one of the key players behind City's first goal. The combination leading up to the hosts' comeback was by far the most brilliant moment in the match. Tevez picked up Nasri's delivery for a powerful shot that was saved by De Gea. David Silva ran up for the rebound, shooting twice but failing to get the ball past the defense. The last ball was picked up by Yaya Toure, whose shot finally made it into the far post. There was some controversy leading up to the comeback as a United goal was not counted for an offside. RVP had shot the ball into the post, and after Joe Hart failed to reach the ball, Ashley Young netted it in. Had the goal been counted, the game may have seen even more goals from both sides. Interestingly enough, no one made a big deal about the error. Had the hosts been in a similar situation, the players and fans would have almost certainly blamed the referee for being biased towards the Reds.
The "offside" goal.
There was another moment ignored by the official when Rooney was brought down in a one-on-one counter at the far end of the left flank. Nevertheless, the match drew on, the hosts making use of their home field advantage more than ever. The duo of Tevez and Silva kept up a mighty presence, the former hitting the post in his attempt. Both players shone in the last minutes of the match. It took nearly 40 minutes for Mancini to see the fruit of his labor unfold. A corner delivery bounced off the pitch to the one and only captain Zabaleta, who scored his first goal of the season, nutmegging Phil Jones in the process. The remaining minutes saw a rightfully tied derby, but there was still a score to settle, and the karma police took note of the refereeing blunders as well as the unruly City supporters. The latter had not only tossed coins at Rooney when he was taking a corner but ended up injuring Rio Ferdinand towards the end of the game as the player lifted his jersey in celebration of the winning goal. Three points went to the team that was the victim of negativity and injustice. An RVP free kick in added time flew past Joe Hart, ironically bouncing off Samir Nasri's leg before it reached the net. Amid the incident with Ferdinand, officials attempted to control a rather large group of frenzied City supporters in the stands behind the net. There's one thing though that is more powerful than law enforcement. It's the same thing that changed a derby. The Reds retain their reputation in more than one way and increase their gap between both City and Chelsea.
City's keeper Joe Hart defends Rio Ferdinand from a supporter.

Super Sunday - 164th Manchester Derby

Barclays Premier League - 16th Match Week
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 8:30AM EST

Manchester City vs. Manchester United - 2:3 (0:2)
Venue: Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
Referee: Martin Atkinson (Leeds)
0:1 Wayne Rooney (Asst. Ashley Young) (16')
0:2 Wayne Rooney (Asst. Rafael) (29')
1:2 Yaya Toure (Asst. Carlos Tevez) (60')
2:2 Pablo Zabaleta (Asst. Carlos Tevez) (86')
2:3 Robin van Persie (90+2')

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