Tuesday 29 September 2009

So the Derby game has been and gone and wow, what an astounding tie it really was. As soon as city went a goal down after two minutes, I immediately had a terrible feeling they could be on the end of a whipping from Ferguson’s men. But it was a testament to our character and belief that we bounced back and got back into the game.

It was no real surprise to see Carlos Tevez wanting to make a point against his old side and the initial equaliser was all down to his tenacity and then Gareth Barry’s cool finish. Craig Bellamy played out of his skin and scored two superb goals- he gave Rio Ferdiand the run-around from start to finish and his blistering pace left Ferdinand trailing in his wake. Nigel De Jong and Barry were , once again, both excellent in the centre of midfield and Shay Given kept the score-line respectable with a flurry of outstanding saves from Dimitar Berbatov.

The question mark did hang over our defence- Kolo Toure and Micah Richards looked out-of-sorts and struggled throughout the 96 minutes. It was City’s incapability of dealing with set pieces appropriately that allowed United to pile the pressure on and force the breakthroughs. But we have come a long, long way and our resolve never faltered. Ferguson described us as 'noisy neighbours'- the threat from City will soon be deafening.

All of the post-match talk was surrounding the decision of Alan Wiley, the fourth official, to add time onto the game and then the referee to add more time on after that. I will not moan. We should we played until the final whistle and not allowed Ryan Giggs to play that exquisite through-ball to Michael Owen. What I will say though, is that the fourth official added four minutes of extra time on AFTER Bellamy had scored and subsequently celebrated. It’s questionable where those four minutes came from (yes there was a substitution ), but I will question whether time should now be added onto the game for EVERY goal celebration. Why did the referee deem Bellamy’s celebration excessive? It was no more than any of the other celebrations?

The media has been saturated with people speaking out positively and negatively in light of Ferguson’s so-called ‘magic watch’. I do think that referees are afraid of Ferguson and his ‘hairdryer’ treatment and I remain adamant that, if that would have been City scoring in the dying seconds of the game, the Scottish manager would have been up in arms, demanding an immediate F.A. inquiry. One rule for one…

In contrast, City’s Carling Cup third round home tie against Fulham was a…dull and quite tedious affair. For me there was two highlights during the game: Zoltan Gera’s goal (incredible) and the performance from Carlos Tevez. Fulham have proved to be a tricky side on more than one occasion recently (their 3-1 victory at Eastlands last season was testament to their ability) and it was no great surprise that City needed extra time to overcome the Cottagers. Scunthorpe in the fourth round…here’s hoping…

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