Man United 1-6 Man City: City turn a dominant performance into a historic thrashing

October 23, 2011

Aurora, The Goddess of Dawn, Guido Reni
“City crafted a clever first half advantage over United, then were rampant after half time. Sir Alex Ferguson went with the 4-4-2ish shape he’s favoured this season (but moved away from last weekend at Liverpool). There was no Nemanja Vidic, nor Phil Jones at the back. Danny Welbeck was alongside Wayne Rooney. Roberto Mancini had to replace Nigel de Jong with Yaya Toure (though this might have contributed to the fluidity of his side), and used Mario Balotelli rather than Edin Dzeko as the main striker.” Zonal Marking

Mario Balotelli sets Manchester City ablaze at Manchester United
“Manchester United must endure a result that will figure in the lore of this fixture for generations. The red card in the 46th minute for Jonny Evans, after he had pulled back Mario Balotelli, was damaging, but Manchester City already held a 1-0 lead by then. While the hosts went on to trim a growing deficit to 3-1 with an impeccably directed drive from Darren Fletcher, that simply galvanised City. They struck three times more in the closing minutes, two of the goals coming from the substitute Edin Dzeko, with a David Silva strike to separate them.” Guardian

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6: match report
“By the end of the Demolition Derby, Manchester City fans were convulsed with joy, revelling in the sight of the majestic David Silva putting the champions to the sword, serenading Sir Alex Ferguson with “getting sacked in the morning” and designing their “Six and the City” T-shirts. Incredible. The noisy neighbours just marched into Manchester United’s back yard and staged their own party. Roberto Mancini brought a bottle of wine.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

Cesc denies racial abuse

October 23, 2011

“Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas has firmly denied accusations he racially abused Frederic Kanoute during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sevilla. After Barcelona were awarded an injury-time penalty at the Camp Nou, Kanoute kicked the ball away from the spot. The striker was then sent off when he lashed out at Fabregas, and a fracas involving a number of players from both teams ensued.” ESPN

Canaries on song as Reds fine-tune

October 23, 2011

“Some three-quarters of an hour before kick-off, Harry Redknapp entered Anfield, posing obligingly for supporters taking pictures on their camera-phones. If the smile seemed a little forced, the chances are that, when he left Liverpool’s ground, his grin was altogether wider. While Newcastle have a four-point cushion in fourth place, Tottenham’s status as favourites to finish there was cemented by a combination of fine goalkeeping, profligate finishing and the Merseyside woodwork.” ESPN

Liverpool 1 – 1 Norwich City – Match Report
“The lynch mob went into overdrive yesterday following the 1-1 draw with Norwich. The sheer volume of over-the-top reactions to the game was astonishing. Away from all the blood and thunder, a statistical analysis of the draw offers us a calm, rational sense of perspective. Norwich will not give points away easily in the league this season, as they proved against Manchester United. Their league position of 8th is justified and they gave a good account of themselves again yesterday. They had 8 shots on goal, one less than the total United managed last week and on par with Arsenal’s shots against us at the Emirates. They were, therefore, somewhat of a force to be reckoned with.” The Empire of the Kop

After torrid World Cup, Evra embroiled in controversy yet again

October 23, 2011

Luis Suarez, Patrice Evra
“The joke in Manchester is that Patrice Evra is passionate, but not as passionate as his father, because the Manchester United defender has 24 brothers and sisters. Evra’s passion was seen in three separate incidents during last week’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield, none of which covered United’s captain for the day in glory, and the last of which could have long-lasting consequences.” SI

Antonio Conte’s system isn’t a 4-2-4, but it still provides excitement

October 23, 2011

“The 4-2-4 is a mythical formation, immediately bringing to mind the Brazil side of 1970, maybe the greatest international side in history. It is seldom used in modern football at the top level, and therefore the arrival of Antonio Conte at Juventus this summer excited many – he was set to play the system, and perhaps bring all-out-attack football to Turin. It’s surprising that so many thought this would bring about a revolution (in pure formation terms), for if there was any other manager in Europe that could vaguely be described as using a 4-2-4, it would be Juve’s manager from last year, Gigi Del Neri. He made his name with a similar system at Chievo, then re-established himself with the formation at Sampdoria, and last year tried to make it work with Juve.” Zonal Marking

Boateng inspires Milan comeback

October 23, 2011

“Substitute Kevin-Prince Boateng inspired AC Milan to a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory in Lecce with a second-half hat-trick for the visitors. Guillermo Giacomazzi, Massimo Oddo and Carlos Grossmuller established a 3-0 lead for the home side by half-time, but Boateng sprang from the bench to score three goals in 14 minutes to bring Milan level.” ESPN