Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United – English Premier League – 30 November 2008 – Live Blog

The following article refers to a previous United v City game. Read the LATEST Manchester United v Manchester City match preview here.

Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United (Rooney 42′)
Stadium: City of Manchester Stadium, England
Competition: English Premier League
Date: 30 November 2008
Kickoff: 13:30 GMT, 8:30 ET

Ten-man Manchester United held off Manchester City to win the Manchester Derby! Soccerlens brought you the action, live! Click below for the live-blog and feel free to leave comments!

Match Preview:

Manchester United’s 2007-2008 season was a rousing success by any standard. However, the one blight on their resume from last season was their season sweep at the hands of Manchester City. Especially hurtful was the loss that took place on the day United commemorated the victims of the Munich Air tragedy. United also come in having gone more than two matches without scoring a goal. The good news for them is that Dimitar Berbatov is back in training, and Cristiano Ronaldo, who took knocks against Aston Villa last weekend and against Villarreal in midweek, looks like he’ll be good to go.

As for Manchester City, they are coming off a huge win against Arsenal last weekend and really need a good result against United if they want to get back into the hunt for a European bid. Robinho will be a game-time decision after he left the Arsenal match with an injury, and Pablo Zabaleta is nursing a thigh strain and will hope to recover in time.

The emotions should be high as both clubs have a lot at stake. Tune and find out which side prevails!


Manchester City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Dunne (c), Garrido, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Hamann, Vassell, Robinho, Benjani.
Subs: Schmeichel, Ball, Zabaleta, Elano, Jo, Ben-Haim, Sturridge.

Only one change from the squad that beat Schalke on Thursday as Robinho has been deemed fit to play and will return to the lineup in place of Sturridge. Zabaleta, who was nursing an injury, will start the match on the bench, as will Elano, who missed out on the Schalke match. Ireland has scored four goals in his last three matches.

Manchester United: Van der Sar, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand (c), Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Park, Rooney, Berbatov.
Subs: Foster, Anderson, Giggs, Nani, O’Shea, Evans, Tevez.

There are a few changes from the side that drew, 0-0, with Villarreal. The big news is that Berbatov has seemingly recovered from his hamstring injury and will make the start today. Rafael will come in for O’Shea at right-back while Vidic reclaims his starting spot from Evans, who started against Villarreal on Tuesday. Park will come in for Nani while Anderson will go to the bench to make room for the returning Berbatov. And, of course, Tevez will start the match on the bench once again.

Minute by Minute:

90′ + 5 There’s the whistle and we’re done! Thanks to everyone who followed along! See you next time!

90′ + 4 Short corner and United try to waste more time. Giggs gives this one away, too. What’s wrong with him?

90′ + 3 Hart comes up for this one. The corner bounces around in the box and it looks like it hits someone’s hand. Dunne gets a shot on goal, but Evra clears it off the line. United get it and go on the break. Giggs, however, does not see Hart racing back to the box. Rooney finally sends in a great shot from about 50 yards out and Hart just gets back in time to knock it away for a corner, otherwise that would have gone in.

90′ + 2 Giggs gets it, but gives it away. Meanwhile, Benjani sends in a cross towards the far post for Ireland and it’s out for a corner.

90′ + 1 Four minutes will be added on. Fletcher and Vidic have some miscommunication, and it falls to City. Ferdinand is there to clear it away, though.

90′ Rafael with a clean tackle on Dunne in the box, who goes down like he’s been bludgeoned with a sledgehammer. Might as well try it, right? Webb seems to be giving out cards like they’re going out of style. Meanwhile, O’Shea will come on for Park.

89′ Should be a lot of injury time, what with the sending off, the injury to Richards, and Berbatov’s leisurely stroll. City build up their attack, but Vidic clears it away. Giggs puts pressure on Kompany in the United attacking half, but Hart clears it away.

86′ Rafael gets called for a ticky-tack foul on Robinho, as he’s trying to waste time deep down the right flank. Fergie looks like he’s going to explode, and I see a fine in Fergie’s near future. He’s already got a touchline ban coming up.

84′ Wright-Phillips makes a run past the center line, and Carrick commits the deliberate foul. He goes into the book and that’s the magic 6. Looks like United will be making a contribution to the F.A. coffers next week. I have to say, though, I think Webb has been a little card happy today.

83′ Carrick threads it through to Berbatov, who looks like he’s through on goal, but Dunne makes a great tackle from behind to knock it away. That’ll be it for Berbatov, who will come off for Giggs. Hughes is upset that Berbatov is taking his time getting off the pitch, but let’s face it, Berbatov does everything at that pace.

82′ Elano sends a long cross from the left wing towards Robinho in the box, but Van der Sar confidently catches it in the air. Are you watching, Gomes?

81′ Looks like Giggs is set to check in.

79′ Robinho beats Carrick and makes a run into the box. Ferdinand is there to clean up the mess, though.

78′ Rooney gets it on the edge of the box, but Elano tracks back and takes it away.

77′ Rooney looks like he’ll drift back, leaving Berbatov up front by himself. Evra makes the run down the left and Garrido is there to tackle him. Evra wants a foul, but no dice. He jaws at Webb a little, and it’s clear that United are really mad at the ref.

76′ Richards will come off for Sturridge as Hughes is really going balls to the wall now.

75′ More pressure from City, but Benjani loses it to Fletcher on the edge of the box. Evra and Wright-Phillips have another collision. This time, the decision goes in United’s favor. Now Richards is on the ground and he’s getting treated.

74′ Ireland flicks it over Evra’s head and it falls to Zabaleta. He tries to send a cross to the far post, but it’s over Robinho’s head.

73′ Robinho goes down on the edge of the box, but no call.

72′ Corner for City and Dunne heads it just over the crossbar.

71′ Rooney is working the ref now, and he better cool it, or else it could be a two-man advantage before long. Clearly Webb isn’t in the mood. Good cross from the right wing to the far post, but Ferdinand clears it away from danger.

68′ Uh oh. Corner comes in and Ronaldo gets called for an intentional handball in the box. Webb shows him the red and Ronaldo has been sent off!. Well, it was probably justified. Ronaldo had both hands up in front of his face and made no attempt to get them out of the way. I’m sure his mock applause eariler in the match didn’t endear him to the ref, either. Don’t know what he was thinking.

67′ Rooney nearly plays it through to Fletcher, but City clear it. Back again and Rooney threads in another great pass to Park, whose shot is knocked away by Richards for a corner.

66′ Another booking for United, this time Evra takes out Wright-Phillips. City will have a good chance from about 30 yards out. SWP is taking a beating today, but what a game for him! He’s been City’s best player today. Garrido strikes a good free kick that curves around the wall, but just goes wide of the post. Good effort, though.

65′ Good buildup by City is ruined when Wright-Phillips’ pass for Zabaleta is long and cleared away by United. Rooney then keys the counter-attack and sends it into the box for Berbatov. He tries to hold it and draws a double-team. His shot then gets blocked easily.

63′ Another dangerous run from Evra down the left. This time, Richards gets the angle on him and knocks it away for a United throw. Evra’s slow to get up, but he looks okay.

62′ Elano takes it from about 35 yards out and he booms a terrible free kick that isn’t even close to the target.

61′ Robinho tries to dazzle Vidic with his footwork, but he’s not impressed. Fletcher gets called for a foul on Robinho and Webb comes over to warn him. Fletcher’s on a card, so he better be careful.

60′ Park whips in a dangerous corner from the right wing, but it’s just over Berbatov’s head. So, which 30 million pound man has been more invisible today? Berbatov or Robinho?

59′ Robinho and Park battle over the ball, and it trickles away towards Berbatov. Ronaldo gets it deep down the left and he sends it to Evra. He doesn’t see Wright-Phillips coming, and the little man makes another great tackle. Ronaldo then gets booked for a foul on Wright-Phillips, and Ronaldo gives Webb some mock applause. Better be careful, Ronny.

57′ Looks like Kompany has a bloody nose. He’s on the sideline, getting a tissue stuffed up there. I’ve been there, brother.

56′ City on the counterattack and Wright-Phillips sends a great through-ball to Benjani. He tries to fire on goal, but he can’t quite get his body squared and it goes wide. Meanwhile, Kompany and Berbatov have a meeting of the minds and Kompany ends up getting the worst of it.

55′ Elano makes a dangerous run towards the box, but Park makes a good tackle. Rooney slides it into the box to Park (who really covered some ground there), but Dunne makes a great tackle to concede the corner. Better corner from Rooney, but it’s cleared away by City.

53′ Good spell of possession by City, although Robinho loses it to Evra. Berbatov comes back the other way, and he’s called for a foul on Wright-Phillips. Want to see a size disparity? Put those two side by side.

50′ Corner falls to Carrick, who’s shot is just wide of the far post. City go on the offensive, and Kompany has a good chance from the edge of the box. His shot is just wide of the near post. Much better start from City here.

49′ Wright-Phillips takes on both Evra and Vidic. He loses the ball, but Ferdinand holds onto it and Robinho sneaks up behind him and forces a corner. Van der Sar easily intercepts the corner and throws it long to Rooney, who keys the counterattack. He lays it off to Park, who looks like he’s got a clear path to goal, but Wright-Phillips comes out of nowhere to make a great tackle. Corner to United.

48′ Good chance from about 35 yards away or so. Garrido whips it into the box, but it’s poor and Vidic easily clears it.

47′ Wright-Phillips gets in deep down the right flank, but his cross into the box is poor and is taken by Van der Sar. Park is called for a foul on Elano, and Webb tells him “no more!”

46′ City kick it away and we’re off!

46′ Two changes for City as they will bring on Zabaleta and Elano for Vassell and Hamann. It should give them some firepower, but it could also leave them exposed on defense.

46′ Possession stats from ESPN: 65%-35% in the first half in favor of United. That sounds about right.

46′ I’d expect Robinho to really go hard at Rafael, who’s on a card, in this second half.

United absolutely dominated the action and fully deserve their 1-0 lead. City came close on that Ireland shot, but they didn’t do too much in the first half. Indeed, it seemed like they spent most of the half camped out in their own half of the field, trying to stop United’s attack. Both sides should continue to press, as United will undoubtedly try to get another goal while City will try and get back in the match. City have to come up with ways to get Robinho and Wright-Phillips involved, while Ireland and Hamann need to do a better job against Carrick and Fletcher. And, of course, Hughes needs to figure out what to do about Evra.

45′ + 2 Rooney plays the free kick short, but City are able to knock it away from danger. There’s the whistle and we’re at halftime!

45′ + 1 There will be two minutes of added time. Evra gets tripped up by Vassell as he makes a dangerous run from the left wing. Vassell gets booked and it looks like Hughes is going to have to figure out what to do about Evra because he’s really causing all kinds of problems for City.

45′ Ronaldo gives it away and Ireland sends it through to Benjani. He gets closed down by Ferdinand, and his shot is well off the mark.

43′ I bet Rooney is glad to finally get that out of the way.

42 GOAL! Ireland gets a yellow for a foul. Free kick is played into the box for Park. He tries to send it to Rooney, but he loses it. Carrick does a good job to win it back and it bounces around dangerously in the box. Carrick manages a shot on target, but Hart saves it. He can’t control the rebound, though, and Rooney taps it in for his 100th goal!

41′ Benjani gets it on the edge of the box, but he loses his footing before he can get his shot off. He sends it to Hamann, who slides a great ball through to Robinho. Van der Sar charges out and corrals it before Robinho can do any damage. Oh well, it doesn’t matter since Robinho was offside.

38′ Evra makes another great run to beat Richards down the left wing. Richards pulls Evra down near the end-line, but no foul called. Webb’s decisions have been very one-sided in City’s favor so far.

37′ Rooney’s corner is poor and Ireland easily knocks it away.

36′ Evra makes a great move to get past Richards. He draws Hart out and Evra tries to center it. Ireland knocks it away for a corner.

35′ Good run from Carrick, who takes the pass from Rooney. He sends it back to Berbatov, who tries his luck from the edge of the box. It’s well wide of the post, though, and Hart isn’t troubled in the least.

34′ Robinho takes it and sends his kick well wide of the near post.

33′ Hard challenge from Fletcher on Wright-Phillips will give City a good free kick opportunity from about 35 yards out or so.

32′ Chance for City as Garrido sends in a good free kick into the box. Van der Sar is blocked off from the ball and he has to try and punch it away. It falls to Ireland, who sends in the shot. It’s partially blocked and Richards can’t get to it to redirect it on goal. Still, Ireland’s shot just misses the far post by inches.

28′ United have been completely dominant so far and you feel like it’s only a matter of time before they score. On the other hand, they’ve had problems finishing chances this year, so it’s also possible that they could go into the half empty-handed.

26′ Park sends a long cross from the right to Ronaldo on the opposite wing. He sends it in to Evra, who tries to set Rooney up with a cross. Hart knocks it away, but takes a tumble. Evra gets a chance on goal, but his shot is well over the crossbar. Well, they don’t pay him to score.

25′ Ronaldo gets it on the left edge of the box. He has options to this right, but Ronaldo goes it alone and his shot isn’t even close to bothering Hart. I’m sure Berbatov and Rooney are staring daggers at him.

24′ Robinho gets the ball after Fletcher gives it away. Rafael does a good job to knock it away and Fletcher gets it back.

23′ Nothing doing on the corner as City clear Rooney’s effort away from danger.

22′ Rafael sends a great cross from the right wing as he and Park do a great one-two against an overmatched Garrido (Robinho didn’t exactly track back on defense there), and Berbatov heads it on goal. Hart has to make a diving save to concede the corner.

21′ It’s a little far out for Ronaldo, so Rooney will deliver it into the box. It’s a good one and Fletcher nearly gets on the end of it, but no dice. Meanwhile, Rafael gets harshly booked for a foul on Robinho, who took a book out of Ronaldo’s book and sold it like he had been shot.

20′ City get a throw-in deep in their attacking half and it’s a Delap-like long throw into the box. Benjani tries to flick it to Vassell, but United clear it away. Back the other way, and Dunne fouls Park on the right wing.

19′ So much for letting them play. Fletcher fouls Wright-Phillips as they both go for a 50-50. Didn’t look like there was any intent there.

17′ Ireland cynically shoves Berbatov to the ground, but no call here, either. Looks like Webb is letting them play, which is how it should be in a derby match.

15′ Richards and Vidic go for the ball on the edge of the box, and Richards gets the worst of it, which is surprising since Richards led with his knee and totally plowed into Vidic. No foul, though, and Vidic is upset with the no-call. Moral of this story: Don’t mess with Vidic. Hear that, Drogba?

14′ Rooney whips in the corner and Ronaldo gets a free header on goal, however it’s just over the crossbar. Good chance for United there.

13′ Rooney whips in the corner and Ireland knocks it away. Ronaldo’s shot is blocked by Garrido, but he gets it back and wins a corner after his cross is knocked away.

12′ Evra gets behind the defense and his cross gets deflected out by Kompany for a corner.

11′ Rooney takes it away after a poor pass from Ireland and he tries to thread it into the box for Ronaldo. Kompany makes the good defensive play to intercept the pass, otherwise that would have been trouble.

9′ Rooney gets another chance, this time as Fletcher plays it through to him in the box. He can’t get a good shot off, though, and City clear it away.

8′ Good chance for United here, as Berbatov makes a nice run across the box and lays it off to Park. He sends a cross to Rooney who fires on goal, and Hart makes the save, however, he can’t hold onto the ball and it trickles loose. Fletcher tries to pounce on it, but he can’t get to it and City knock it away for a United throw.

7′ Rafael makes a nice move on the left wing, getting past Garrido and making a strong run into the box. Dunne deflects it away for a United throw. Fletcher tries to cross it, but it takes a City deflection. Hart cuts it out before it crosses the end-line to prevent the corner.

6′ Berbatov gets it on the right wing and holds it so that Fletcher can make the run into the box. He tries to send it through, but it’s long and Fletcher can’t catch up to it. Goal kick for City.

4′ Ronaldo’s first touch down the left wing, and he immediately gets pounced on by Richards and Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips makes a nice tackle and takes it away.

3′ Except that Robinho seems to be starting off on the left, going against the inexperienced Rafael. So much for that.

2′ Ronaldo will be starting off on the left side, which means he’ll be taking on Richards and providing support against both Robinho and Wright-Phillips. Interesting…

1′ United will kick it off and we’re underway! Howard Webb is our ref today.

0′ A lot of interesting match-ups in this match. We’ll see how Park and Evra handle Robinho and Wright Phillips on the right. We’ll see probably see Ronaldo and Robinho move around the pitch, which means that they could spend some time matched up against each other. And, it will be interesting to see how Fletcher and Carrick handle Ireland. He’s a master at making that late run into the box, and his confidence is sky-high right now.

0′ Interesting how the “Sir Alex Successor” list continues to shrink. Queiroz seems to have confirmed speculation that he’s best as a #2. Keane is in danger at Sunderland. Hughes is under pressure at City. Steve Bruce, is, well, Steve Bruce. Looks like it could very well be “The Special One,” when all is said and done.

0′ And, of course, there’s the rivalry between Mark Hughes and his former skipper, Sir Alex Ferguson. Apparently, there’s no love lost between the two (seriously, what former United players or managers are on good terms with Sir Alex?). Hughes had been mentioned as a possible successor to Sir Alex, but those hopes would seemingly go down the drain if Hughes continues to underachieve as manager at City. Still, he’s always done well against Sir Alex, so maybe he knows something.

0′ Obviously, there’s the huge subplot concerning Berbatov and how City tried to hijack United’s bid. However, another big one concerns Cristiano Ronaldo and Robinho. Remember, during Real Madrid’s months-long courtship of Ronaldo, Robinho’s name was floated as a possible makeweight.

0′ Given how well Rafael has played this year, and given how well the team has played when he’s been in there, I’m surprised that Sir Alex had gone with O’Shea for the last three matches at right-back. Don’t get me wrong, I think O’Shea is a fine player, but Rafael gives them such an added dimension going forward that I find it hard to believe that there was no place for him in either the Villa match or the Villarreal match.

0′ And, before we go any further, I’d like to congratulate Brad Friedel on his record-breaking 167th consecutive Premiership start. What an accomplishment by one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time!

0′ City need to make a strong move up the table if they want to compete for a spot in Europe and take Mark Hughes off the hot seat. They’re going in the right direction, though, after a rousing win over Arsenal last weekend and an impressive UEFA Cup triumph against Schalke in midweek.

0′ It’s bright and early on a Sunday morning in the U.S., but I’m really excited to watch this match. There’s a lot at stake for both teams, especially United. They haven’t scored in 2 matches and desperately need to start winning their big away fixtures if they want to get back in the title race. Sure, it’s not even December, but as Yogi Berra used to say, it’s getting late early.

0′ Hello everyone and welcome to Soccerlens’ live coverage of the Manchester derby! I’m Victor and I’ll be your liveblogger today!

Match Review:

It was a tale of two halves as United absolutely dominated the first half and took a deserved 1-0 lead into the half, while City played much better in the second half and were unfortunate not to get that equalizer from Dunne. United needed this victory, as they’ve been dropping points away from home, and City can take heart in the fact that they weathered the early United storm and acquitted themselves very well in the second half.

I’m not sure what Cristiano Ronaldo was thinking, looking like he was trying to block a punt. Maybe he had a hot date to get ready for, or something. In any case, he really let his team down today. He was mostly invisible even before his sending off, frequently failing to get back on defense and wasting opportunities on offense.

Man of the Match:

Wayne Rooney

Rooney scored his 100th goal and played an excellent all-around match. He constantly found open teammates in and around the box, he did a great job tracking back and covering the ground that Ronaldo wasn’t even covering when he was in the match. Besides Rooney, Fletcher, Carrick, and Evra were outstanding for United, as was Ferdinand, who seems to have bounced back from his mini-slump. Meanwhile, for City, Wright-Phillips was easily the best player wearing blue, and may have been the best player on the entire pitch. His tireless work, his key defensive plays, and his dangerous runs made him the lone consistent threat for City. As for Robinho and Berbatov, neither one was much of a factor, which shows that 62 million pounds isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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