City 1 – 0 ManUre FA Cup semi-final (Wembley)

There is nothing like a derby to get the nerves tingling – and a derby which happens to be an FA Cup semi final at Wembley is worse than most! I had a ticket but there was no way I could go since I was already planning to be away for Easter, so another member of the North East Blues supporters went in my stead.

I couldn’t settle all day, though a friend coming round for coffee in the morning distracted me for a while which was nice. By the time match time arrived I was, like most Blues, in a high state of nervousness – I fully expected us to lose, but the hope that somehow we could do it, was almost unbearable. I was wearing all my usual match day lucky clothing/jewelery etc, and I added my dad’s City badge which mum had recently found. Despite being convinced it would be for naught, I couldn’t help myself, I set the scene ready:


FA Cup semi final ready

All morning I’d shared in the build up with other Blues via Twitter and enjoyed traveling fans’ comments that the M6 was a sea of Blue, with very few Reds to be seen (and we all know why that is don’t we? 😉 ) I knew that there were plans for City fans to do the Poznan as the ManUre team was read out before kickoff, and loved it when it was done – also loved the commentators’ saying that they could feel the stands shaking, and having to explain what was going on 🙂

When the match started my stomach was in knots – and City didn’t start too well! When Berbatov failed to convert 2 great chances early on (one a great save by Joe and one a missed sitter) I felt it was a matter of time before they scored! 🙁 And then….. after 25 minutes or so, my boys woke up! They played football. They had belief. They looked like a team. We could almost have done without the break, but happily the half time talk must have gone well and City carried on where they left off.

I really was on the edge of my seat, praying to dad, my grandad, Neil Young – anyone up there that would listen, in fact 😉 – and when Yaya scored, I was jumping up and down and screaming with delight – the whole town must have heard me! 😀 Once I calmed down slightly, I was clock watching! I couldn’t believe we were 1-0 up, and I certainly couldn’t believe we would keep it that way. I kept waiting for United to go up a gear – they are masters at doing this, just when you think they are down and out, and they are very dangerous when it comes to scoring late on. For whatever reason, be it the loss of Rooney, the fact that Sour Alex was still serving his touchline ban, or that City were having the better of it despite the absence of Tevez, ManUre just didn’t find that edge. Things got worse for them when Scholes got a straight red – which was a correct decision but to be fair, I don’t think there was any malice in his actions – he and Zab both had a right to go for the ball, and Scholes was just beaten to it, and had his studs that little bit too high. Happily Zab is a toughy and he was able to go on – indeed, I felt it was good fortune that we had him back in the side again after he’d been absent (visiting his seriously ill father at home.)

When 5 minutes added time was announced, I was extremely anxious and shouting at the TV asking where on earth that had come from and Stephen (who had appeared downstairs after watching the game in his room until then) told me to calm down and that we’d won it. Ha! I know the danger of that kind of thinking! As it turned out, it was City who came closest to scoring late on when Yaya had an excellent chance but couldn’t keep his feet. Every man in Blue was a hero. Hart had made soem fantastic saves. The midfield had battled hard. The defence was magnificent. And even Balotelli had a good game. I was so proud of every single one of them.

And then the whistle blew! Cue hysterical screaming and joy from me (I had a sore throat until Wednesday!) . And thousands of other Blues. And probably thousands of ABU fans around the country too! 😉 I was deliriously happy – but at the same time, couldn’t quite believe it. Billy had been playing cricket all day so I went and joined him at the club for a much needed drink (so I put my champagne back in the fridge as I didn’t want to waste it.) They’d watched the second half in the club so naturally we talked about it when I joined them. Th other City fan was quietly happy. An older United fan gave me a rueful smile. A younger one mouthed off about hating City and buying success (! Oh the irony!) and said Scholes did not deserve a red card! Apart from him, every Man Utd fan to whom I have spoken has been magnanimous. ( One, a colleague, came to my office on Monday and said “Thought I may as well get this over with!” 😀 )

It took me a few hours to really calm down and it was fun going online and sharing the happiness with other Blues, and reading reports, and reactions.

At last! City in a Cup Final!

As it turned out, it was Stoke that won the other semi, and I confess I’d rather we’d played Bolton as we just don’t seem to be able to cope with Stoke. Ironically, the league match originally arranged for the Cup Final date was at home to Stoke!

MCFC’s 60 second highlights here.
MCFC’s extended highlights here.
Tunnel Cam here.
City Square video here.
Reactions here – Mancini, Kompany, Lescott, Sweep, – various other FA Cup videos too, just explore City TV
Kippax Blue’s photos here.
Football Pundette’s blog here.

Trackbacks

  1. […] pretty nervous because I was sure they were going to beat us – they’d want revenge for beating them in the semi-final last year and for the 1-6 in the league so for once, they’d be up for it. We were without Yaya and Kolo […]

%d bloggers like this: