City 2 – 3 ManUre (FA Cup 3rd Round)

As you know, I love/hate derbies and this one had me 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 who had gone off to the African Cup of Nations, and without Dzeko and Mario who were unfit. Oh dear! Not looking good. I wasn’t alone in being a little concerned when I saw the starting line-up either. However, City fans also found it rather amusing that Scholes had come out of retirement to play again – a sign of desperation by the Reds surely? 😀

City started the game well and dominated possession, created chances and had ManUre on the back-foot. But then they switched off when ManUre broke and created one chance – a chance which Rooney scored! 🙁 Only 10 minutes in to the game we were 0-1 down and then Kompany made a well timed and well controlled tackle, not even touching Nani, and in utter bemusement I watched the ref bring out a RED card! WHAT?! Never in a million years! Then it got worse – 20 minutes later, ManUre went 0-2 up and then 0-3 when a Rooney penalty was initially saved but the rebound went in!

At half time, 0-3 down, playing with 10 men against 12, I was NOT a happy bunny! As anyone who knows me personally will say, I don’t get ill tempered if City lose. I don’t get down after a defeat. The only time I tend to be a bit fed up is if either City don’t even try, or if we’re being harshly done by in terms of decisions. I never, ever, EVER leave a game/switch it off early, but at half time in this match I was tempted. However, I’m no part-timer and although it was going to be ugly and quite possibly 0-6, I would be there cheering on my boys. (I was exchanging texts with mum, Rick and Don and they were of the same mind.)

Mancini changed things about for the 2nd half and took of AJ and Silva, bringing on Zaba and Savic and we seemed to play them 5 at the back when we didn’t have possession and 3 when we did – and it certainly caused ManUre a few problems! We had a free kick, a way out, just under 5 minutes after the kick off and Kolorov placed it perfectly into the net. Yessss! 🙂 It still seemed unlikely to go our way but it was a huge morale booster when players and fans needed it and the fans were magnificent – they really got behind the team and encouraged every move. City tails were up! Conversely, ManUre didn’t look confident at all and resorted to bringing on Scholes – who proceeded to make errors that helped us not them! 🙂 In fact he helped Aguero to score for us! Yessss! GET IN! 2 – 3! 🙂

After that it seemed to be all City and we had a couple of chances – especially with another Kolorov free kick which was not well dealt with by their keeper and we really should have knocked in the rebound. One final opportunity at the end of the game saw our 6’8″ keeper, Pantilimon, running up for a City corner – and he even managed to head it towards the goal, but alas, wide. And that was that, the whistle went.

I couldn’t have been more proud if we’d won the FA Cup all over again with that performance. Outstanding! We so nearly forced a replay and we certainly gave ManUre a scare (players, manager and fans alike!) To play like that took real grit and team spirit and on another day, who knows? ManUre fans were applauding their team for winning, but City fans were louder and prouder despite losing. All the media coverage afterwards clearly showed how the Blue half of the city were buzzing despite defeat and the reds annoyed and negative despite the victory.

There’s nothing like football! From despair at half time to cautious hope in the second half, to heart bursting with pride by full time. We love you City we do…..

MCFC’s 60 second highlights here.
MCFC’s extended highlights here.
Kippax Blue’s photos here.

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