Posted by Barrie on Saturday, 17 April 2010

Paul Scholes Goal Gives Manchester City Stoppage Time Blues

Paul Scholes scored a dramatic winner in the final seconds of stoppage time as Manchester United completed the double over Manchester City with a 1-0 victory today.

This is the third time Manchester City have lost in stoppage time to their rivals this season. City were defeated at Old Trafford back in September thanks to Michael Owen's controversial 96th minute winner. And Wayne Rooney scored a stoppage time winner in January as Manchester United eliminated their city rivals in the Carling Cup at the semi final stage.

The early kickoff in the Premier League was a scrappy affair, not living up to all the pre-match hype. I myself was expecting goals, but Roberto Mancini didn't set out to do so. Despite Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez and Craig Bellamy all starting, the service to them was limited. The long ball game never worked for them in this game and Adam Johnson failed to produce much on the wing.

Carlo Tevez came the closest for the home side in the first half with a free kick well heading towards the top corner plucked out of the air by Edwin van der Sar. Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs both spurned chances towards the end of a dull first half.

Wayne Rooney never seemed 100% as he didn't test Shay Given at all today. The game appeared to be headed for a goalless draw when Rooney was taken off for the under pressure Dimitar Berbatov with quarter of an hour remaining. 10 minutes before, Roberto Mancini had set out his intentions by taking off Adam Johnson for Patrick Vieira. Sir Alex Ferguson had attacking intentions at least when bringing Nani on for Darron Gibson and Gabriel Obertan on for Antonio Valencia in the second half.

Shaun Wright-Phillips got a 15 minute run out and was City's brightest spark down the right wing, forcing referee Martin Atkinson to take Patrice Evra's name in the book with an intentional foul. But it was Evra who setup the winner with a cross from the left wing onto the head of an unmarked Paul Scholes. Dimitar Berbatov started the move.

This game showed the difference in class between Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto Mancini, Manchester United and City. Ferguson was brave to go for the 3 points and it paid off. Mancini, once again happy to settle with what he had at 0-0 was made to pay for not attacking a Rio Ferdinand-less Manchester United defence.

Manchester United fans may feel they are back in the title race, 1 point behind Chelsea, who play their game in hand at 5.30 this evening at White Hart Lane. Unfortunately for United, Tottenham are playing their 3rd game in a week, which comes after 120 minutes in a disappointing FA Cup semi final defeat to Portsmouth and a joyous 2-1 victory over Arsenal on Wednesday night. How much energy has been taken out of Spurs, especially the midweek victory? One thing that will give Spurs energy is being 1 point behind Manchester City coming into this game as they chase 4th spot.

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