It was the first Manchester derby of the season today at the Etihad stadium (for the record, I am not a fan of stadium’s named after sponsors, I’m looking at you Arsenal, as well). It was the most tense football match I have ever watched in my entire life. I wasn’t expecting much, to be fair. I hate playing City. I wanted us to win, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t sure we would. But, we did! We won. Just.
We started brilliantly. BRILLIANTLY. For the first time this season, we had an epic start. We didn’t fall behind as has been the case normally, and we were 2-0 up before the first half was over thanks to a Rooney double. The first was a scuffed shot that wrong-footed Joe Hart and the second was an excellent finish after a brilliant Rafael cross. It was actually surprisingly brilliant. I was in dream-land.
But, in the second half, City came back. Well, they came back after Balotelli was taken off and Tevez was put on, proving once and for all, Mario Balotelli is absolutely, utterly useless. Tevez is the type of player who inspires everyone around him. He did it for us when he was with us, and he did it for City, and he inspired Aguero to start playing and City soon got a goal back. Then they got another back and suddenly it was 2-2. The most annoying this is, RIGHT BEFORE City scored their first comeback goal, we should have been 3-0 up, but Young was flagged offside when he was very definitely on side (I think it was Young, but I could be wrong fyi) and City scored just after that.
I admit, when City got back to 2-2, I was terrified. Utterly terrified. We are useless at holding onto wins-that-turned-into-draws and I was terrified we were going to end up losing 3-2. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t have faith in United, I just know what happens when we play City and we end up drawing with them with 10 minutes to go. So it was something of a relief for us to get a free kick in the 91st minute and for Robin Van Persie to SCORE IT. It was very badly defended by City, with Samir Nasri hiding in the wall, and it sort of deflected off his leg, but it was a winner and I will take it.
We’re now 6 points clear at the top of the table and history says that whoever is top in December/at Christmas generally wins the Premier League. However, I have no doubt City will come back and we will have our inevitable slump sometime around March/April time. So it most certainly isn’t all over yet. But we’re ahead and that is all that matters to me. Our defence is a bit more solid (note that I said bit), we’re scoring goals, and we’ve beaten our neighbours so today is a very happy Sunday for me.