The Darby Match

Watched much of the Manchester United/City match yesterday; wasn't too sure what to expect, beyond good play.

It started out with Man U playing slightly better, in terms of keeping play mostly in City's end of the field. But, twenty-two minutes in, Balotelli (who I was watching more, because of his beautiful, bicycle-kick goal against Villa last week) converted a nice crossing pass from the top of the box, burying it into the far corner. De Gea made a nice try of it, but missed by a few inches.

The game really turned twenty minutes later, though, when Evans, on a very lazy defensive play, hauled down Balotelli at the edge of the box. Not only was this a very obvious foul, but he was the last defender, so he got a red card for his troubles. The wall blocked the subsequent kick, but the damage to the defense was done. City scored again in the 60th, 69th, 89th, 91st, and 93rd minutes, turning what was a very tense match for a long time into a laugher. The only (tiny) saving grace for Man U was that Fletcher did manage a single goal in the 81st minute.

I turned it off with around 75 mintues left, because my daughter wanted to watch "How to Train Your Dragon" again, and I had promised I would let her earlier in the day. Because of that, though, I have no idea if any of the remaining goals were pretty ones.

We did see typical British humor from the commentators a ways into the game. Balotelli had gotten a yellow card after his goal, when he pulled the front of his shirt over his head, exposing a shirt underneath, reading "Why Always Me?". The announcers, talking about this a few minutes later, commented, "Quite a shy lad, isn't he?" I was definitely laughing at that.

Anyway, the game broke all sorts of records for Man U (first time allowing six goals in a home, league game since 1930, worst defeat at Old Trafford since 1955, first loss at home in thirty-seven games, first time City had scored six there since 1926, etc). The crowning insult, perhaps, though, is that it leaves City atop the league table.

It was quite a statement of a game, and it's now certain that no one will take City lightly for the rest of the season. Good luck to 'em, the rest of the way.

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