VE (Victory at Etihad) Day is over, Sunderland awaits
HOW was the Manchester derby for everyone? Are you happy with the feeling of revenge that Wayne Rooney alluded to or, like Gary Neville, are you a bigger person who isn’t motivated by such feelings when Man United return to scenes of crimes? Whichever side of that particular fence you find yourself on I am sure you can all agree it put a smile on your face.
I won’t say it was a funny old game, it played out exactly as I thought it would, even when United went two nil up, at no point did I have the confidence that we would prevent them from creating chances, finding ways through our defence or more likely, being given a route back into the game by our own play. In the same fixture last season there was a feeling in myself and those around me that United were not at the races and City wanted it more, you hoped United would find their way but it never happened. This season’s we’re going to score one more than you philosophy has taken us this far and this is the Manchester United I wanted to pit against Manchester City; it’s been the thing that annoys, infuriates or entertains about our team, it’s been drawn upon more at this stage of the season than ever before and it’s what made the derby mouth-watering to me.
Manchester United never believe they are beaten. If you are an expert and employed by Sky sports you are likely to find that a weakness that will cost us eventually and perhaps it will, but it’s taken us past some pretty good teams and we are almost half way through the season.
It’s almost as if Manchester United are a runaway train at the moment, we know it’s going too fast, we know the breaks need to be put on, it may eventually come off the rails but damn it you can’t take your eyes off it. The team is getting the job done.
On the blue side of Manchester, we got the job done. Wayne Rooney didn’t even connect well with the first goal, in fact it’s almost fitting that he didn’t, it wasn’t perfect but it did the job, just like the team in general this season. Just before the goal we were getting hammered in possession, but it’s what you do with it right?
It’s a little bit funny, City doing to us what we’ve done to so many other teams… and believing they had completed the job until RVP stepped up. They are still the apprentices in some aspects, and we are the masters, down to the wire, last kick, it happens too many times to be a coincidence and it happened again, the red side of Manchester celebrate. Don’t ever stand aside, don’t ever be denied.
It is fun to write about and remember but I do so not (only) to revel in the glory, but because it’s an important part of this weekend’s story too. United aren’t the type to sell too many ‘classic match’ DVD’s, context is all important. The City game will only mean something if we are top of the league on the final day in May.
Yes the City game was about revenge, sneaking into their yard and stealing the points. It’s even funnier when you remember all the ‘against the run of play’ at half time and how City ‘didn’t deserve to lose’.. it all just makes it even sweeter for a second, then I remember it’s not about winning battles however much we love to, it’s about the war. Short term revenge isn’t good enough. The City result, as good as it was, wasn’t our Cup Final. We need to win against Sunderland tomorrow to make that point (and take all three).
Sunderland aren’t having the easiest time of it at the moment, which means their taking the lead and making us sweat, is almost inevitable.
In a bit – GTS