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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 17 February, 2018
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THE PREMIER LEAGUE trophy is sitting snuggly at Eastlands but would effectively be in a taxi, returning to its former flame, if Fergie’s men could defeat Manchester City.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail patrick@thescore.ie, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Man United 1-2 Man City

Welcome along to our liveblog of this evening’s Manchester derby. The teams are in so we’ll get you started with that and give you a look at what happened the last time red met blue in the league.

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra; Young, Carrick, Giggs, Welbeck; Rooney, Van Persie.

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy; Y Toure, Barry; Milner, Silva, Nasri; Tevez.

In the match programme for tonight’s game at Old Trafford, Alex Ferguson has given his backing to sacked Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill and praised Manchester City.

“This is not just a derby but a trial of strength,” writes Ferguson, “as Roberto Mancini emerges with a team that has joined the big boys as a major power.”

Here are the benches for both sides:

MUFC: Lindegaard, Valencia, Hernandez, Nani, Cleverley, Kagawa, Buttner.

MCFC: Pantilimon, Lescott, Dzeko, Kolarov, Javi Garcia, Aguero, Toure.

KICK-OFF!

Huge noise coming from sections of the home support. United press early and Milner is lucky not to concede a free as he blocks a cross with his arm. Carlos Tevez is playing with a lovely come-over hair-do.

Young eventually whips a cross in that Welbeck heads on but Hart’s save is comfortable.

Silva gets a flick to a squared cross but Ferdinand blocks. Corner is cleared and welbeck races forward but is isolated and losses the ball.

First real bit of danger as De Gea parries out a Milner cross that is smashed in at speed. 10 and a half hours since United have conceded at Old Trafford in the league. Five minutes on the clock.

Robin van Persie takes on a nice pass from Wayne Rooney but allows it to run too far wide. He flashes a low effort back but it flashes right and wide. United then win a corner but Giggs’ kick is headed clear.

Carrick sweeps the ball into the box and Rooney’s touch is lovely but eludes Giggs, who was caught unaware. Tevez is then lurking at the back post in the United box but the cross has too much sauce on it. 15 minutes gone now.

Tevez causing problems in the United box but Jones gets a leg in. City corner is cleared and Milner can’t control the ball as it comes back out to him, much to the enjoyment of the United fans.

City are now on top and need Jones to bravely get in first and hack clear as Tevez gets set to pounce on the edge of the six-yard box from a Silva pass.

Nasri skews a shot wide after he was inadvertently assisted by Ryan Giggs at the edge of the box. Milner then shoots low but right at De Gea. United struggling to keep the ball. 27 minutes gone.

A Twitter prophet?

David Silva booked for deliberately flapping his arm at the ball in an effort to hoodwink Ferdinand, United and referee Mike Dean.

Zabaleta swings a leg to hack a Van Persie whipped free out for a corner. Ashley Young gets the ball at the edge of the box but his left-footed effort flies high, wide and not so handsome of the bar. Rooney is then booked for an untidy challenge on Milner.

Rooney and Young link up down the left and the winger beats Zanaleta before his shot/cross is cleared for a corner. Rooney wastes that by sending his corner into orbit. Evra gets a touch but it goes wide. 38 minutes have now passed.

Vincent Kompany is booked for this rash challenge, or attempt of one, on Ashley Young:

Robin van Persie tries a Lowton/Crouch volley on a dropping ball from 25 yards out. It goes about 25 yards over the bar. Just a minute of regular time to play.

United, through Rafael, hit the outside of the bar. Van Persie flicked a header on and the right-back lopped an effort off the angle with Joe Hart covering the top corner.

HALF-TIME

City players surround Dean at the break – can’t see what they are so upset about. Mancini joins them and has a word or seven too.

United started well but City bossed it for about 30 minutes before a brief show of resistance in the final act of that half. What way will it end?


Poll Results:





We are underway at O.T and City are the first to press before United break through Van Persie. No changes from either manager at the break.

Rafael earns a corner seconds after Welbeck has a penalty appeal waved away. City get a free out as Dean decides Welbeck was impeding Hart in the City goal. A tad harsh.

GOAL! MAN UTD 0-1 MAN CITY (James Milner ’51)

Giggs gives away possession and City stream up the left. The ball is cut back for Milner, who drives in a goal from the edge of the box. It took a deflection off Jones and De Gea may have been unsighted by the offside Tevez.

Milner, City and their fans don’t care.

United have paid for their lack of urgency. Only Jones, Rooney and Rafael look up for the fight.

Rafael gets his side a free on the right wing as he is fouled by Toure.

GOAL! MAN UTD 1-1 MAN CITY (Jones ’58)

Free whipped in by Van Persie and Jones heads it in off Kompany. Could be changed to an O.G soon but, for now, I’ll give it to Jones.

Here is a Sky Sports grab of the goal:

Zabaleta and Tevez jump straight into De Gea and the United goalkeeper gets the free out.

Gareth Barry runs straight into De Gea as he tries to boot the ball towards his strikers. The Spaniards thinks about having a roll around but gets to his feet as Dean glares at the City midfielder. United sitting back again after getting that leveller. Inviting trouble.

It looks like most folks are giving that goal to Vincent Kompany, although the City defender will not be pleased to hear it. 69 minutes gone. Welbeck has a header from 16 yards saved by Hart.

Mossy Quinn: Not impressed by Phil Jones’ post-goal jubilation.

Aguero is on for Nasri, who is booed off. No real attacking intent being shown by United and the majority of their bench remains seated. Van Persie wins a corner for his side and Hart punches clear with Jones lurking nearby.

Young has a pop from 25 yards out. Low and hard by Hart gets behind it. 77 minutes gone. Toure is then well blocked by Rafael in the United box.

Here is that own goal – United’s 58th since the Premier League began:
[embed id="embed_1"]

YouTube credit: TheOkyHQ

GOAL! MAN UTD 1-2 MAN CITY (Aguero ’78)

Aguero goes on a lateral run past three United defenders that takes him about 12 yards out and at an angle. He slams the ball high past De Gea.

(Credit: Sky Sports)

Giggs squares for Van Persie but, sliding, he can only scoop it left and wide. 82 minutes gone.

Fergie finally wakes up and smells the coffee. Welbeck is off for Valencia and Hernandez is being primed. Van Persie has a header saved, comfortably, by Hart. Tevez then booked for a late challenge on Jones. Rooney is off for Little Pea.

Corner for United as a Young free causes consternation in the City box. Jones has a header but it goes wide as Toure puts him off. 87 minutes gone.

David Silva sits prone in the centre circle and the City fans bay for the ball to be kicked out. United, as is their right, play on. Play breaks down and Barry and Aguero take exception, causing a mini flare-up:

Barry then Zabaleta booked as frees conceded in dangerous positions. Kagawa on for Young. Two minutes left in injury time. Corner to United.

Valencia booked next for a foul on Barry just after Tevez got a standing ovation as he was replaced. Another United corner and a late chance but Hart claims from Evra’s tame header.

FULL-TIME.

What did you make of that? United, once again, pay for their lack of urgency against City. It cost them last season but they have a big lead over City at this stage.

Has the league race been reignited or merely dragged out for a few more weeks?

Cheers for your company this evening.

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