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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 5 April, 2020


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Before we get into any of the preamble, and there has been QUITE the preamble, here are today’s teams:

Man City: Pantilimon, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Milner, De Jong, Johnson, Silva, Nasri, Aguer

Subs: Hart, Zabaleta, Savic, Hargreaves, Clichy, Suarez, Razak

Man Utd: Lindegaard, Smalling, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck

Subs: De Gea, Evans, Anderson, Park, Hernandez, Rafael Da Silva, Scholes

Much has been made about the presence of Paul Scholes on the United bench, but there’s an old United favourite on the City bench too. Owen Hargreaves. It’s all set up…

The match kicks off.

Joe Hart has been rested for City, with Costel Pantilimon – the Premier League’s tallest player at six foot eight – taking his place. He hasn’t seen the ball yet, with City attacking from the off. Adam Johnson’s ball to Milner is blocked by Ferdinand. We like the former Middlesbrough winger but Mancini prefers Nasri et al, and he picks the team.

Ah yes, Roy Keane. Expressed his surprise at Scholes’s reversal before the game. Wonder if he brought his gear?

Kolarov has a free-kick in a dangerous position but he wastes it, with Danny Welbeck doing his job in the wall well. The rain, meanwhile, is teeming down.

Goal! It’s Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United. A towering header from Wayne Rooney, who gets on the end of a sublime cross from Antonio Valencia. Fergie’s decision to move the Ecuadorian forward is justified.

And Vincent Kompany has been sent off! City’s captain goes in with a scissor challenge on Nani but it seems very, very harsh. It was reckless, so a yellow should have been given, but the studs stayed down and Kompany should still be on the pitch.

Giggs goes in with a sliding tackle on Aguero, but that’s just called a foul. Correctly. On Twitter, the feeling is that Chris Foy was trying to make himself the centre of attention.

David Silva really does have the best touch of any player in the Premier League. He dances away before seeing his shot deflect off Rio Ferdinand and out for a corner. United clear it…

A period of possession play from United ends when Ferdinand plays a sloppy pass to Jones. Nasri picks it up and finds Aguero, who hits the side netting. Ferdinand blames Jones but it was clearly the veteran’s fault.

Phenonmenal volley from Danny Welbeck! Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United.

Welbeck’s first goal since October came when Nani got to the byline and crossed for Welbeck. The ball seemed the get away from the youngster but he swivelled and hooked a sweet volley past Pantilimon. The goalkeeper was not to blame. Is it game over already? 34 minutes played…

It’s a penalty! Giggs plays in Welbeck, who’s felled by Kolarov. Sloppy…

Manchester City 0-3 Manchester United - Rooney’s penalty is saved by Pantilimon but the England striker heads the rebound into the net. His 17th of the season, more than all of last season. This is frenetic stuff!

Hoping things go quiet for a minute so I can untangle my headphones from the wheel of my swivel chair.

The two minutes of added time are nearly up. Thought there might be more… And that’s it for the first half. All very one-sided and referee Chris Foy will not be a popular man at the Etihad Stadium.

Away from this match, it seems that Liverpool’s Stewart Downing has been arrested for hitting his ex-girlfriend in a nightclub. More on this as it comes through…

We have the second half and Silva has been sacrificed by Mancini. He knows he’s out of the Cup, barring a Liverpool 2005-style fightback.

Evra is yellow carded for a foul and City have a free-kick from a dangerous area. And it’s a goal! Kolarov with a beauty. Manchester City 1-3 Manchester United. Lindegaard had no chance.

Rooney wants his hat-trick as his shot goes just wide of Pantilimon’s goal. Andrey Kanchelskis, in November 1994, was the last man to bag a treble for the Red half of Manchester in a derby.

The Downing story is still only appearing in the Daily Mail – won’t take long for the flames to be fanned, given the poor publicity around Anfield at the moment.

…but enough of that. We’re all about the Cup, and Scholes has discarded the pipe and slippers and is set to come on…

Scholes’ every touch (well, all three) have been cheered.

Nani went off that time, by the way. Meanwhile, it was another clumsy challenge by Kolarov on Valencia and it was a CLEAR penalty. Not given by Foy. Cowardly.

Unbelievable! Scholes spills the ball to Milner, whose brilliant first time pass finds Aguero. The striker’s shot is saved by Lindegaard but the Dane spills the ball and Aguero mops it up. The Cup holders smell blood, disaster for Scholes! Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United.

Hard to believe it’s 10 v 11 out there, City have all the momentum. Kolarov looks a liability but Richards and Lescott are making up for his shortcomings. Meanwhile, Scholes’ shot is saved by Pantilimon. Easy enough.

Anderson coming on for Man United. Welbeck off.

Scholes has seen plenty of the ball, and he doesn’t look out of place (howler for City’s second aside, of course)…

Wishing makes it so. The former United midfielder is about to come on for City.

Hargreaves replaces Nasri – what price an equaliser? Meanwhile, K0larov’s cross clearly hits the arm of Phil Jones but no penalty. Seen them given etc etc…

Head tennis in the box – Lindegaard looks nervy and the ball falls to Richards, who tries an overhead kick. The ball escapes to Rooney and he cushions it back to his ‘keeper. Three minutes plus added time remain. Blood injury for Savic, who goes off temporarily.

Savic is back on. City back up to ten men. United attacking/playing keep ball.

United are happy to keep hold of the ball around the City area. The home side have run out of ideas. Milner – who should have been named man of the match ahead of Rooney – clears it though. City pour forward. Ferdinand concedes a foul on Richards. Kolarov again?

Lindegaard saves and the ball nearly bounces to Lescott, but Smalling clears! Last of the added minutes. Zabaleta shoots and United concede a corner. It hinges on this!

It’s all over! Pantilimon goes up but can’t direct his header on the goal. City rallied brilliantly but it’s United that advance to the Fourth Round. Thanks for keeping up, we could barely keep up. It’s finished Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United.

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