By LWD armchair reporter Tudor Rickards
An unedited report of the game between Manchester City against Manchester United at the Etiad Stadium, December 9th 2012
Warning to readers: This report will not make much sense to readers who are not football followers. I have tried to indicate CY [City] or MU [Manchester United] to provide a little more information
I noted before the game that Kompany [CY Captain] is going around encouraging players one by one. Good. The game starts with a lot of ugly hacking, more by Utd than City. Rooney MU gets yellow and is in danger of red card. City press hard. Evans MU fouled and injured, but Kompany CY is first to limp off. Rooney scores with weak shot. 1-0 Was Hart CY goalkeeper out of position? Game more even now. Half chances. Then another breakaway, Rooney scores more convincingly this time. 2-0 United
Is it a plan by MU to defend deep and then break? Evans MU limps off. Free kick saved by Goalkeeper de Gea MU . Utd attack. Then another city corner and pressure. Game a bit shapeless. Foul count continues. Now a bit more fouling. Pinball stuff. No obvious calming influence . Scrappy to HT . [This on-line stuff is harder to do than I imagined. Maybe I could try Chess?]
Is leadership mainly from coaches Ferguson MU and Mancini MC? On the field , I realize now, there are few chances for verbal signals by any captain. This game is a wild tactical one, although perhaps the teams have a prearranged plan which may or not be stuck too.
Game increases in intensity. More defensive injuries. Evans MU eventually limps off as Ferdinand MU is also crocked , but stays on.
Cleverley blasts well over the bar for fourth time or so (but playing well otherwise in centre). Sense that neither team will string passes together without making a mistake. 55 min of stop-go rather than non-stop stuff
City scores by Yaya Toure. 1-2 MU. Pinball in the end. Stadium comes alive. Game comes alive. Close calls for a penalty for each side. Much more interesting now. More close calls. Rooney MU gets yellow card. Yaya Toure CY also, and injures himself in process [75 min. } Continues to be end to end. super sub Dzeko CY comes on. And Phil Jones for MU. City score. 2-2.
Even more hectic. Welbeck MU on for Cleverley. More hectic stuff Another foul this time by CY. Van Persie MU scores from free kick. 2 mins to go. 3-2 United.
Extra time [4 min]. Injury to Rio Ferdinand MU by object thrown by a fan. Much blood from above his eye. Game ends. MU players too weary to rejoice [or showing a bit of wisdom?]
Leadership conclusion. I didn’t see much opportunity for leadership from on-field captains. Is the leadership role relatively weak or too subtle for me to see as an armchair follower of the game?
For an excellent analyis of ‘the volcanic rivalry’ between CY and MU see the Telegraph’s account. Now that’s what I call a balanced view.