Manchester City 4 Manchester United 1

Eastlands Slum, Manchester
14th March 2004

Manchester united were left rueing their missed chances and overall bad-luck as their title hopes continued to fade away, and they were humiliated by their supposed rivals Manchester City. City are no longer the big-game of the season however, and just because we're they're biggest game doesn't make them ours we have games against Arsenal and Chelsea that are more important than playing the lower-table teams such as City.

The game started badly for United. The tempo was high and the ball was being knocked around at some speed. Scholes got his first warning for a bad tackle after just two minutes, and City grabbed their first undeserved goal on 3 minutes. The ball was thrown in and was met by podgy Sibierski who flicked the ball on. Fowler reacted quicker than Phil Neville and was able to squeeze the ball under Howard to send the crowds wild.

United immediately found their form, with Ronaldo causing aggravation every time he won the ball. James spilt the ball at his feet but the Portuguese super-stars shot was blocked by the post, and ricocheted to the City defence.

Distin clumsily challenged Nicky Butt, and then attempted to head-butt him, but was given just a yellow card (?!) For some reason raising his hands and slapping Butt, and then shaking his head at him wasnt enough, despite the fact that Gary Neville was sent off for less the last time the two teams met. Butt should have gone down.

Despite continued United pressure, and several goal-mouth scrambles, it was City who got the second goal, with the ball running loose from a corner. Ronaldo found the ball and ran out with it only to get sandwiched and brought down, although hapless referee Bennett failed to stop play. The ball was played to the flank, and then into Reyna 25 yards out from goal. His cross was deflected twice before finding its way to Macken who was able to rifle home, although with his ability you'd have expected him to blast it over.

United again charged down the other end of the pitch, and this time the cut-back by Ronaldo was met by Scholes rather than Giggs,who had already missed three shooting-chances, who was able to smash the ball home in usual style.

United continued to pressure and had chance after chance played away by the lucky City defence. City were lucky to be ahead at half-time, with the Reds laying siege to the box.

It was United who looked the brighter in the second half, with more goal-chances being created by Giggs and Ronaldo, although none as clear-cut as in the first half. Giggs fired wide, whilst even Phil Neville had a shot at being the equalising hero.

On 72 minutes City effectively wrapped up the game, with a routine ball miscontrolled by Silvestre, who failed to find Brown with his pass, and was left chasing Sinclair towards the United goal. Howard could do little as the ball was chipped over him.

United continued to attack, with Solskjaer and Forlan brought on to try to grab a chance or two, but they were unable to find the net.

On the stroke of full-time Wright-Phillips grabbed another goal.

City were not the better team, but the few defensive lapses United had were punished, to give City an ill-deserved three points and pull them out of the relegation battle.

Man City: James, Dunne, Van Buyten, Distin, Wright-Phillips, Reyna (Bosvelt 45), Sibierski (Jihai 84), McManaman (Sinclair 45), Tarnat, Macken, Fowler.

Subs not used: Arason, Wanchope. Booked: Distin.

Man Utd: Howard, Phil Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O'Shea, Ronaldo (Solskjaer 72), Fletcher, Butt, Giggs (Forlan 77), Scholes, van Nistelrooy.

Subs not used: Carroll, Bellion, Lynch. Booked: Butt, Scholes.

Attendance: 47,284. Referee: S Bennett (Kent).