Manchester City 0 - 2 Manchester United

Sunday 13th February 2005
City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester

Manchester United secured another three points against a lacklustre Manchester City side. The game was billed as "Manchester City's Cup Final", but the City players still couldn't compare to their United counter-parts!

The first half of the encounter was a rather tepid affair. It seems that United have a bigger rivalry with Arsenal and Liverpool, because there was no real passion or attitude to their play. City was just as passionless - perhaps they're more interested in the 'Bottom of the table clashes' they enjoy with Palace and West Brom?!

United had about 60% of the possession, but failed to make much of an impression on the City defence. Indeed, aside from the odd shot or header off goal, the main talking point for United was that O'Shea banged his head in the tenth minute, and was running around in a daze until he was subbed in the 33rd minute!

United weren't creating much, but that was probably the plan - Fergie started with O'Shea, Fortune, Keane, Scholes and Fletcher packing the midfield.

City had the best of the chances in the first half, with McManaman and Fowler being particularly wasteful of easy chances. And I mean easy. Even I could've scored them!

After the introduction of Ronaldo and Giggs, United started to look more like a team, and began to create more clear-cut chances. It was just a case of waiting for Rooney to put the ball away.

And it was two "goals" from Wayne Rooney that split the two sides at the end of 90 minutes. In saying that, both of the goals were actually put in by City's "best" defender, Richard Dunne!

For the first goal, which came just over an hour into the hard-fought match, was a well worked move by United. The ball was rushed up to the City end, where Roy Keane crossed hard and low from the right hand flank. Rooney was the first playe to it, but his shot only really beat City's keeper because it took a deflection from Dunne.

If the first goal was unlucky for City, the second goal was comical! This time Rooney was the crosser of the ball. It was a well flighted cross, but there were no United players in the box, and it appeared to be a wasted attack. That was, until Dunne popped up out of nowhere and managed to knock the ball past his poorly positioned keeper. The ball came off his shin and bounced agonisingly towards the goal, before hitting the far post and being sent into the back of the net!

With the match won, Scholes was taken off for an early rest.

United weren't at their best today, but proved to be just too good for Man City. Unfortunately Chelsea also won this weekend, so we've not closed the gap - but that will come.

Next match is Everton in a weeks time in the FA Cup.

Man City: James, Mills (Bradley Wright-Phillips 83), Dunne, Distin, Thatcher, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Barton (Macken 68), Sibierski, McManaman, Musampa, Fowler.
Subs Not Used: Weaver, Onuoha, Flood.
Booked: Fowler, Sibierski.

Man Utd: Carroll, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Heinze, O'Shea (Ronaldo 33), Keane, Fortune, Fletcher (Giggs 64), Rooney, Scholes (Phil Neville 84).
Subs Not Used: Howard, Bellion.
Booked: Rooney, Scholes, Keane.
Goals: Rooney 68, Dunne 75 og.

Att: 47,111
Ref: S Bennett (Kent).