Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Manchester Blues

Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks

As Yogi Berra was fond of saying, “It is not over until the fat lady sings”. Manchester United had the EPL title in the palm of their hands but Manchester City has snatched it away. In an epic encounter, Manchester City defeated Manchester United 1-0 in a game they had to win to keep their hopes alive to win the title. There are two more games to be played and if Manchester United win their remaining fixture and Manchester City does the same, the latter wins on goal average. But Manchester City must defeat Newcastle on their home field which will not be an easy undertaking.

Sir Alex is reknown as an astute tactician and started a team geared more for a draw than for victory. He reverted to his old foxes in mid-field and started Scholes, Giggs, Park and Garrick. Rooney was up front. There was no Welbeck, no Ashley Young and no Valencia. Manchester United is not known for playing defensive football. They are known for their attacking prowess. tactically, Sir Alex erred and Manchester United paid dearly for his caginess.

Kompany received an unfair yellow card when he fouled Rooney early in the game. The ever improving Kompany outleaped the United defenders and scored from a corner kick. It was a magnificent leap and header that may have earned his team the EPL title. Kompany and Lescott have made a nigh impregnable pair as Manchester City’s two central defenders. Both are dangerous coming forward on set plays. Yaya Toure dominated mid-field and time and time again, displayed his strength in winning loose balls and making powerful penetrating dribbles down the middle. Nasri rose to the occasion and showed his playmaking dexterity. Clichy penetrated down the left side and was a thorn for ninety minutes in Manchester United’s side.

Manchester City deserved to win the game as they took the game to the more cautious Manchester United team. There are two more games to play. In the words of Yogi Berra, “It is not over until the fat lady sings”.

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