Saturday Soccer: Derby Time

Summary: 1-0 Man United

Reyna: Needed by City today...

• Despite what Alexi Lalas tells you, Man City interior defense was shoddy…eventually leading to Paul Scholes winning (unmarked) header in stoppage time.

• Two players that could have made a difference: Antonio Valencia and Gareth Barry fizzled. Man City could have used a 2002 version of Claudio Reyna today.

• Wayne Bridge was very solid on the day as was Carlos Tevez for Man City. Tevez was asked to do too much, sitting way deep on defense.

Rooney, Gibson start, Berbatov on bench, Ferdinand not in the 18, everyone’s up for the Mancheter Derby….

All your Saturday soccer commentary goes…right…here:

Getting up....

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102 responses to this post.

  1. Morning TSG and company. Holy balls it’s early!

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  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 4:53 AM

    How are you making that statement when I’m on the left coast? :>

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  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 4:54 AM

    Ferdinand’s absence is a concern.
    Early scare for Given. Good effort from Fletcher.

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  4. It’s mornings like these I’m glad I live in Boston.

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  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 4:58 AM

    Welcome folks — here is a question on today’s game. It’s 61 and sunny in Manchester …will Mancini wear that silly scarf through April and May?

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:00 AM

      The funny thing is the sales of that retro scarf have gone through the roof in the club shop.

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    • George – It’s actually a good marketing idea – The NFL required it’s original teams to play in retro jerseys for part of the season then their regular ones later, they made bank on sales of those retro jerseys that nobody would have purchased otherwise.

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:12 AM

        I think it was Mancini trying too hard to win over the hardcore City support after Hughes’ sacking. Equivalent to badge-kissing from a new player. Not sure how much strategic marketing planning was involved. Yes, I am a suspicious b*stard!

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      • Ohh I’m not saying its on purpose – most clubs simply refuse to run like businesses anyways.

        I’m just saying don’t be surprised if you start seeing some retro jersey days.

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  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:01 AM

    Giggs was the story last derby…he’s ON this morning for sure.

    Scholes on the otherhand looks like he is getting older by the minute…

    He’s really got another year at Old Trafford?

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  7. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:02 AM

    Surprising amount of space for Scholes to shoot outside the box. Surely City will be punished if they don’t close this space down?

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    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:03 AM

      I’m not sure — Scholes has looked ancient this year. Now if Gibson gets it out there.

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:07 AM

        He still has great technique and can strike the ball with power and accuracy. Just saying that even though he’s not the player he once was, you cannot give him *that* much time on the top of the 18.

        Amazing how Sir Alex calls on the old guard for important games – maybe he wants some local boys in this derby?

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        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:08 AM

          Yeah — shows his respect for Bellamy by not putting in Rafael.

          I’m not sure though why no Nani with Adam Johnson not a strong defender…

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  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:04 AM

    Man Darron Gibson will be a good player — Fletcher is solid this year — they shouldn’t have re-upped Scholes and they should have brought in Silva next year…

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  9. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:05 AM

    Nigel De Jong sucks — falls down on a tap from Rooney, but breaks Holden’s leg…quickly becoming a player I dislike.

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  10. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:10 AM

    Sublime first touch by Adebayor right there.
    Adam Johnson blows by the old guard right there.

    He’s your Aaron Lennon replacement.

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:14 AM

      Maybe. As long as SWP doesn’t make the plane! Not a fan…

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:21 AM

      Why Johnson doesn’t cut in more I don’t know. He’s trying to go past Evra, left footed on the outside (therefore showing him the ball) , and Evra wins the ball every time…

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:23 AM

        He’ll learn — I’ve watched Johnson a ton (before at Boro as well) it takes him a few reps to realize his mistakes.

        Took him a bit to break down Malouda I think back when they played Chelsea a few weeks back.

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        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:25 AM

          He can get away with it against a lesser LB – but Evra is probably a top 3. He needs to play with his head a little more.

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        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:27 AM

          I’m just saying that’s AJ’s MO.

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  11. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:16 AM

    Seriously Sir Alex…Scholes is OFF…

    Why Manchester United continues to force the action to the RW to Valencia I don’t know.

    Disagree with commentators…every time they’ve gone to Valencia on the right he’s been stymied.

    This is where Nani on the left opens the field more…

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  12. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:20 AM

    Evra just shut downs Johnson with a bump and tackle that screams, “You’re not ready yet.”

    You’re seeing Gareth Barry’s weakness thus far. Tevez is sitting way deep to initiate the attack on a turn of possession. City can’t get any length quickly on a counter attack. That’s how they slaughtered Burnley and Birmingham.

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:22 AM

      They just don’t have any creativity in the final third. Bellamy and Tevez are being shadowed tightly.

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  13. Rooney just shaded it wide! But he’s been a bit anonymous so far.

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    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:33 AM

      He’s not getting a ton of good service (See: Scholes, Paul) …Rooney just tracked back to the half line — sign of frustration.

      City is asking Tevez to do too much. They need to find a way to move him a little more upfield and find him in transition there.

      City’s central d is terrible. They just let 54-year-old Giggs make a diagonal run for a (poor) shot on goal.

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:33 AM

      Some good link up play between Rooney and Valencia. How did Gigg’s not score?

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  14. “He deserved to be fouled for having that much ability.” How is that insightful commentary? Who advocated for hacking?

    Sometimes….

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  15. Matthew… Guinness in your oatmeal again?

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    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:38 AM

      Ha — I wish — debated a run last night as there is no oatmeal or COFFEE in the house. Now debating Roobois tea vs. coffee run.

      (Let the record reflect this is my worst comment in the history of TSG)

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  16. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:39 AM

    Is Alexi Lalas watching the same game as me!

    “When they are in their two blocks of four in back they are doing a good job of defending.” Huh?! Scholes, Gibson all with plenty of open space and opportunity

    “Then they effectively turn the counterattack…”
    Really?! You have Tevez tracking back to his 18!

    What?!

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:43 AM

      HA!

      Lalas just correct himself “When they’re in the back 4 they’re good…but they are letting up some good chances.”

      Right buddy.

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:45 AM

        Yeah because he just re-watched the chances United had – and Rooney’s sitter.

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:43 AM

      That’s why you’ve turned to the English for decent World Cup commentary and punditary!!!

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      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:45 AM

        No George — Lalas was once a decent national team player and pedestrian club player. He’s not a skilled commentator.

        You know who I like a lot … Kyle Martino.

        Simple, Timely, Effective…Kyle Martino…I might have to make that into t-shirt.

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        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:48 AM

          I never took a swipe at his playing credentials, (although I didn’t think too much when he played in Serie A, he was OK, but didn’t derserve the hype he got ).

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        • Or:

          Kyle Martino: Once a teammate of the great Frankie Hejduk

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        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:51 AM

          Feel free to take a swipe on his player credentials…I am saying he’s a terrible broadcaster…

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:56 AM

        That was the basis of my original comment!

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  17. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 5:51 AM

    You know who Man City need in this one today.

    CLAUDIO REYNA instead of Gareth Barry.

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  18. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 5:54 AM

    Johnson needs to have a better right foot. Wasted opportunity for a good delivery.

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  19. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:03 AM

    Gigg’s free kick was awful. Didn’t clear the first post.

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  20. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:05 AM

    Bellamy’s a greedy little Welsh so and so. Was never going to score from that angle on his weaker foot. Tevez had acres of space…

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  21. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:11 AM

    Really England?!

    Gareth Barry over James Milner? It’s not even a contest…

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  22. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:12 AM

    Viera for Johnson?

    Weird…

    Who is advanced? Barry?

    And then Bellamy on one wing with Adebayor or Tevez on the other?

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  23. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:18 AM

    Broadcasters are on it. MC playing without a right half now…the fullback just pushed all the way up on that Nani foul.

    I have to be honest Man United need Berbatov out there….no movement in the middle from Giggs off Rooney. Rooney has to receive the service and the wingers are too wide.

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  24. Matthew, George… this is an awkward soccer commentary threesome we’ve got going on here.

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  25. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:19 AM

    It looks like City are trying to clamp the ball in on the left side and work the weak side for a shot…

    …look at that Rooney play..even though he got denied…that run is going to be open in Mancini’s formation.

    WEIRD

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  26. And Berba on for Rooney…. think he’s still got that knock?

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  27. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:23 AM

    Gareth Barry is having a pitiful game. Claudio Reyna would have provided an assist by this point.

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  28. Do you think that scarf is the only thing holding Mancini’s head on?

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  29. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:26 AM

    Interesting subs by Mancini…looks like they were scripted.
    Bring in Viera to a chorus of, “What?”

    Then follow it up with Ireland for DeJong (Viera slides into his role) and SWP on the wing for Adebayor.

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:31 AM

      Agreed – ended up being like for like, so begs the question of why didn’t he just do it in the first place?

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  30. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:26 AM

    He’s too pedestrian today.

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  31. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:34 AM

    I have to say that the final ball today has been crap.

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  32. How did that not end up in the back of the net?

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  33. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:35 AM

    Come on City! Squeeky bum time…

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  34. Game Summary: Two team with all to play for, tons of motivation to grab points to fight for the league or grab Champions League and then… nothing.

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  35. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:37 AM

    No Fergie-Time away from Old Trafford.

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  36. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:38 AM

    Nifty move by Wayne Bridge on his shot…good game today for him.

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  37. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:40 AM

    Oh wow…I cannot believe that just happened.

    Hellacious defense does them in.

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  38. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:41 AM

    What a finish from Scholes. Where was the marking?

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  39. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:42 AM

    What Lalas? No comment on Man City’s defense after that open header in the middle of the box?

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  40. Scholes stood up on his walker to get that header.

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:46 AM

      It was great tecnique though – there didn’t seem to be too much pace on the ball from Nani. If you think about the one that Berbatov missed, he had to generate some power and direct the header and missed the target.

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      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/04/17 at 6:53 AM

        Another failed defensive effort on Berbatov’s header.

        Was it me or did Berbatov actually look very active today?

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        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 7:00 AM

          Agreed.

          I think it was a combination of Berbatov’s effort and City giving him too much space.

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  41. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:43 AM

    Why Viera didn’t get subbed on sooner is baffling to me. He did really well today breaking things up and starting attacks – simply.

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  42. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/17 at 6:50 AM

    As much as I hate to say it, you have to give United credit. They got a win when a draw was probably a fair result.

    Reply

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