Carling cup Semi – Man U versus Man City – Second Leg

The City front line in casual festive attire

City try in vain to respond but Howard Webb blows the whistle and ends the game and what a game. Carling cup final. Aston Villa versus Man U.

92:00 – GOAL – ROONEY Incredible save from Given off a United header that leads to corner. Off the corner United cross it and wonder man Rooney heads it in for the goal. 3-1 UNITED 4-3 ON AGGREGATE

90:00 – Nani off and Valencia on. Nani played well but it was a surprise that he got the nod over Valencia. Maybe Sir Alex has half an eye on the upcoming Arsenal fixture. 3 minutes of added time. Sir Alex’s face is at threat level crimson.

87:00 – Boyata takes the ball off Rooney and sends a long ball into the United box. Van De Sar and the United defenders are harried by the speedy front line of City and Zabaleta finally wins the ball and passes to Bellamy who sends in a cross but an unmarked Adebayor sends a soft header wide.

85:00 – Fletcher tries a shot from out wide that is still in the air i believe…bad choice when he had unmarked players he could have passed too.

81:00 –  Giggs runs at the City defense and sends in a great cross that City clear only as far as Carrick who sends in the rebound agonizingly wide. That was a close one. 8 minutes to go in regular time. This is a nail biter.

80:00 – Will United rue Rooneys sitter of a miss? The momentum has completely switched as City press on. Neither team wants this to go to extra time and penalties…sigh

76:00 –  GOAL – TEVEZ – Bellamy sends an average cross into the box which Tevez acrobatically flicks into the bottom left corner. 2-1 United but all tied in aggregate…please stay like this…

75:00 – A stupid free kick is given up by City defenders. Sir Alex decides to be generous toward City by giving them an opportunity to score by introducing the constant disappoint that is Wes Brown for Rafael.

73:00 – WHAT A MISS. Rooney has an open goal after Nani brilliantly sets him up but Rooney stumbles the ball wide. City are in shambles.

71:00GOAL – MICHAEL CARRICK – sloppy defending for City gives Carrick an opportunity to shoot past Given and off the post and in. Now City have to respond. They do so by immediately conceding a corner. 2-0 United and they lead 3-2 on aggregate.

69:00 ARGY BARGY!!! Fletcher and Richards tackle each other hard and then get in each others faces. Situation is expertly dealt with by Howard Webb. Looks like SWP will be off as Adebayor is expected to come on for City.

66:00 – City try a tricky free kick. Ball comes to Richards whose shot is deflected over the bar. Nothing comes out of the corner. Game seems to lost a little bit of its original luster. I imagine that it will pick up soon. I need to do some research as i believe i heard the commentators say that it will go to extra time if the scores stay the same but won’t go to penalties…this is odd

61:00 – United are pressing harder and harder. They want that second. Their crosses and through balls are becoming more and more dangerous. City are defending well but they need to keep possession if they want to equalize.

56:00 – Adebayor warming up on the sideline. He should enter soon and give City a taller stronger option. All United now as City seems to have lost their swagger and confidence.

52:00 GOAL – UNITED – GINGER NINJA (scholes). United counter brilliantly and the ball bounces around the penalty area before Scholes shots accurately into the bottom left corner. 2-2 on aggregate but United will go thru on the away goals rule.

50:00 – Well the idiots that are Man U fans threw bottles and coins at Bellamy as he tried to take a corner. The coins hit him. This won’t be good for United

48:00 – Tevez booked for an aggressive strikers tackle on Rafael. Bellamy gets in Ferdinands face for no apparent reason except for the fact that he’s a raving lunatic. Fast though.

47:00 – Micah Richards tries to re-create his magnificent run against Blackburn Rovers last week by waltzing his way through the United half and shoots; but right at Van De Sar

PEEP PEEP – and we’re off and am only a quarter of the way into my sandwich. Here’s hoping for a slow start to the second half. Damn good sandwich

In premiership news, Chelsea are up 2-0 and Donovan scores his first EPL goal as Everton lead Sunderland 2-0

46:00 – Our first glimpse at Sir Alex’s face which is already at threat level pink. And Howard Webb (whose had a great game so far) blows the whistle to end the first half. City are 45 minutes away from joining Aston Villa at Wembley in the final.

41:00 – United are dominating possession but failing to create any real danger. City are doing a wonderful job at snuffing out any potential through balls etc..

36:00 – Yellow card for Scholes as he commits a trademark bad from behind tackle.

32:00 – United first real chance comes as Giggs finds himself with the ball and sends a low stinging drive that is well saved by Given. United beginning to press more as Rooney brings out another good save from Given. Given is one of the most underrated players this past decade.

29:00 – They mint be pint-sized but Bellamy an Tevez are quick and have a good eye for goal. Bellamy cuts inside and sends a cross that Tevez meets perfectly with a diving header, but Van De Sar gets and low and expertly saves it. Good stuff

25:00 – City break again via SWP but he’s muscled off the ball by Evans. The City forwards are a bit of a munchkin front line with SWP, Bellamy and Tevez not knowing for being tall. In fact they probably come up to Peter Crouch’s hips. As i right this Togo international Emmanuel Adebayor warms up. I can’t imagine what must be going through his mind after the terrible ordeal that happened at the Africans Nation Cup.

24:00 – Tevez shows some remarkable ball skill and meanders his way into the penalty area but was very well marshaled by Ferdinand and it goes out for a goal kick.

22:00 – A scampering SWP does well down the right side and sends in a cross that Bellamy heads right at Van De Sar. Bellamy needs to become more involved. He was fantastic in the first leg.

20:00 – HAHA so Rio Ferdinand (already been charged for violent conduct by the FA this past weekend) shoulders away Tevez pretty roughly but the Argentine reacts theatrically. Nothing happens but it was pretty funny.

17:00 – Nani is continuing his good form from the weekend and sends in a cross for Rooney that is headed out for a corner. United seems to be the dominant team though City look bright onthe counter. United win their 6th corner to which Ferdinand tries an audacious flick that surprised everyone including himself. Flick goes out of bounds.

16:00 – Off a City corner, Giggs gathers the ball and sends a beautiful pass to Rooney who tries set him up with a pass that SWP cuts off and passes to Given. Good defending by the little man.

13:00 – The Ginger Ninja (Scholes and one of my favorite nicknames) has a venomous half volleyed shot that goes over the bar. He might be slow and he might not be able to tackle but he can still shoot the hell out of the ball…now all he needs to do is re-discover his aim.

8:00 – End to end stuff going on but no real threat to either goal. Rooney gets the ball, makes a great turn and has a shot on target  which doesn’t trouble Given at all, but Rooney is really playing well…This is good for England. He’s staying up versus trying to do everything.

3:00 – Now United press on and Giggs sends a cross field ball to Nani who wins a corner.  This will be an action packed game…i predict my fingers will be bloody stumps from all the typing. Then again that will be welcome from the disastrous snooze fest that was Wolves/Liverpool yesterday. Nothing comes of the corner.

They used to form the ugliest partnership in the Prem...Shrek and The Bogeyman

2:00 – Bellamy looking ever dangerous wins City a corner but Barry’s delivery was poor.

1:00 – Tevez first touch of the ball was met with the expected boo’s but being Man U prawn sandwich fans, the boos didn’t start until after he had give up the ball.

TWEEEEEET – I do like how the referee (Howard Webb) and his linesman did a fisty grip “break” psyche up thingy before they started the game.

howdy all.

Well this could be the most watched/anticipated second leg of a Carling cup match in many years. The first leg at City Stadium was 2-1 City with former red devil Carlos Tevez bagging a brace as well as showing up Gary Neville (who should have just kept his stupid mouth shut)…BUT Man U got the all important away goal. Personally i would like to see this game be 2-1 Man U and have it go to extra time and penalties.

Both teams seem to be at full strength though Man U’s squad seem to be one of a few years ago with both Scholes and Giggs starting. Interestingly no Neville. Not even on the bench. City name an unchanged side from the first leg, though they do have Adebayor on the bench.

21 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/27 at 1:10 PM

    I’d love this to go to extra time and penalties, and that United get mentally and physically drained – but I guess 4 days is enough recovery time for Sunday’s away game at Arsenal (not that I am a Arsenal fan – just don’t want United winning again!)

    Anyhow, it should be a marvellous game if the 1st leg is anything to go by. Pity Red Nev is not even on the bench – he really does wear red-tinted glasses…


  2. Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/01/27 at 1:41 PM

    I agree. I think Sir Alex has one eye on the Arsenal match hence resting a couple of players and Scholes starting


  3. Posted by KL on 2010/01/27 at 1:47 PM

    Breaking news on the Everton game. LD10 scored his first goal in the 19th minute.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/27 at 2:15 PM

      LD’s number at Everton is 9!


      • Posted by KL on 2010/01/27 at 2:44 PM

        yeah I know his number is 9, but when typing his initials I think it’s customary to put what everyone calls him. Besides, any nickname with the number 9 in it is reserved for the one and only CD9! Can’t wait to see him play again!


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/27 at 3:11 PM

          KL – I was actually _joking_

          Amusing how Nike has affected us all though, with all of this CR7, CD9, LD10…


  4. Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/01/27 at 2:05 PM

    Thanks KL…i just saw that and then saw your post. Did you see it? I read it was left footed shot assisted by Cahill


    • Posted by KL on 2010/01/27 at 2:47 PM

      Yeah it was a beaut. He cut across the box just above the PK spot from right to left and as soon as he got in line with the left post he shot back across his body toward the center of the net. Not a lot of pace on the ball, but the keep was out of position and had no way to stop it. It was just pure positioning and angles from Donovan. I would contend it is worthy to be his first EPL goal.


      • Posted by Timmy on 2010/01/28 at 7:30 AM

        Does anyone have a link to watch the Everton game highlights? GolTV News last night didn’t even talk about the game. Thanks.


  5. Posted by KL on 2010/01/27 at 3:20 PM

    @GeorgeCross – my bad, it’s hard to read sarcasm in text. Kinda new on the board, so, still getting used to the personality of it. Confessing my ignorance…didn’t realize that was from Nike, thanks for the info.



    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/27 at 3:41 PM

      I am new to this site too, but I really like the analytical part of it, even though I disagree with some of it, but I guess that’s what makes it great – learning from other people’s points of view, and hearing from knowledgeable Americans. And I feel that a lot of the contributions are intelligent, rather than the typical hootin’ and hollerin’ you get on NYTimes etc.

      I think adidas tried it with Beckham back in the day with DB7, but Aston Martin got bent out of shape. Nike are scoundrels – they replicate this strategy in different markets…


      • Posted by KL on 2010/01/27 at 3:52 PM

        Yeah I’ve been reading it for the past month or so but didn’t want to post until I got more comfortable with the content. Thanks for the heads up about the NYTimes, now I know not to waste my time. The same holds true for ESPN for the most part. Although I found that has some pretty insightful dialogue.

        It’s funny you mention that about Beckham. I just got dome watching the youtube video about footballers and their cars. DIdn’t know if he bought it because it had his initials or if they named it after him or what.


    • apologies. I was looking at the fan rating. He did, however, rate a 9.0 tying him with fellaini


    • I think Donovan’s performance to date for Everton should be a loud, scream it from the hills type of exclamation and warning to every other American who is looking to make the jump abroad (Jozy, Freddy, Eddie – I’m looking squarely at you here). In Germany ‘Cakes struggled partially due to his homesickness and general vagina-like displays, but (and this is especially true with the Bayern loan) it’s also due to the expectations that the clubs and managers had for him, and thus how they deployed him. Examples:

      Bayer Leverkusen v. Liverpool in the Champions League – ‘Cakes is deployed as the offensive center mid, a position that he was, and is, notorious for making very little impact from. In fact at that time he was in my opinion a damn good second forward playing off a target striker.

      Bayern Munich all appearances – Lanny would come on as a sub for Luca Toni, and the rest of the squad would continue pumping balls into him as if he was 6-8 inches taller and had the same greasy dome that Toni would use to get on the end of crosses. Newsflash Ribery et. al. Landon Donovan is not a target forward, nor aerial threat, never has been, never will be.

      Everton has finally put Landon Donovan in a position on the field where he can be an asset to the team instead of a detriment. Here’s to hoping that future Americans making the jump are a little more discerning and looking for a good situation and opportunity overseas instead of simply looking for a club that wasn’t in the MLS.

      By the way excellent Wizard of Oz referece.


      • Posted by Evan on 2010/01/28 at 1:08 AM

        I actually laughed out loud when I read the part about the vagina-like displays. Donovan’s separation has done him wonders.


  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/27 at 4:10 PM

    I agree 100% – I said so in today’s article (European Pie in the Sky). I think that is the single biggest frustration – when players pump balls in the box and the offensive team has no height to get on the end of it. I am glad that Everton have recognised LD’s strengths and utilised him effectively.


  7. Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/01/27 at 7:06 PM

    Interesting discussion fellas! A piece in which Matt and I debate Landon and Clint is coming out soon; but i agree that landon is best suited as a winger…he’s quick, fast, smart, makes great passes and can also score goals


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/01/28 at 12:18 PM

      With Donovan on the wing, who do you think has the ability and footballing brain to spot his run and provide that defence-splitting pass?


  8. Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/01/28 at 1:21 PM


    Good question and truthfully i’m not sure. I do think that someone could do the job. Often i feel teams put their best 11 players in and then fill them in order of importance. Wingers tend not be as important as attacking central midfielders as the belief is that they have to provide width and accept the ball and send in a cross and thats it. Donovan plays that central role for the US as the belief is he is the best outfield player and therefore he should play it and he’s quite good at it. I maintain though that he could do more damage as a winger with a license to roam to the middle of the pitch. With Jozy and maybe CD up front and Dempsey as a more central attacking midfielder, the US could REALLY take advantage of his speed plus his brain and passing ability. A central midfielder or someone behind the strikers does not need to be blessed with great speed. They just got to be safe and have great passing ability. Couple that with a a speedy winger who roams in the middle and has fantastic passing and the penchant for scoring a goal and you have something different that defenses have to think about.

    More on this coming in a post. But yes i don’t feel like i personally can give you answer…yet.


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