Man Utd 1
0-1 Rooney 42
- Match reports
- 30 November 2008 16:00
- Posted by Leon Collins
Pre match news
The main team news is that Robinho is fit to return to the starting line-up this afternoon in place of young Danny Sturridge. Other injury related news see Javi Garrido overcome his slight injury worry to keep Michael Ball on the bench.
So the one change means that Vincent Kompany is set to continue at centre back following his impressive display on Thursday night.
For the visitors there's no surprise to see Berbatov start despite doubts from Ferguson all week.
A fantastic rendition of Blue Moon was belted out before kick-off as a white hot atmosphere greeted both teams...United given their customary chorus of boos.
And it was the visitors who got the 151st Manchester derby underway as the boos continued to ring around the Stadium with their every touch.
The game’s first chance came about on eight minutes and seemed harmless enough as Rooney turned and shot from inside the box – but somehow Joe Hart spilled the ball with Fletcher looking to take advantage. Richard Dunne though was on hand to hammer clear.
On 13 minutes a Rooney corner was headed over by the ever-popular Ronaldo as United threatened to turn up the heat. A brief stoppage shortly after saw Micah Richards treated for a blow to the face following a clash with Vidic.
Worryingly and rather too frequently referee Webb erred on the side of the visitors and decided not to book Fletcher for a bad looking tackle on Wright-Phillips.
But he did have no choice on 21 minutes but to yellow card da Silva for an act of petulance after going through the back of Robinho before throwing the ball away.
The booked Brazilian was involved a minute later as his cross was met by Berbatov who's header needed clawing away by an acrobatic Hart.
On 32 minutes City almost took the lead though as Stephen Ireland agonisingly clipped the post. A free-kick from the right saw Van der Sar’s attempted clearance fall to the in-form Irishman and his bouncing effort slowly and painfully hit the far post after Richards missed the chance to flick the ball closer to goal.
Finally Fletcher was booked for a hack on Wright-Phillips after Webb had already let play continue following Evra's attempted halting of SWP.
Ireland was next in the book for an innocuous looking foul and it was to prove very costly as from the resulting free-kick United took the lead. The Blues couldn’t clear the ball and eventually Carrick’s low drive was palmed out by Hart but straight to Wayne Rooney barely a yard out and unfortunately he couldn’t miss.
Darius Vassell was then given a yellow card in the last action of the half for a foul.
HALF TIME: City 0-1 United
Mark Hughes made two changes at the break with Vassell and Hamann replaced by Elano and Pablo Zabaleta in a bid to kick-start the Blues for the second half.
City were certainly forcing the issue early in the second 45 and Kompany drew 'ooh's' from the home support with a thunderous drive from distance that fizzed just wide.
The Blues then put together a fine flowing move from penalty area to penalty area that ended with a crisp Benjani drive rippling the side net on 55 minutes.
Robinho and Elano combined with the latter spraying a great ball to the right for SWP to run at the Reds' backline and play in the Zimbabwean striker but he couldn't repeat his February feat from Old Trafford.
United were struggling to contain Wright-Phillips and Ronaldo was booked for a 'forward's' tackle on the tricky winger after 59 minutes.
City continued to press their rivals in a much improved second half showing but without the ultimate end product.
But on 68 minutes the Blues were given greater hope as the Portugese winker was given his marching orders, for the second time in a derby, after inexplicably handling the ball from Rooney's corner.
The supporters tried to rally Mark Hughes' men as typically the United side and bench took the 'what was that for?' approach to the blatant following of the rules by the referee.
Injury forced Richards to limp from the field of play with 14 minutes left and Danny Sturridge came on to make the last push for a leveller.
The Wright-Phillips kicking continued as the clock ticked down and this time it was Carrick who had his name taken on 84 minutes for stopping the wide man in full flow.
Try as they did, City couldn't break down the deeply banked United backline in the final minutes and even four minutes of injury time were not enough to see the Blues pull level, Dunne's effort off the line the closest as Van der Sar and Evra combined to clear.
With Joe Hart still up from the back in the last minute Rooney tried to lob him from distance but the quick thinking keeper got back to keep the ball out.
So no repeat of the derby double this season as United hung on to claim the spoils and a big three points.
FULL TIME: City 0-1 United