Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Sunday August 19 2007
City of Manchester Stadium
The problem with attempted pre derby mind games is that they often come back to haunt you.
Take Gary Neville with his now infamous 'I've never lost to City and don't intend to start now' prior to his nightmare performance in the last Maine Road derby. Pure mana from heaven for the City scriptwriters.
The problem is that they never learn from their mistakes at the home of arrogance. Well it's either that or their manager is truly losing the plot.
Prior to this game, amongst other nuggets, the bitterest of all football managers suggested that the only two City signings he had heard of were Bianchi and Petrov.
I can only imagine that his obvious lack of observational skills were to blame for his missing Geovanni's goal for Benfica against his side in the season that manyoo finished bottom of their Champions League qualifying grop.
What over explanation could there be for a manager confessing to no first hand knowledge of a player that went on to score the winning goal in today's Manchester derby? He had been warned but apparently took no notice.
I know for certain if I was a rag, god forbid, I would be questioning the shortcomings of a manager that was unaware of a player who had turned them over before.
But never mind, Sir bitterness' lack of player awareness was the key to a hard fought City victory that saw the blues go clear at the top of the Premiership.
Despite early rag domination it was the unknown Geovanni that opened the scoring on 31 minutes when the rag midfield parted to allow him a free shot on goal that was finished with aplomb.
The game was perhaps reminiscent of an Alamo style rearguard but there lies the key: Reading, Portsmouth and now City have found yoonited out. They simply cannot score.
Richards and Dunne were magnificent in preventing them doing so but non the less the caretaker champions have problems that we can only laugh at.
City, under Eriksson, have no such problems. They have ended the home scoring hoodoo, have yet to concede, sit top of the league with nine points out of nine and have turned yoonited over.
All in all a satisfactory weekend in Manchester.
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Date:Sunday August 19 2007
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