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Down the Line

 

Manchester’s ‘noisy neighbours’ have a lot to shout about now

 

 

Manchester City? Too many egos. They’ll never find the balance. Manager Roberto Mancini is too autocratic, pilule he’ll never succeed. Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli? Too divisive.

The doubters have well and truly been silenced. The momentum and balance of power has shifted in Manchester- City, cialis the most expensively assembled cast of all stars in football history, are the real deal. Their emphatic 6-1 away victory to arch rivals Manchester United, the heaviest home defeat for the champions since 1955, marks the biggest statement victory in the history of the Premier League. The shockwaves reverberating around the globe after such a humiliating defeat for the globally commercial entity that is Manchester United must go some way to realising the dreams over owner Sheikh Mansour whose motives for buying City in September 2008 were described by a senior source at the club at the time as wanting “to use City to help develop Abu Dhabi into the sporting capital of the Middle East.” After spending approximately £1 billion since his arrival, Mansour’s astronomical investment appears to be paying dividends on the biggest stage of them all, the Theatre of Dreams.

It has been and continues to be a project where the main challenge is to forge a group of egotistical individuals into a selfless team and if Sunday’s derby is anything to go by they have finally found the balance to conquer the world’s best. In a great piece of management, Roberto Mancini threw caution to the wind, choosing not to stifle the United threat instead opting to pick a team that went out to dominate a vibrant but vulnerable Red Devils side. The selection of hothead powerhouse Mario Balotelli over the classy Edin Dzeko was fully justified after Dzeko’s dismal midweek Champions League performance against Villareal as the young Italian tormented United throughout, supplying a clinical strike for the first goal and the positional sense to wrap up the second after neat build up play. The sending off of reserve United centre back Jonny Evans came about as a result of the sheer persistence and strength of Balotelli, where after City fully capitalised. Not to be outdone, Dzeko treated himself to a brace in his 20 minute cameo.

However it was in defence and midfield where the game was won for the blue half of Manchester. Micah Richards had arguably his finest game in a City shirt, outplaying Nani and Ashley Young and making tireless counter attacking runs that United were unable to thwart. Captain Vincent Kompany looked assured and made it a torrid afternoon for Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney who was forced to retreat to a deeper attacking midfield role in an attempt to exert more influence on the game. This however ceased to have any effect as the tenacity of Gareth Barry, the excellent distribution from James Milner and the physical prowess of Yaya Toure bossed United’s midfield of Darren Fletcher and Anderson. Moreover, City’s trump cards, the Spanish wizard David Silva and Argentine maestro Sergio Aguero, ghosted their way around the final third of the pitch and performed the role of playmakers to perfection. Silva’s assist for Edin Dzeko’s final goal in injury time is unlikely to be bettered as pass of the season.

When one considers the embarrassment of riches at City’s disposal, the likes of unused substitute Samir Nasri who would walk into any other starting line up in the Premier League, it cannot be denied that City are formidable and City are here to stay while Sheikh Mansour’s pockets are lined. A Champions League title is not an unfeasible outcome on this form and it would take a brave person to back against them in the Premier League. Fittingly, man of the match Micah Richards said after the game “People call us the noisy neighbours. Well here we are…” Here they are indeed.

Conall Devlin

 

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