OT: Man U v Man City -- WHO YOU GOT?

Submitted by superstringer on April 24th, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Lots of soccer is posted OT here, and there are a few soccer fans that make some noise. Less than a week away from the BIG ONE, so time to get some chatter going -- and maybe rope in attention from some non-fans.



This has the making of being the highest-rated regular-season soccer game in world history. Manchester United ("Red Devils") have a so-so team by their standards, but are seeking their 20th championship. Manchester City ("Sky Blues") have a huge budget and star players, and they jumped out of the gate this season -- only to stall and fall behind Man U (they couldn't buy a road win for a while -- plus two of their top players are total headcases). But the last two weeks, Man U choked big time. Lost to relegation-threatened Wigan. Then, last week, they had a two-goal lead with 10 minutes at home against Everton -- AND BLEW IT -- gave up two goals, game tied 4-4. (Everton's goalie is US international Tim Howard, he had a huge save in extra time to preserve the tie.)  So now Man U sits up only 3 points in the standings, with 3 pts for a win and 1 pt for a tie -- meaning, if they lose Monday to Man City, the teams will be TIED with 2 games to go.

Their games are always highly emotional, sort of Cubs v White Sox or Yankees v Mets, but this game will be HUGE. If Man U wins, they only need 1 tie in their last 2 games to win the championship. If Man City wins (and they beat Man U 6-1 earlier this year), they control their destiny -- they'd be tied with Man U, but Man City has the way better goals-differential. Man U would need to beat someone like 10-0 to catch up. If its a tie, Man U controls its fate but is only up 3 points -- a Man U loss plus a Man City win in a later game puts them on even, and Man City has the tiebreaker.

(The race for 3d and 4th is pretty good too. The top 4 get to play in Europe's Champion's League next season, which brings in about another $75M to $100M in revenue. Heavyweight Arsenal is only 2 pts up in 3d place; 4th is nobody Newcastle United. Can Newcastle hang on? Tottanham (with American Brad Friedel in goal) is 3 back (they choked this past weekend) in 5th; and big-name Chelsea is in 6th. But if Chelsea WINS this year's Champions Cup -- they play Barcelona today in the second leg of the semi -- they will get an auto-bid next year, so the Premier league only gets THREE, not four teams. Newcastle could get screwed!)

If you want to see European soccer at its highest level with the maximum passion, check out this game next Monday. PLUS, today and tomorrow conclude the Champions league semi-final fixtures. Chelsea upset world #1 team Barcelona (with Lionel Messi) 1-0 last week; can Chelsea pull the upset in the second game today? They need only tie, or lose by only one goal and score one themselves (e.g., 2-1, etc.). In the other game, Barca's arch rival Real Madrid (led by Ronaldo) is up on German heavyweight Bayern Munich, and needs just a tie to advance. The atmosphere of these games is great.



April 24th, 2012 at 6:10 PM ^

True.  I met a guy from Manchester on a cruise in 2002 who was a big City fan.  I'm not sure that they were even in the EPL at the time.  He was careful to explain to me, an American, that there were actually 2 Manchester teams, and that City was not United.  I knew this, but I was impressed by his (justifiable at the time) inferiority complex versus United. 


April 24th, 2012 at 12:51 PM ^

I pass on EPL soccer.  Its more like grass hockey than soccer, if you ask me (which you didn't).  The better question is who do you have in the two Champions League games today (Barcelona vs. Chelsea) and tomorrow (Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich)??

P.S.  I'm pretty sure that the Barcelona-Real Madrid clasico last weekend will end up being much more highly viewed than ManU-ManCity.



April 24th, 2012 at 12:54 PM ^

Barca today, Real Madrid tomorrow.

Barca did not get any bounces their way last game and Chelsea got their goal on the only shot they took.

And Real Madrid looked like the best team in the world the other day when they beat Barca.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:42 PM ^

I have Real and Barca advancing, but both need to play a lot better, especially Barca.  They have looked bad the last two games.  Tello sucks, they really need an upgrade at his position in the offseason. 


April 24th, 2012 at 2:02 PM ^

I have no idea why Guardiola kept Tello in as long as he did against Real. He was getting in dangerous positions but it was clear from pretty early on that the moment was too big for him. He did help create the Barca goal, but he squandered at least a half dozen other good opportunities, and I have to believe that either Sanchez, Pedro, or Cesc if he didn't want as much speed, would have done better with the opportunities.


April 24th, 2012 at 2:07 PM ^

I agree.  Tello is clearly a talent but he needs to work on his game.  He tries to rely on his speed to get to the line and it just doesn't work against superior defenses.  On the other hand, I'm a huge fan of Cuenca and his play on the right wing.  He just seems to create opportunities game in and game out.  I'm glad he's starting today.  I also like Cesc's vision.  He definitely should have started.


Jukey Smoot

April 25th, 2012 at 12:33 AM ^

Tello rarely starts, and they don't need to replace him seeing as they have Villa coming back next year (leg is currently broken). They really missed his finishing today against Chelsea. He's their best finisher and one of the only true strikers on the team. He's usually deployed on the left side of their three man front where Tello was for the Real game (although he was more of a number 9 at valencia).


April 24th, 2012 at 1:21 PM ^

Hoping for Chelsea-Bayern, and I believe Bayern is the more likely of the two to advance. Chelsea played great tactically at Stamford Bridge, but Barca showed very little. They miss David Villa. I do think Messi will have a better game at the Nou Camp though. I guess we'll find out later today. 


April 24th, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

Eh, who cares.

You either have the EPL's Yankees or some Nouveau riche club that spent it's way to success.  Either way rooting for one of them means you lose your soul.




April 24th, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

I absolutely despise Ballotelli.  Mancini should be fined if he lets that thug play. 

(And if I'm a flamer for disliking Ballotelli, so be it.  Whoever negged me knows that he's a thug and there's no place for him in the EPL.)



April 24th, 2012 at 1:33 PM ^

coastal blue

April 24th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

Immaturity is retaliating to a hard foul with a harder foul because you can't contain your emotions. 

Thuggery is going after players with an intent to injure for no real reason, which is exactly what he did against Arsenal. 

Either way, he's a disgrace. He's the Ron Artest, Gilbert Arenas type: Tons of talent, will never realize his potential. 


April 24th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

Immature idiot or thug is just semantics.  Ballotelli does things on the field that are likely to seriously injury opposing players (see Gholston's punch on Lewan, for a good football example).  It should not be allowed on the pitch and Man City would be wise to divorce themselves from a player like him.

I've got no problems with Tevez. 


April 24th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

I think the home game will help city. I am hoping a motivated and calm Mario shows up to add a spark off the bench. City may fold against Newcastle away but I think they win the Manchester derby.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:03 PM ^

Don't care -- My guys at Borussia Dortmund just clinched the Bundesliga and they have a shot at the double with the German Cup final in May.


April 25th, 2012 at 10:01 AM ^

better hope Chelsea lose to Bayern/Real.  Cuz if they win the CL final, they take your spot next year.

Or, you have to catch Arsenal... meaning, beating City.  Not holding my breath that happens, but most soccer fans without a dog in the fight are probably rooting for Newcastle, being the out-of-the-ordinary team here.