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 1:28 PM ^

Man City just sealed my Wolves' relegation (it would've happened the next week if not this past weekend anyways).

But I hate both teams. People think the Yankees buy success......watch some Euro footy. It's depressing for a club like mine that does things correct from a business standpoint (doesn't really matter for many of these clubs that finish in the red because their owners can just make up for the losses through their outside investments and corporations and whatever other assets they have). Oh well. I will probably watch but have no rooting interest.

Jukey Smoot

April 25th, 2012 at 3:13 AM ^

I was a big fan of Mick McCarthy and was sad to see him go.

As an Arsenal fan, our plight is not as bad, but it is frustrating to see other teams leapfrog the gunners in terms of talent when Arsene and the board consistently post operating and transfer profits each year by developing young talent and producing quality sides.


April 25th, 2012 at 9:01 PM ^

Mick is one of the biggest reasons why I became a Wolves fan. I started following them the year after he was fired. I think he stands for the right things, but I also think he deserved to be let go. Our front office just completely botch the timing. No manager was going to want to come here with 13 matches to save us from relegation and the transfer window closed. I would have rather had kept him on til the end of the season and let him go afterwards. We'd probably still have a fighting chance to stay up if he were still here.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

I have gotten into soccer over the last few years, and I have always liked the Blues from Man City.  Now that they have the capitol, they are real good.  I have to go with my boys next monday.  Man c have been virtually unbeatable at the etihad, but the stakes are the highest ever for the darby.  Man U clearly knows how the big game atmosphere is and will bring it, but City has some great experience on their side also.  Man C 4-2.

los barcos

April 24th, 2012 at 1:31 PM ^

when i was living in spain i befriended a northern irish man who , because of his thick accent,  kept saying his favorite team was "serie". not wanting to show ignorance (and not having a clue what team he was referring to) i went along with his favorite team as "serie" for weeks until i realized he meant "city" as in manchester city.

so long story short, i will be rooting for city, as well as barcelona.


does anyone have a barca link that i could watch at work? dont know if its on epsn3 but our internet here has that channel blocked anyway.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

I think it will be a draw. And United will be lucky if they draw.

They have been in awful form as of late.  The Everton collapse very reminiscent of their early-season struggles.

Carrick is a decent defensive midfielder, both him and Scholes are ok as passers, but neither have enough creativity or speed to be a true attacking threat from the midfield that United desperately needs.  Giggs is good as a pinch hitter.  Young/Nani/Valencia obviously have the wings covered, but teams have been overloading the wings and daring United to attack from the middle.

Cleverly showed flashes before he got injured early in the season.

Eden Hazard, Luka Modric, Wes Schneider, in that order, are all needed playmakers @ midfield for United in the offseason, 20 times champions or not.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:47 PM ^

If United got two of those midfielders next year, wow, they will be incredible.  I picked up Hazard for cheap in Fifa 12 and he is incredible in the third year of my manager stint.  Love Fifa 12, I can play 4 games in the time it would take to play 1 NCAA 12 game.


April 24th, 2012 at 1:59 PM ^

Their fanbase is insufferable, but all things considered, they're an admirable team to root for.  Much like the Red Wings, everyone hates their success, but their roster is mostly built through youth and their academy is outstanding. 

As much as I love City's jerseys and their new ownership doing whatever it takes to build a winner, they're a jumbled mess of an All-Star team that can click occasionally(like their 6-1 thrashing of Man U earlier), or be the sideshow they've been the past few months.  David Silva and Samir Nasri are two of the best players in the world - they've both tailed off dramatically the past month or so(especially Silva).  Dropping Balotelli was smart, and it opens the door to the real wild card next week - Tevez.  If he's truly back in form, then Ferdinand and the boys are going to have their hands full on defense.

I still say Man U wins, but I'm not against watching some City magic.  Honestly, next season can't come soon enough - English football has been embarrassing this year, but I believe Arsenal is destined for greatness next season.  Hopefully changes at Liverpool and Chelsea will bring the league to prominence.  Right now its one good team(ManU), one really good team that's also really bad(City), and those lovable Magpies lurking around.  Meh.


April 24th, 2012 at 2:27 PM ^

I root against both, but I have much more respect for Man U as an organization than for City. I suppose I'd rather see City win one title for their long-term fans who supported them before they started throwing gobs of cash around. Man U has won enough titles.


coastal blue

April 24th, 2012 at 2:14 PM ^

I can't imagine a world where United has a three point lead over City with 3 games left and doesn't finish the job. 

Much like Chelsea last year, they'll pull out a victory, ensuring the 20th title in club history, two more than Littlepool. And once again, they'll do it with a team that, while more expensive than most, is an actual team, not a collection of auction items. 

2-0 United. 


April 24th, 2012 at 9:19 PM ^

Stand corrected.

Of course, following United, we don't have to worry about getting into the 2nd tier European  tournament by winning the 4th-most important title a BPL team can play for.

I guess it's an honor for a mid-tier team though. Are you upset that the other half of the Merseyside Derby are above you?

Blue in Yarmouth

April 24th, 2012 at 2:53 PM ^

but I see this ending in a draw or City win. Perhaps it is just because I can't get that 6-1 drubbing out of my head, I don't know. I will be rooting ofr Man U, but this will be a tough one to call. 


April 24th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

Ahahahahhahahahha Barca fans!


Torres put the nail in the coffin.....Torres!  


(Yes, a United fan still butthurt after 2011, 2009)


April 24th, 2012 at 5:28 PM ^

Also, I hate how people call us the Yankees. Since Ronaldo left, we haven't used that money. We haven't bought any insane purchase in years. Alot of our talent is home grown. I would actually say the Red Wings are a great comparision. Long history of winng, lots of talent from the farm, normally willing to spend if needed (but not crazy like city), but not spending as of late (see the $5 mill the wings didnt use this year). 

City is a bunch of hired guns.

Sir Alex finds away.

Glory, Glory, Man United. Time for 21.


(note: someone will complian about my use of we, I don't care)


April 24th, 2012 at 9:15 PM ^

Recent purchases:

1) Ashley Young.  Yes he flops, but he is a great presence on the wing, has scored some killer goals, and bring an added dimension off set pieces

2) Phil Jones. Brings versatility as either a defensive midfielder or in the central defense.

3) Da Gea.  Goalkeeper of the future...as soon as he settles the f*ck down.

4) Chris Smalling. Again, versatile defender, will probably be taking over Ferdinand's shoes.

5) Chicarito

That, with other odds and ends, accounts for the 80 million pound transfer fee for Ronaldo.



April 25th, 2012 at 10:19 PM ^

Not going to make a prediction on Monday itself, but I'm almost postive City won't win the league. Doubt they take three at Newcastle and against United.

But, allow me to offer a defense of City's Arab oil money spending spree. The EPL was created as a selfish money grab by the top clubs who wanted to kick less money down the pyramid. Then money was consolidated again when the Champion's League was expanded and the top four teams got a huge chunk of money no one else got a share of. If you weren't a powerful club when these two changes happened, you were left behind. Look at the list of EPL champions, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, and Blackburn are the only teams to win it in twenty years. United and Arsenal were among the historic powerhouses who created the new financial system and are both coached by the best managers of the premier league era. Blackburn and Chelsea took the City approach of being bought by a rich guy who pumped a ton of cash into the team. Unfortunately, that's the only way for a team to go from midtable to contenders. Don't blame City, blame the system. 

And what's with the United homegrown players thing I read a couple times in this thread? Giggs, Scholes, Welbeck, and Evans are the only academy products contributing at all this season. More than City, but it's not a lot.