Manchester United defeated Manchester City 3-2 on Sunday in the English FA Cup. The game was played at the City of Manchester Stadium in front of a sell out crowd. The last two times the teams had faced off against each other there had been a total of 12 goals, 6-1 to Manchester City at Old Trafford – in the English Premier League – and 3-2 to Manchester United at Wembley – for the Community Shield clash.
This time Manchester United ended up on top again. The reds took a relatively early lead thanks to a Wayne Rooney header via an Antonio Valencia cross. Minutes later Vincent Kompany, the Manchester City captain and core of their defence, was dismissed for a dangerous tackle on Nani. Once Manchester City were down to ten men the result was rarely in doubt, especially as not too long after the sending off Danny Welbeck had doubled the lead with a spectacular finish and then, before half time, Wayne Rooney scored a third to make the lead 3-0.
The sending off of Vincent Kompany was rather harsh and, most pundits agreed, probably the wrong decision. Not withstanding, interpreted technically and to the letter of the law it was an understandable call made by the referee. Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City manager, and his assistant David Platt, obviously disagreed and showed their dissatisfaction quite publicly on the sideline. In the second half a rejuvenated Manchester City responded admirably, finding what seemed at first like a consolation from an Alexander Kholarov free kick and then another from Sergio Aguero. Finding themselves only a goal behind, despite being a man down, Manchester City started to believe that they could find a way back into the tie and stay in the competition.
Alas, it was not to be. Manchester City did come close, testing the Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindergaard on a couple of occasions, but all in all the result seemed fair and appropriate. After the match Manchester United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson lamented the fact that his team switched off in the second half and allowed the sky blues to find a way back into the match. Roberto Mancini was disappointed with the referee but Sir Alex Ferguson maintained that Chris Foy, the referee, had made the right call. Manchester United now have the opportunity to win the FA Cup, being entered into the 4th round draw, and usurp the current holders, their rivals, Manchester City.