3 is City’s magic number – MAN UTD 0 MAN CITY 3

He declined the invitation – he had no desire to acknowledge the fans. Anyway, his hands were pre-occupied with his face buried deep within.

Nonetheless the chorus boomed out unabated: ‘Moysey, Moysey give us a wave, Moysey give us a wave…’ as the bank of 3,000 visiting fans gave it LARGE to ‘The Chosen One’.

Lovebites & everything - Edin & Samir celebrate. Courtesy @MCFC

Lovebites & everything – Edin & Samir celebrate. Courtesy @MCFC

It was bad enough seeing the last vestiges of fight and pride dissipate from his inherited mish-mash of a Manchester United side, but here, once again was David Moyes in Old Trafford default mode…baffled, with bulging Gollum-like eyes and bewilderment written all over his face.

Previously the nemesis of Manchester City in his Everton heyday, Moyes was reduced to a figure of fun, a pantomime villain getting his come uppance.

The red-infested media had tried to bill the Manchester derby as a clash of the titans but now it was exposed as a cruel sham – this was a mismatch between a certain David and a team of Goliaths, all heavyweights in sky blue.

Silva Machine - Merlin the Magnificent. Courtesy @MCFC

Silva Machine – Merlin the Magnificent. Courtesy @MCFC

David stood proud among them and emerged victorious, but his name was Silva – not Moyes.

The Spanish midfield magician sprinkled his stardust around Old Trafford, weaving his spells of football sorcery as City triumphed majestically over their once feared foe in the now renamed ‘Theatre of Screams’.

In what is rapidly becoming business as usual – this was City’s third consecutive Premier League win at The Swamp – The Gran Canarian Master helped implement the Chilean Engineer’s plan to devastating effect.

City had smashed United 3-0 – it could so easily have been six – and served notice of their intention to take their Premier League title back to the Etihad.

Oh what a night - City had a party at The Swamp. Courtesy @MCFC

Oh what a night – City had a party at The Swamp. Courtesy @MCFC

A two-goal salvo from an impressive Edin Dzeko and a tasty smear of cake icing from Yaya Toure – which effectively exposed 60,000 empty seats – emphasised the yawning chasm in class and ability between the red and blue sides of Manchester.

Pre-match Moyes had suggested to a sycophantic press corps that United weren’t far behind their noisy neighbours – irrespective of the then 12 point gap.

To use an analogy, it’s a bit like saying an ‘ordinary Joe’ – a man in the street – is only 10 seconds behind Usain Bolt in a 100m sprint – still on the start line while the other guy is busy collecting his winner’s medal.

Last season United fans had taunted City as the worst defending champions in Premier League history, as Roberto Mancini’s men surrendered the title by 11 points in Fergie’s final hurrah.

Edin for the title - Goal number 19 for Dzeko got the party started. Courtesy @MCFC

Edin for the title – Goal number 19 for Dzeko got the party started. Courtesy @MCFC

City, with nine games left to play compared to United’s seven, are now 15 points clear of Sir Baconface’s leftovers…enough said.

The Sky Blue’s ascent back to the PL summit is still work in progress but, if the conversion rate of games-in-hand to points accrued continues in similar vein, it’s only a matter of time.

It took an effervescent City all of 42 seconds to get the party going at an angst ridden Old Trafford. The veneer of false optimism following Manure’s wins over world beaters Olympiacos and West Ham, was mercilessly put into perspective.

Oozing verve and vitality, City were all over their hated rivals like an angry rash – one that matched the rubicund complexion of their hosts – flushed with embarrassment at their staggering ineptitude.

As it was when Liverpool thrashed them 3-0, United were clueless apart from being well versed in the dark arts of the game, as befits The Dark Side.

Man of the Match - Fernandinho was the foundation stone for City's win. Courtesy @MCFC

Man of the Match – Fernandinho was the foundation stone for City’s win. Courtesy @MCFC

The mop-haired muppet Fellaini the felon, should have been red-carded for a blatant and vicious elbow to Zabaleta’s throat, and Welbeck’s follow through assault on City’s Argentine warrior should have seen him sent off.

Referee Michael Oliver – Howard Webb’s successor in waiting as Old Trafford’s most favoured son – saw fit to only book the assailants, God knows why.

Even Sky TV’s excellent Gary Neville and pundit for a night Ginger Minger/Ninja Paul Scholes – both rabid reds – agreed that United shown have been reduced to nine men before half time.

It’s perhaps perversely pleasing that they stayed on the field – both to no effect – because it denied Moyes and the rest of the Trafford Troglodytes the excuse of losing because of a loss of personnel.

Apparently Fergie’s Boys only lost 6-1 because superstar centre back Jonny Evans was sent off!

French Connection - Nasri has been outstanding this season. Courtesy @MCFC

French Connection – Nasri has been outstanding this season. Courtesy @MCFC

From the puerile to the pure, City were majestic and unstoppable on the night. The fluency which had seen them running up rugby score wins before Christmas was back with a vengeance.

Even without their most potent scoring threat, Sergio Aguero, City bristled with firepower – Dzeko, Yaya, Silva, Nasri, Navas, Fernandinho – all confident and comfortable on the ball.

United’s ageing, decrepit and discombobulated defence bent, buckled and broke in under a minute.

City started like Red Bull swigging greyhounds, setting siege to United’s goal. It was breached within a minute via a Samir Nasri assist and De Gea’s post.

The mayhem began as Silva wreaked havoc in the penalty box with a darting dribble. Rafael’s excellent tackle on Merlin provided a momentary respite as the ball fell to Nasri.

Dribbling Dave - Silva had City fans drooling with his outstanding showing at OT. Courtesy @MCFC

Dribbling Dave – Silva had City fans drooling with his outstanding showing at OT. Courtesy @MCFC

The Frenchman’s shot cannoned off the post to a waiting Dzeko who buried the ball into the Stretford End net from three yards out. It was the quickest PL goal United had ever conceded at home and it set the tone for the evening’s entertainment.

Dzeko, displaying a hunger, desire and predatory instincts not seen often enough, could have doubled the lead, but saw his close range effort brilliantly palmed away by the overworked De Gea.

City’s whirlwind effort began to ebb as the half progressed but United’s riposte was nothing more than a puff of wind, apart from the double assault on Zabaleta. Ref Oliver needs to be quizzed about Fellaini’s non-red card – it was a stinking decision.

Kompany and Fernandinho were correctly booked for fouls and then low and behold, merkin-wearing Rooney scythed down Dzeko and Oliver did nothing more than have a chummy chat with Wayne the untouchable.

Happy chappies - Dzeko and Nasri oozed class and determination. Courtesy @MCFC

Happy chappies – Dzeko and Nasri oozed class and determination. Courtesy @MCFC

Oliver’s decision-making was unfathomable and definitely worthy of closer independent scrutiny.

City’s often unsung hero, the tireless Fernandinho, was within a fraction of an inch of doubling the lead with a reflex header that owed more to instinct than intent.

The miss only delayed the inevitable.

Dzeko, giving one of his finest displays in City blue, effectively settled the hugely lopsided affair as early as the 56th minute. Ghosting in past the wreckage known as Rio Ferdinand, the striker expertly volleyed home from Nasri’s corner kick for his 20th goal of the season.

2-0 - & cue the Poznan. Courtesy @MCFC

2-0 – & cue the Poznan. Courtesy @MCFC

As his name echoed around Old Trafford’s accommodating acoustics, and with arms outstretched, he joyously absorbed the accolades from City’s ecstatic supporters. Seconds later the Poznan was reactivated in honour of the Bosnian.

It begs the question why doesn’t Edin do this more often? On this performance he is more than worth keeping at City, but he has to deliver week in and week out.

Pellegrini, showing that any early season naivety was well and truly history, began a series of substitutions that ensured the win.  Garcia replaced Navas, Milner came on for Nasri and Negredo’s arrival thwarted any hopes of an Edin hat-trick.

It showed the team ethic that Pellegrini holds dear and a clinical awareness of how to see out winning positions.

21st Celebration - Yaya hits his 21st goal of a magnificent season. Courtesy @MCFC

21st Celebration – Yaya hits his 21st goal of a magnificent season. Courtesy @MCFC

Joe Hart produced a good save when Welbeck tried a ‘fancy-dan’ back-heeled effort and the City defence eased to a fifth consecutive PL clean sheet. The whole unit of Zaba, Kompany, Clichy and the much maligned Martin Demichelis, was formidable against the flimsy, futile United advance.

It was somehow apt that City’s man of the moment. Yaya, should bring the curtain down in the last minute with a low, powerful shot from 12 yards that had De Gea, once again, clutching thin air.

City were imperious, moving to within three points of table-topping Chelsea with two games in hand and a vastly superior goal difference of +52 over Maureen’s +39.

It was United’s 10th defeat of the season – a new PL record for City’s red brethren – and 6th at home, a feat they hadn’t achieved since 1978. Further proof, if any were needed, of David Moyes’ football genius. United are now guaranteed their lowest ever points haul in the Premier League era.

Sliding in - Yaya and his team mates brought United to their knees. Courtesy @MCFC

Sliding in – Yaya and his team mates brought United to their knees. Courtesy @MCFC

He may have ignored the invitation to wave at the sarcastic City fans, but he’ll have to pay attention if the United hierarchy choose to waive his continuing employment in the red hot Old Trafford managerial chair.

Lest we forget Moyes’ sterling efforts and his assertion that United should ‘…aspire to be like City…’ I urge every fellow blue to back the manager and #SaveOurDave #SOD!



By David Walker




  1. March 26, 2014  8:31 am by Mole Rocks Reply

    A truly accomplished performance from our City heroes.

    Nothing more I can add to your review apart from stating another 'final' beckons on Saturday versus Arsenal.

    Come on City, keep believing.

    • March 26, 2014  9:23 am by David Walker Reply

      The number of games still to play grow smaller as our points haul grows bigger - a nice equation methinks. It really is ours to lose now - best make sure we don't. Thanks Carl.

  2. March 26, 2014  8:39 am by Fifthcolumnblue Reply

    Nothing like a derby victory to put you in a positive frame of mind! Hate to be a downer though, but this victory will mean absolutely nothing if we don't take this form into the games against Everton, Liverpool and the Arsenal!

    P.S. best thing about scoring after 43 seconds? It was already our second chance of the game!

    P.P.S. I urge everyone who is on Twitter to contact @FA to register their displeasure with Oliver's performance last night - they will probably do the usual of hiding their heads in the sand, but the more publicity that nasty elbow receives, the greater their embarrassment - who knows, if we kick up enough of a fuss they might even do something about it. Won't hold my breath

    • March 26, 2014  9:26 am by David Walker Reply

      Agree on Oliver - well of course I do - something was amiss with the Fellaini assault on Zaba. Corruption in top flight English football - why not?

  3. March 26, 2014  9:08 am by Guvnor Reply

    Michael Oliver got very little criticism in this excellent blog, Well done my scribe keep it up

    • March 26, 2014  9:24 am by David Walker Reply

      I can rewrite it - the ref was shocking. Cheers Guvnor.

  4. March 26, 2014  10:36 am by Andy Devereux Reply

    It is astonishing how bad Utd are and Moyes looks completely out of his depth.......but as you say David long may it continue :) City were brilliant all over the pitch and if we continue this form till the end there can surely be only one outcome Manchester City Champions 2013/14. Excellent read David.....as is the norm :)

    • March 26, 2014  10:49 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Andy - it's looking good at the moment but it's not over.

  5. March 26, 2014  10:47 am by Nev Artingstall Reply

    Hi David. Not commented for a while but still read all your posts. Agree with all you say but a special mention has to go to, as you say, a much maligned MDm. Apart from 1 stray pass I thought he was excellent last night. 5 clean sheets on the bounce now with him in defence can't be coincidence and credit must also go to our MP. He stuck with him when most were calling for him to be dropped. Roll on Saturday.

    • March 26, 2014  10:51 am by David Walker Reply

      Cheers Nev - we do need to bring in a new CB or two in the summer BUT if MDM ends up with a PL medal, having played maybe 25 matches, then good on him!

  6. March 26, 2014  11:49 am by carol Reply

    brilliant Davy, our shock and awe tactics in the first 25 minutes actually allowed me to enjoy a derby for the first time in years!

    • March 26, 2014  12:42 pm by David Walker Reply

      You didn't come out from behind the settee did you - good gracious, whatever next?

  7. March 26, 2014  12:05 pm by John Evans7 TT Reply

    A very professional performance by "David and a team of Goliaths".

    It’s fascinating watching Pellegrini’s tactics evolve on his voyage of discovery through the BPL. Even when totally dominant In the second half, he resisted the desire to play with two up front and instead brought on Garcia to further strengthen a dominant midfield. Apart from 10 minute blitz’s at the beginning of each half, City played well within themselves, keeping their powder dry for ‘the gunners’ on Saturday.

    Last night was embarrassingly one sided. Mata running round like a lost sheep. Fellaini and Welbeck auditioning as cage fighters. Fellaini had to be substituted before even the supine Oliver was left with no option but to flash him scarlet. How the rags managed to win the title last year beggars belief?

    2 Samuel 1:19 “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!”

    • March 26, 2014  12:44 pm by David Walker Reply

      Very biblical & with Jesus in our ranks we must be optimistic about a good showing over Easter. Thanks fella.

      • March 26, 2014  11:09 pm by John Evans7 TT Reply

        Quote of the week.

        According to the Mailonline when asked if he was fortunate to escape with a yellow card, United midfielder Marouane Fellaiatio said: 'I don't know, but I certainly didn't do it on purpose. I put my arm up to try and protect possession of the ball, and Zabaleta bounced (his jaw) against it. He was unlucky to make contact".

        If true, then Pablo is certainly harder than Jaap Stam!

        • March 27, 2014  8:08 am by David Walker Reply

          Oh so right John - Fellaini is a knobhead with comment like that & Zaba is as tough as a chicken breast cooked by my mother-in-law! We ought to have a song about Zaba and Jaap Stam...

  8. March 26, 2014  1:33 pm by Graham Ward Reply

    A magnificent performance, that outclassed and destroyed the reigning PL and WWF champions.
    I would have loved to have seen a camera shot of the directors box on full time to see the reaction of Messers Charlton and Ferguson.....not in my lifetime indeed!
    I was surprised how easily United surrendered possession in dangerous areas to us. Blind panic due to our whirlwind start?
    Merlin pulled the strings, and was peerless, and fair play to Dzeko, two on the spot finishes. All 14 were superb.

    • March 26, 2014  1:39 pm by David Walker Reply

      It's bliss isn't it. A battle very easily won & a war to complete by May 11.

  9. March 26, 2014  2:19 pm by GeorgeInIsrael Reply

    I don't know what the pundits in the UK said, but the idiots in Israel still haven't realised that bringing on Garcia for Navas isn't a defensive move, but a tactical move that changes the shape of the team, as it releases Yaya to go further forward.

    I went with my son to watch the game in a Tel Aviv pub. We got there 5 minutes before kick off and were confronted by a sea of red. They looked at us dressed in sky blue in astonishment. "Why do you support City?" "Because I was born in Manchester". The game kicked off and the red scum started a wall of noise. 45 seconds later, there were only 2 people in the pub making a noise :-)

    I like the "Theatre of Screams" name, but considering the noise volume there yesterday, I think that Moyesoleum is a better idea.

    • March 26, 2014  2:24 pm by David Walker Reply

      Nice one George, if ever I have need of the 'Moyesoleum', you will of course, get a mention in dispatches. Glad you & your boy had a great night - wonderful time to be a City blue.

  10. March 26, 2014  2:53 pm by Philip Entwistle Reply

    You always lived in hope if your a City fan of some years standing, but expectation is now at the forefront.
    As Carol mentioned, this was possibly the first Derby I can remember since the early 70's where I expected rather than hoped we would win. Seeing this team evolve throughout the season under MP into this formidable machine has been a joy to behold, Silva and Nasri oiling the wheels, Kompany the rock solid chassis, Yaya driving us relentlessly forward, Aguero, Negrado and Dzeko the battering ram, smashing there way through defence after defence after defence. This machine is no Lamborghini as the faithful sing, but a Rolls Royce purring it's way to the Premier League title.
    Arsenal - Liverpool - Everton - bring it on.

    • March 26, 2014  5:23 pm by David Walker Reply

      Love it Mr Entwistle - absolutely love it!

  11. March 26, 2014  6:33 pm by Josh Cannon Reply

    Top piece - as ever- David. Just not quite as good as the look on Neville and Scholes' faces last night!

    Need to push on now and collect maximum points from the matches left!

    • March 26, 2014  6:37 pm by David Walker Reply

      Scholes was pure comedy gold! Thanks fella.

  12. March 26, 2014  7:55 pm by DOUG HENSHAW Reply

    Shock & Awe is just perfect Dave it was brilliant to see & David Silva lived up to his nickname of Merlin the girls from the dark side couldn't handle him he was turning them inside out. But all the team & the subs all played there part but dont think we ever got of second gear all night. Yes the ref was unbelievable poor they should of had two off at least why he dint only he knows Welltwat even asked him why he had booked him. Demi had another good game its done him the power of good since i stopped critiquing him. It was a great night & a well deserved win at the swamp. Moyes Moyes give us a wave was just brilliant. Talking to some utd fans they are hoping the Glaziers see the harm Moyes is doing to the BRAND & get shut of Moyes they are now turning to the very people they hate sad isn't it. Great read Dave you get better as you get older. #Moyesin #TrustOurMP'

    • March 26, 2014  8:01 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Doug - I enjoyed getting stuck into that one. #SOD!

  13. March 27, 2014  12:07 am by Mark Shaw Reply

    Another quality piece David.

    It's a shame that the PGMOB has no public accountability so that Michael Oliver and his ilk (Chris Foy, Anthony Taylor and Andre Marriner) are held to account for their ineptitude. Early 21st Century football with early 20th Century standard refereeing! But that's just my opinion, not that it counts for much :-)

    • March 27, 2014  6:37 am by David Walker Reply

      It just so happens that your opinion of referees is the same as mine - most of them are undeniably crap. The levels of incompetence are breathtakingly bad and there are seemingly endless excuses for their ineptitude eg the game is so fast, 'simulation' etc. What was Michael Oliver's excuse as he stood 5 yards from Fellaini's assault on Zaba? More accountability & enhanced technology so we get the correct decisions. Thanks for commenting.

      • March 27, 2014  10:42 pm by John Evans7 TT Reply

        You get what you deserve, which unfortunately is me on a soap box.

        David you know my opinion of bent referees like the mysteriously wealthy Eriksson, However, like it or not, until match officials are shown proper respect the standard of refereeing will continue on its downward spiral.

        Football could learn a lot from Rugby's moral codes, and mores. It's 'laws' were established in the middle of the 19th century by the same Corinthian plutocrats who set out soccer's 'rules'.

        1. The referee is God, even when crap.
        2. Abuse referee, and be penalised (although there are plenty of ventriloquists).
        3. Argue with referee and be penalised.
        4. Don't retreat from free kicks immediately and be penalised.
        5. 10 minutes in Sin Bin for yellow card.
        6. TV replays.
        7. Line outs (throw in’s) must be taken at or behind point where ball crossed the line.
        8. Any official found cheating (or worse) given penal servitude in the colonies.

        And finally, shake hands after the game, not before.

        * The referee is God even if crap.
        * Abuse referee, and be penalised (although there are plenty of ventriloquists).
        * Argue with referee and be penalised.
        * Don't retreat from free kicks immediately and be penalised.
        * 10 minutes in Sin Bin for yellow card.
        * Clearer advantage law.
        * TV replays.
        * Line outs (throw ins) must be taken at or behind point where ball crossed the line.
        * Any official found cheating (or worse) penal servitude in the colonies.

        And finally, shake hands after the game, not before.

  14. March 27, 2014  9:20 am by Bill Glas Reply

    David, you are the complete wordsmith. This is a superb review (OK - a little blue tinted, maybe) and should be compulsory reading for all blues. I very much take the point about Welbeck and Fellaini NOT walking, because it removes what would have been your average rag's defence that City were only playing against nine/ten men, as occurred after the wonderful 1-6 triumph, when Evans was sent off. Keep up the good work.

    • March 27, 2014  1:00 pm by David Walker Reply

      Blue tinted - whatever do you mean Mr G? What an outrageous assertion! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  15. March 27, 2014  12:21 pm by guy burke Reply

    Absolutely brilliant blog as always , I was actually quite downbeat after Barcelona and felt the team had hit "the wall " and run out of steam - glad to say after 3 decent wins, I was totally wrong . Before Tuesday night I would have been delighted with 4 points off Stretford & Arsenal , now I would be slightly disappointed if City do not beat "the arse " as I believe it could be a pivotal win, that would certainly put the wind up the "special needs one " ? think LFC were a tad premature with their victory parade around Anfield prior to last nights match ! although they are a threat they are relying on both City and Chelski to stumble , even if they were to beat either or both of said clubs at home it would merely hand the advantage back to the other team ? is it only me who thinks Neil Warnock turned down Forest because he has one eye on a bigger club who also wear red shirts & white shorts !!!

    • March 27, 2014  12:59 pm by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Guy.What, Warnock is heading for Barnsley?

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