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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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