IT was Manchester 2 North London 0 at the weekend as the North conquered the South in what Sky Sports billed as ‘Revenge Sunday.’
The first instalment was a quite breath taking affair between Manchester City and Spurs. It was a painfully slow first half.
However, the second half was one of the most thrilling I have witnessed all season. Four goals in ten minutes. City stormed into a two goal lead as Nasri raced through a porous Spurs defence to hammer home. Moments later Lescott bundled over from a corner to leave City with a commanding lead.
However, City handed Spurs a lifeline. Stefan Savic was horrific all afternoon and he missed a simple header to leave Defore one on one with Hart. The little striker calmly rounded the keeper and scored. However, even at this stage I expected City to respond immediately or Mancini would sacrifice an attacker for Nigel de Jong.
It was going to take something magic from the away side to level the scores. Step forward Gareth Bale. A truly stunning effort and a technique which very few in the world can master. Bale has the makings of a superstar. Not only are his attacking attributes outstanding, I personally think his work as a defender and cover for his full back is superb.
He started his career as a left back at Southampton and he has matured into a rampaging left winger.
Now what happened in the last ten minutes dominated the back pages of the papers on Monday morning. Ballotelli soon trotted onto the field with his trademark swagger and he should have left it with his trademark ‘Why Always Me’ sulk. What he did to Scott Parker was totally inexcusable. That sort of behaviour has no place on a football field and his stamp was a disgrace.
Of course as fate would have it Balotelli scored the winner from the penalty spot, only moments after Jermaine Defoe somehow slid the ball wide in front of a gaping goal.
I sincerely hope Balotelli is severely punished for his actions.
To conclude ‘Revenge Sunday’ Manchester United took on Arsenal. It was clear that there would not be a repeat of the 8-2 mauling the Gunners received at Old Trafford. Nonetheless it was entertaining tie. United looked strong down the flanks and scored both their goals after a mixture of silky wing-play and horrific defending.
Arsenal had chances to get themselves ahead at 1-1. Van Persie will be having nightmares over that miss which could prove so crucial. I make that 10-3 to United on aggregate!
The turning point in the tie was certainly the substitution of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain for Arshavin. The stocky winger was having a superb game and he helped out in both defence and attack. Arshavin replaced him and did neither. The Arsenal fans were certainly unhappy and they have every right to be. Arshavin certainly has the ability but his attitude over the last season or two absolutely stinks. He is yet another so called world class footballer happy enough to pick up his considerable pay cheque each week and do little to show that he actually deserves it.
So it is advantage to Manchester. At the moment it is hard to see past United or City for the title. What was a four horse title race has turned into a 2 team sprint to the finish line!