He may be arrogant and cocky, but surely everyone would agree that Mario Balotelli is a class act after he scored a double in Manchester City‘s humiliating 1 – 6 defeat over Manchester United on Sunday.
‘It was a bad one, I can’t believe it’, said Sir Alex Ferguson after the match. It was the heaviest defeat for Sir Alex in his 25 years at Old Tafford.
‘The red card killed us,’ said Ferguson. Jonny Evans received a red card at the start of the second half which obviously had a huge impact on the game.
Goals for City: Balotelli 22, 60, Aguero 68, Dzeko 90, 90+3, Silva 90+1
As football fans, it’s a belief we try and cling to, but it’s a noble sentiment that seems to be fading faster than a vegetarian on a hunting trip.
This week finally sees the end of the long tug-of-war between Manchester City and Arsenal over the services of midfielder Samir Nasri. Nasri completed his move to City on Wednesday for a fee in the region of a £23 million, adding him to an already long list of top shelf, expensive players now sporting the baby-blue strip.
If someone told you five years ago that Manchester City would be League title and Champions League contenders off the back of an FA Cup win in the near future, you’d most likely have told them to piss off (incidentally, City finished in 14th position in the 2006/2007 season with less than half their 1st placed neighbors score). You would do so, because any half assed football fan knows it takes time to build a club with a winning pedigree. Not so?
Manchester City have qualified to play Champions League next year after they beat Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 0 at the City of Manchester Stadium on Tuesday night. This after the owner of City Sheikh Mansour invested more than £1 billion in the club and spent over £350 million on players.
And just to make the night even more sweet for the City owner and manager Roberto Mancini, the goal that sent them there was scored by the same man who denied them last year, Peter Crouch.
The Tottenham forward’s own goal after half an hour was enough to take City nine points clear of the Londoners, and out of Liverpool‘s reach as well with two games to spare.
And, though City fans were watching through splayed fingers at times as their team sat back on their lead and allowed their visitors to attack, they can now look forward to Saturday’s FA Cup final with Stoke knowing an end to their 35-year wait for a trophy will complete a perfect season.
Yaya Toure scored to take Manchester City through to the FA Cup final and thereby ending Manchester United‘s treble dreams. The scoreline was 1 – 0 at Wembley and City now hope to end their 35-year trophy drought.
A poor clearance from Edwin Van der Sar was picked up by teammate Michael Carrick, who passed straight to Toure. The Ivory Coast international stormed past United captain Nemanja Vidic, who was attempting to tug at his shirt, and slotted the ball between Van der Sar’s legs.
City last reached the final in 1981 and hasn’t won a major title since the 1976 League Cup.
“It’s fantastic for the club, for the players and fantastic for the fans, because they have been without for 35 years,’’ Toure said.
Carroll, the most expensive English player after his 35 million pound ($57,28 million) transfer from Newcastle in January, lashed in the opener from the edge of the box after 13 minutes and added his second shortly after Dirk Kuyt’s strike.
City’s first half went from bad to worse after striker and captain Carlos Tevez hobbled off with a hamstring injury and is set to miss the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United on Saturday.
Kuyt slotted the ball neatly into the net on 34 minutes before Carroll’s second, a header from a Raul Meireles cross, left Liverpool in sixth place on 48 points with six games remaining. City remain fourth on 56 points from 32 matches.
Adam Johnson, making his first start since injuring his ankle in January, opened the scoring in the ninth minute and skipper Carlos Tevez doubled the Blues’ advantage on the quarter-hour mark from the penalty spot.
Second-half strikes from David Silva, Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure completed the rout as City leapfrogged Chelsea in the table and moved further clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the race for Champions League football.
Roberto Mancini’s side are now six points ahead of Spurs, who do have a match in hand.
Sunderland, meanwhile, have gone seven league matches without a victory and need rapid improvement if they are to avoid being dragged into the relegation dogfight.
Liverpool were trailing Braga 1-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie and, although Andy Carroll started his first game for the club, the Reds struggled to produce clear-cut chances and were held to a 0-0 draw.
Liverpool, who have qualified for Europe every year since 1999, will have to finish fifth or above in the Premier League if they are to be involved next season.
Mario Balotelli was sent off as Manchester City failed to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit against Dynamo Kiev, with a 1-0 win on the night not enough to prevent them crashing out of the Europa League.
Balotelli was issued a straight red card for a crashing 36th-minute challenge on Goran Popov, but City gave themselves hope three minutes later when Aleksandar Kolarov hit a low free-kick under Oleksandr Shovkovskiy.
The Ukrainians defended deep in the second half and restricted City to few chances, threatening to make the game safe themselves when Denis Garmash had a header cleared off the line but holding on for their last eight place.
Rangers – having secured a 0-0 draw in the Netherlands in the first leg – were defeated 1-0at home by PSV Eindhoven. Jeremain Lens scored in the 13th minute and it proved enough to send the Eredivisie side through as the hosts struggled to provide a response.