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United 3 City 1 (agg 4-3)

“The city is ours, the city is ours, fuck off back to London, the city is ours”, they sang with wide grins as the first leg at Eastlands came to an end last week. Eight days later and they had been silenced. For all their millions (and all our debt for that matter) United can still show their bitter neighbours up when need be, and this was done int he best possible way.

Even Sky don’t manage to hype games up to the extent that this one was. From interviews with the police and local pubs to Tevez’s old school teacher the week before, the build up was immense. “Gary Neville is a red, he hates Tevez” came out the Stretford End with “Carlos Tevez is a blue, he hates Munichs” being sung back in return. Even twenty minutes before kick off the ground was nearly full and both sides were in fine voice.

On the pitch the game just did not live up the hype in the first half. Given had very little to do while City sat back a lot, yet still managed to create a few good chances. Tevez, when not rolling around on the floor, was very impressive but luckily could not find the net. At half time I felt slightly deflated by what I had seen, and wondered if we would find that killer blow when Rooney stranded up front by himself.

It usually happens that Fergie proves me wrong, and Rooney playing alone upfront led to the first goal. What a turn, what a ball to Giggs and what a finish by Scholsey. 1-0 and the ground erupted. People tumbled down the aisles and lost their phones- it was chaos. United had seized the initiative and controlled the game with relative ease. Carrick’s goal ten minutes later was the icing on the cake, or so we thought. It was well deserved, a fantastic finish and again send the crowd mental.

City’s goal came out of nowehere and really did silence us, albeit temporarily. And Tevez of all people. The quiet blues suddenly found their voices and extra time loomed large. Perhaps it was fate that they would knock us out with Tevez scoring the decisive goals. And when Given saved off Fletcher in stoppage time your thought our chances had all gone. Queue Wayne Rooney. The ground went abolsutely mental. Giggs had torn them apart again. They had lost to us in stoppage time again. 4-3 (on aggregate) again.

The celebrations at the final whistle were unique. never before have I seen the ground covered in green and gold scarves all being swung in the air. On an incredible night a clear message was sent to the owners and the board. This is OUR city, OUR club and you will never understand why nights like this mean so much.   

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