English Premiership

650m to watch Manchester war

2012-04-30 19:47
Rafael and Carlos Tevez in an earlier derby clash (File)

Manchester - An estimated global audience of 650 million fans in 212 countries is expected to watch what is being billed as the most significant game ever played in English club soccer on Monday when Manchester City host Manchester United in the English Premier League.

United manager Alex Ferguson said it is the title decider and the most important derby he has faced in his 26 years at the club given his side are three points clear of their rivals at the top with three games left.

His rival Roberto Mancini reckoned former United striker and rehabilitated City returnee Carlos Tevez is "destined to score the most memorable goal in the history of this club".

It is all set for quite a showdown starting at 21:00 (SA time).

Hours before kickoff there was a real air of excited anticipation in the streets of the city centre.

Souvenir sellers were already in place selling "half-and-half" scarves, prominently displaying "Manchester City v Manchester United, April 30 2012" woven into their fabric while huge City and United flags fluttered above their stalls.

A local ticket agency advertising two tickets for the match said they were some still available at £1 500 each "with an unobstructed view of the pitch" while bookmakers Ladbrokes said they were expecting to take more than £100m in bets, the biggest figure on a single match in England.

There was a steady stream of fans heading early to the east of the City where City's stadium is situated.

There were countless fans of all shapes and sizes wearing City's light blue colours and United's red in amongst the shoppers along the central street of Deansgate, where Mancini and assistant Brian Kidd were seen taking a lunchtime stroll.

The Manchester Evening News declared simply "Day of Destiny" on its front page and "Legends or Losers" on its back.

A win for United will almost certainly see them clinch the title for a record-extending 20th time, while victory for City would put them on course to win the League for the first time since 1968 and prove they really are now United's equals.

Backed by the vast fortunes of Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi, they have come a long way since the dark days when they dropped into the third tier just over a decade ago.

City have invested an estimated billion pounds plus in trying to catch United, but if they lose on Monday, another huge investment looks likely over the close season.

The hosts have been in excellent form since Tevez made his peace with the club after falling out with Mancini after refusing to warm up as a substitute in a Champions League match at Bayern Munich in September.

Since returning to the starting lineup, the Argentina striker has scored four times in three matches.

United have stumbled of late with a loss against Wigan Athletic and last week's 4-4 home draw with Everton meaning City have the momentum going into the 146th league clash between the two.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.