Scholes earns United victory

2010-04-17 15:56

Manchester - Paul Scholes's 93rd minute winner settled an otherwise lacklustre Manchester derby at Eastlands on Saturday as Manchester United's 1-0 victory kept alive their dream of a fourth successive English Premier League title.

The veteran midfielder rose to meet Patrice Evra's left-wing cross with 18 seconds remaining of the three minutes of added time and his clinical header, from 12 yards, may yet prove costly for Manchester City as they seek fourth place and a first ever taste of Champions League football.

This derby's importance, above all others in recent Premier League history, was not lost on both teams given the clubs' respective targets at or near the top of the table.

Perhaps that explained the slightly cautious first half, particularly from City for whom a draw would have been better than it would for their second-placed visitors.

City, consequently, seemed to spend much of the first period defending extremely deep in an effort - successful, for the most part - to stifle United.

The best chances of that opening period both fell to United and came in the final five minutes as Sir Alex Ferguson's men finally found a way through the massed ranks of the City defence.

First, Antonio Valencia's intelligent header into the area wrong-footed the defence and found Wayne Rooney only for the forward to place his shot past the post from 15 yards.

Then, with first half time counting down, Valencia again beat the recalled Wayne Bridge far too easily down the United right and delivered a low, driven near-post cross which Ryan Giggs poked tamely into the hands of Shay Given.

Those openings aside, first half opportunities were sparse with Edwin van der Sar required to make the only save of note when he leaped high to his right in the 12th minute to catch a direct Carlos Tevez free-kick, awarded 25 yards from goal after a foul on the Argentine striker by Darron Gibson.

As the half wore on, Rooney, who was passed fit after recovering from the effects of his ankle injury, cut an increasingly frustrated figure, frequently arguing with referee Martin Atkinson, a controversial late call-up to officiate the game because of his role in the first Manchester derby of the season in which he played additional time that allowed Michael Owen to score the winning goal in United's 4-3 victory.

Craig Bellamy wasted a glorious chance on the counter for City, taking a Tevez pass in his stride only to hurry his shot into the side-netting.

At the other end, Giggs was similarly profligate with a wasteful first-time volley from an accurate Valencia cross when the veteran winger had time to bring to control the ball had he elected to do so.

But City manager Roberto Mancini had seen enough and sent on defensive midfielder Patrick Vieira for Adam Johnson, who had put in a disappointing performance in front of watching England manager Fabio Capello.

Finally, the contest was opening up and Evra, substitute Nani and Giggs all had half-chances for United while Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong threatened the United goal; all in a five-minute period.

United substitute Dimitar Berbatov, on for Rooney, headed inches wide of Given's covering dive from a Gary Neville cross nine minutes from time.

Then van der Sar mishandled a corner, sparking a furious late scramble in which Vieira and Nedum Onuoha had shots blocked.


  • knowly - 2010-04-17 16:16

    Chelsea will restore their four-point advantage if they win away to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur

  • Jimmy - 2010-04-17 17:26

    93rd minute? Come on...

  • kevin - 2010-04-17 18:42

    Glory,glory,glory Man United, as the reds keep marching on..

  • katrego - 2010-04-17 19:34

    ya chelsea will make it n we wil stil b on top

  • Selwyn - 2010-04-17 19:43

    @knowly, obviously you knowly buggerall, Tots wll kick your butt. and Jimmy 1st min or 93rd, c'mon what? we won. If it was the other way round & they won, no problem hey.Get real, we are the champs. And who will end top, can never say. it is still wide open.

  • Keith - 2010-04-18 00:19

    Gloty, glory, Man United, as the reds keep marching on. Chelsea lost we back in it!!!!!!!!! buy you. Once again proof money does not buy you CLASS!!!!

  • @selwyn - 2010-04-18 03:14

    selwyn pipe down your arrogance is what gives us man united fans a bad name!!! its a close end to the season and the 2 best teams are on top.. but united wont go without a fight! Red Devils for life

  • Newton Heath - 2010-04-18 07:52

    It isn't over until the final whistle. Are you MUFC haters still complaining about the added time goal. So much for bragging rights in Manchester.

  • Vikela - 2010-04-18 11:10

    @Knowly. Of course they didnt. Now watch the fine run of Utd to the title and the draw at Anfield for Chelsea.

  • Man U - 2010-04-19 07:00

    Brilliant weekend, Man Utd won, Chelsea lost, Arse nil crumbled and the Sharks won! Excellent result for Man Utd! Some people totally wrote Man Utd off and look what happended...Egg on Face! Also some boy, think it was Chelseaboy who said that Scholes needed a ramp for his wheelchair to get onto the field...Guess he did well considering he played in a wheelchair! @Chelseaboy: You will remain a boy all your life!!! Soccer ain't a game for boys!

  • Lamps_8 - 2010-04-19 07:48

    Great Game.I thought city would hold out but they lost concentration for a few seconds & look what happens,Scholes saved Utd's life.Clearly this one is going down to the wire.

  • tashwill arendse - 2010-04-19 07:54

    glory glory man united ,nou wat kan chelsea nou se??????

  • The Devil - 2010-04-19 09:17

    Scholes you beauty!

  • Newton Heath - 2010-04-19 13:14

    Manchester City, with their unprecedented riches, can buy just about any player they wish. But Sheikh Mansour’s billions can’t provide the team spirit, will to win and courage to risk everything for a late winner that's been built into the DNA of Sir Alex’s United sides.

  • Big K - 2010-04-20 10:26

    There seems to be some trouble in the tribe at City!! But it was a doff game compared to the previous 3 this season, did Tevez play, cant rem him after the free kick in the first half!! Scholesy, you Legend, here's to another year!!!!!!!!! GGMU, 35 years encounting for City, boo hoo Mother F $%^&*s!!!

  • shelvin - 2010-04-20 12:35

    That`s what we always do.Man Utd, born champs and we shall die champs.common guys don`t take it to hard on yourselves man utd won and that`s out rivals it`s red devils all the way!!!!!!!

  • shelvin - 2010-04-20 12:36

    That`s what we always do.Man Utd, born champs and we shall die champs.common guys don`t take it to hard on yourselves man utd won and that`s out rivals it`s red devils all the way!!!!!!!

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