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Monday, October 31, 2011

Manchester City Thrash United On Home Turf

By Ben Williams

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed his shock and embarrassment at watching his side slump to a humiliating 6-1 defeat at the hands of a majestic Manchester City side. The United manager watched on helplessly as controversial striker Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko grabbed a brace each, with Sergio Aguero and the sublime David Silva also working their way onto the scoresheet after Jonny Evans was sent off for the home team.

The emphatic scoreline represented United's biggest home defeat at Old Trafford since way back in 1955 and was also their first of any kind since spring last year. For Manchester City, meanwhile, it represented a statement of emphatic intent that suggests the tide may be turning, both in the city of Manchester itself and the whole of England too. City's start to the domestic season had been really impressive, particularly in an attacking sense, but still nobody predicted before kick-off the level of dominance City would go on to display.

Even City manager Roberto Mancini had a complete gem of a game, getting his tactics spot on throughout the 90 minutes and managing to prove to his critics that his team isn't always, as some assume, set up purely to defend for 90 minutes. Ferguson, on the other hand, will no doubt have more than a few sleepless nights reflecting upon the ease with which the inspired England right-back Micah Richards shrugged off the attacking threats posed by the likes of Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck in the final third.

The resilient Ferguson, for his part, still seems fairly confident, at least in front of the TV cameras, that, from his players at least, "there will be a response", but he will need to be aware that there is just as likely to be a response to the stunning result from City's growing in confidence squad, which will undoubtedly have been boosted by the spirit, swagger, and style on show for large parts of the game at Old Trafford, a place no team in the whole of world football feels even remotely comfortable playing.

There's no doubt that the season is still in its early stages, but with Mancini proving in recent weeks with the Carlos Tevez affair that his man-management skills are far more developed than many give him credit for, it'd be a brave man ruling out the Italian's team for domestic glory this season when the prizes are handed out in May.

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