For the past 2 years, Carlos Tevez had made a place for himself in the hearts of almost every Old Trafford faithfuls, but once he crossed into the other side of Manchester, in Manchester City to be specific, he turned into a deadly mercenary for his ex-club. He was at it yet again last night as United traveled to the City of Manchester stadium for the first leg of the Carling Cup semi-final, and Tevez took full opportunity by scoring City’s 2 precious goals to prove Sir Alex how wrong he was when he hesitated to either play him as a first-team player, and then to sign him permanently once his loan deal was coming to an end.
The temperature was high in the stands as it is customary when these 2 teams meet. United started with Rooney as the lone striker, and it was a good start by the visitors, with Rooney coming close to open the score only to see Boyata blocking his attempt, while Given then saved another. But when another opportunity appeared, Given could do nothing although he saved the first attempt from Rooney, but Giggs was quickly on the rebound, and scored the opener.
But City did not let their heads drop and mounted attacks on the United end. Eventually, City won a rather controversial penalty, as Rafael tugged the shirt of Bellamy outside the box, but which he let go inside, and the referee felt it was a penalty. Tevez stepped up and he barely flinched as he tucked it past old team-mate Van der Sar. Tevez, who did not celebrate the last time the sides met in the league, this time saw Neville, and as the latter had backed Sir Alex for not signing the Argentinian, he made a ‘shut your mouth’ gesture to Neville, who responded with a ‘one-finger’ gesture, which could prove to be costly for him as the FA are analyzing the incident.
Given was yet again providential at the other end when he denied Giggs his second goal. At the other end, Tevez was yet again in the thick of the action on City’s next attack, and he easily headed home his second after Kompany hooked the ball to him , while both Brown and Evans had left Tevez unmarked to challenge Kompany. This time Tevez celebrated with his hands cupping his ears in front of the home dug-out, and it was City fans chanting ‘sign him up’ to Sir Alex, a gesture which Tevez did when still at United, and directed towards the United bench with the Old Trafford crowd then singing ‘sign him up’.
2-1, City held on to a vital win, although United had more opportunities to equalize but failed to convert them, and City now look closer to their first trophy since 1981. The return leg will be played next week, and a draw will clearly see City through, but I doubt they will contend on that, with Tevez on fire, they will surely make life miserable for United at Old Trafford as well, as they are pining to stop United’s dominance in Manchester, and end their trophy drought in the process. I may sound pessimist here, but if United do not out-perform themselves in that return leg, City will easily move to the final leaving Sir Alex’s team out of yet another competition, and leaving the Red Devils to fight for the league title and Champions League, two other competitions which I believe they will not shine as well this season given their lackluster performances, and lack of influential players in the squad, selling Ronaldo and not signing Tevez seem to have backfired terribly on Sir Alex in the end 😕