30/04/2012 09:00, Report by Paul Davies

Fear factor could be key

We may be facing a new Manchester City, but some of their scars run deep.

Even after the 6-1 at Old Trafford earlier this season, they're still not comfortable playing us - particularly with our penchant for delivering late, late heartbreak.

We'll never forget our three at-the-death winners in 2009/10 - least of all Scholesy's dying-seconds header at the Etihad - and nor will they. Many Blues blamed last season's stalemate in the league game at Eastlands on events in the previous campaign, believing Roberto Mancini's men dropped ever deeper as the game went on in an attempt to avoid being floored by yet another late sucker-punch.

Rather than looking for a winner themselves, they were more concerned with stopping us. Allied with obvious nervousness among home fans, the result was City clinging on for a goalless draw after being swarmed all over by Red shirts for the final period of the game.

That no winner arrived was as much down to fortune as defensive method. So if counter-attacking Plan A doesn't work, then a decent Plan B could be to keep it tight and leave it late. If the game is level with 10 minutes to go, with City really needing a home win, then there will be some seriously worried fans sporting blue inside the Etihad.

The views expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Manchester United.

More: Match preview | Etihad's no fortress


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