What The Papers Said

"Never mind 'Welcome to Manchester', Mark Hughes and his City revolutionaries arrived somewhere new yesterday. It was somewhere cruel, tough and unfair but somewhere they look as if they may eventually feel at home. It is that place at the real peak of football where you discover that raging competitive will and stupendous ambition isn't always enough against the best around; against the teams who have been through all the rough and tumble of life at the top before."
John Dillon, Daily Express
19/02/2010 09:00, Report by Steve Bartram
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OT100 #100: Derby epic

There have been some incredible Manchester derbies down the years, but none can match the fare served up by the city's Red and Blue factions on 20 September 2009...

The Background: After a summer of spending rivalled only by Real Madrid, cash-rich Manchester City had announced to the Premier League that they were ready to challenge for honours. Talk abounded of an inter-city power shift, not least because of the defection of Carlos Tevez and the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. When the fixture list served up an early-season Manchester derby, the city had never known hype like it. When the Blues rocked up at Old Trafford, intent on knocking the champions off their perch, M16 was abuzz with expectation.

The Occasion: A giddy pre-match hum became baritone boos for the emergence of Tevez, before quickly scaling the heights of ear-stinging euphoria when Wayne Rooney skipped past two challenges to open the scoring inside two minutes. In a pattern which would last almost the entire match, however, United's good work was soon undone by catastrophic defending. Ben Foster was caught in possession by Tevez, allowing Barry to level and City to dictate play for much of the first half. After the break, however, inspired largely by a breathtaking wingplay display from Ryan Giggs, United were utterly

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