WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

23/01/2012 10:06

Papers: Manchester monopoly

Steven Howard writes in The Sun...

It's Mancini vs Fergie for the title
Now it's a question of who blinks first. After a remarkable afternoon of see-saw football and jam-packed incident, the title is now a straight fight between the two Manchester clubs. City may have felt the pressure creeping up on them over the last couple of months but now the squeeze is really on. They got all the breaks against Spurs yesterday in a win that probably ends Tottenham's interest in the title. As for Chelsea, they were never in it. Arsenal? Dream on. The only question is the identity of the man who had the greatest influence on yesterday's traumatic events. Some might point the finger at Jermain Defoe for his extraordinary miss at the end of the match between Tottenham and Manchester City at the Etihad. Others will castigate referee Howard Webb for failing to see the stamp on Scott Parker's head by the unspeakable Mario Balotelli. That allowed the thuggish Italian to stay on the pitch and both win and convert the injury-time penalty that gave City three points they never deserved. And some will have no doubt that, later in the afternoon, it was a remarkable blunder by Arsene Wenger that led to Manchester United escaping from the Emirates with the victory that keeps them on City's coat-tails. It was an extraordinary decision by the Arsenal boss to substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain not long after the feisty, hugely-impressive, young winger set up the Gunners' equaliser and replace him with the hopelessly out-of-form Andrey Arshavin.

It's not all good news for United however, given The Sun's headline "Jones tops new list of Utd crocks" while The Guardian's Dominic Fifield writes, "The shortcomings of their [United's] rejigged and reshaped backline are all too evident these days."

Elsewhere, The Times reports an exit denial from Dimitar Berbatov's agent while the Daily Mail claims the Reds are "interested in Brazil striker Leandro Damiao".

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