Will United's Wayne Rooney or City's Carlos Tevez pave way to Wembley?

27 January 2010 02:54
Asked what he shouted at Carlos Tevez in those tense moments before the Argentinian smashed home a penalty to turn the first leg of this enthralling semi-final in Manchester City's favour, Wayne Rooney left little to the imagination.

'Put it this way, I didn't tell him to score,' said the Manchester United striker.

Rooney's cheeky intervention failed to make a difference at Eastlands last week, but there is no doubting the impact both he and his former United team-mate could have on Wednesday's second leg at Old Trafford and, probably, the destination of the Carling Cup as well.

Manchester rivals: Rooney and Tevez will lock horns again at Old Trafford

Their rivalry brings an extra dimension to a game laden with so muchexpectation following Tevez's two-goal heroics and his altercation withGary Neville.

Could City manager Roberto Mancini give Robinho the chance to signoff with something more impressive than an FA Cup goal againstScunthorpe?

Will Emmanuel Adebayor make a triumphant return from his brush withdeath at the Africa Cup of Nations and fire City towards their firsttrophy in 34 years?

Sir Alex Ferguson certainly hopes not. The United boss feels thatRooney's success in compensating for the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo hasestablished him as the outstanding goalscorer in the country.

Spot-on: Tevez scoring the first of his double against United at Eastlands

'Wayne's form has put him up in that frame,' said Ferguson. 'Therearen't many players matching him at the moment. He's got 20 goals nowand the crucial part of the season is coming up. His ratio suggeststhat he could easily get to more than 30.

'Playing in a more direct role has given him the appetite to be inthe box more of the time. He is realising that, as the main striker, heis threatening all the time.

On fire: Rooney scored four goals against Hull City on Saturday

'I don't think he is becoming more selfish. He is developing his game in the right way.'

Whether Ferguson will be quite so satisfied to hear Rooney creditinghis increased goal output to England coach Fabio Capello is anothermatter.

'I'm scoring more because I have changed my position and I'mplaying in the middle of the penalty area,' Rooney told Italian sportsdaily La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

'It was Capello who suggested this new position to me. 'He hastaught me so much from the tactical point of view. He has also given methe job of leader with the England team. He is frightening, like asevere dad.'

For now, it is another Italian coach giving Ferguson most concern.Outwitting Mancini and overturning a 2-1 first-leg deficit is all themore difficult because of the uncertainty hanging over his opponents.

Although Sunday's win at Scunthorpe was meant to be Robinho's lastin a City shirt for six months at least, Mancini has not ruled outusing him. He even expressed hope that the player could revive hiscareer in England after a loan spell in Brazil and cited the example ofhis former Inter Milan striker Adriano.

'I haven't given up on Robinho,' said Mancini. 'If he goes back toBrazil, plays well and goes to the World Cup, he can come back here.

'Adriano had some problems in Milan but he went to another club for six months, played well and changed the situation.'

Mancini must also decide whether to risk Adebayor so soon after thestriker's return from Angola. He may well decide to start him on thebench.

'I hope Carlos can do what he did last week but it's impossible thatone player can score a goal or two goals in every game,' said the Cityboss.

 Smalling completes switch to United as Arsenal lose out on Fulham defenderWe don't want Rooney. Englishmen can't play abroad, snipes Real chiefAdebayor and Toure hand Man City double boost ahead of crunch derbyALL THE MANCHESTER UNITED FC

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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