After Manchester United came out victorious this weekend in one of the most fiery Manchester derbies since the Abu Dhabi take over – you'd be right in thinking this result will have a massive effect on the league.
A late free kick winner from summer signing Robin van Persie spared the blushes of United who had thrown away a 2 goal lead – courtesy of Man of the Match Wayne Rooney.
City scored two goals through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta in what looked like to be a well earnt point for City at the fortress that is the Etihad. However – United had other plans.
Former United player and fan favourite Carlos Tevez gave away a dangerous free kick late into the game – and the man that United beat City too, stepped up, and with a slight deflection off Samir Nasri saw his shot spin into the bottom left corner. As he looked up and run over to the away stand – which erupted and roared as their side had got one of their arch rivals, we realised Man City's two year unbeaten streak at the Etihad was over – and it could not of been against a worse side.
With the victory – United have taken a 6 point lead over their closest challengers, and its not even January. From the game I've taken away four key points that we learnt from the derby, and how it affected the game.
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1. Mario Balotelli Is Not Worth The Hassle.
Althogh a fan favourite in the eyes of many non-Man City supporters – Mancini looked a frustrated figure upon subbing Balotelli this weekend. His gamble on the striker who was a catalyst for the 6-1 drubbing last season failed to pull of – and once Mancini subbed off his fellow countryman – City looked a much better side.
The hard working Carlos Tevez was replaced and City began to finally play as a team. Mancini is adamant that Balotelli has the ability to become a world beater, but with his current attitude he is in risk of throwing it all away.
Balotelli stormed down the tunnel upon his substitution – and although he later returned to watch his side eventually fall to United, he himself will be dissapointed with his performance in what could have been a real kick start to his own season as well as Manchester Citys.
2. Manchester City rely on Vincent Kompany – Alot.
City fans would have been disheartened when they saw their captain limp off after 20 minutes. Man United had already taken the lead but City looked the much better side. The City captain is such a crucial cog in the Manchester side – and his dominant display at centre back has been key to City's success.
Kolo Toure was chosen ahead of Joleon Lescott – and City looked to begin to crumble once their colossal skipper left the field. United scored their second just eight minutes after Kompany left the field – and to say Manchester City missed their talismanic captain is a massive understatement.
3. Wayne Rooney Is Still The Main Man At Man United.
Although Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and the Manchester City fans will steal the headlines – Wayne Rooney returned to his lethal best for Manchester United in what will no doubt be one of the most important victories of their season.
Rooney scored two goals for United with two clinically, well taken finishes past a despairing Joe Hart, scoring his 150th Premier League goal in the process.
The Manchester United talisman was all over the park in a typical lung-busting display for United – and his two goals where a massive boost for United as they looked the far inferior side in the opening stages.
With the arrival of Robin van Persie the goal scoring burden has been taken off Rooney's stocky shoulders – but with crucial goals like this it will be a reminder to the Old Trafford faithful that he is still the main man at Manchester United Football Club.
4. Beating Man City To Van Persie Will Win United The Title.
Robin van Persie snubbed the interest of Manchester City to 'listen to the little boy inside of him' and join Manchester United. With 13 goals so far for Manchester United and countless game-winning performances and goals - £24million can almost be called a bargain.
The 29 year old has acted as catalyst for Man United this season. After losing the title on goal difference to City last season -Ferguson promised that it would never happen again. He signed the Premier Leagues top scorer, under little scrunity from certain parts of the Premier League fan base.
Nobody could argue with the great Scot now after his summer signing has proved crucial to Manchester United's campaign. They top the Premier League, their Champions League group and have a much needed victory over Manchester City thanks to the goals of van Persie.
The Dutchman has already cemented his place in the heart of the Old Trafford faithful with that 91st minute free kick, in his derby debut.
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