'Park Ji-sung'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2012.05.02 Manchester City v Manchester United - The Telegraph

Manchester City v Manchester United: Roberto Mancini's

winning mind games on night when Reds run out of steam

The Premier League title pendulum swings Manchester City's way on a night where

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson loses his cool.

                                                                                                  By  10:00PM BST 30 Apr 2012




Frayed tempers: Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini go at it at the Etihad Photo: REUTERS


1. Manchester United’s midfield

Nice experience, shame about the legs. By selecting Michael Carrick,

Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as his midfield trio, Sir Alex Ferguson

engine room had a combined age of 105 years.


The deployment of Park Ji-sung further forward to shadow Manchester

City’s Yaya Toure added another 31 years to United’s ageing midfield and

while the first-half tactic of pressing the ball and suffocating the centre of

the pitch worked well, it left Wayne Rooney isolated up-front.


Long-term injuries to Tom Cleverley and Anderson have denied United an

attacking midfielder this season, but Giggs and Scholes no longer have

the energy to burst forward, while Carrick naturally sits deep.


And when United had to chase the game after the break, they had three

midfielders unable to burst forward.


2. A good night for the man in black

Few would have expected Andre Marriner to get the nod ahead of the

likes of Howard Webb or Phil Dowd to referee this game due to the high

stakes involved, but the West Midlands official excelled.


Just imagine the pressure that comes with refereeing a fixture between

two local rivals that can as good as decide the title?


Marriner was calm thoughout, however, and he let the game flow, ignoring

two ambitious United penalty appeals and only issuing the yellow card

when tempers threatened to boil over. A first-half chat with Wayne Rooney

and Patrice Evra certainly helped keep Rooney in check. A Fifa official,

Marriner is no celebrity referee, but he showed at the Etihad that he is a good one.


3. Samir Nasri finally beginning to deliver

Samir Nasri had his pick of City or United after deciding to leave Arsenal

last summer, but for much of this season, the French midfielder appeared

to have made the wrong choice.


In and out of the City team and urged by Roberto Mancini to work harder

defensively, Nasri also had to overcome the early season form of David Silva.


But against United, the 24-year-old was a constant threat, pushing United

back on both flanks and making himself time and again.


Had he played this well from the start of the season, Nasri could have

made himself the central figure in City’s title bid, but having shown his true

worth, the challenge now is to maintain it.


4. Mancini is under Ferguson’s skin and is winning the mind games

With 76 minutes on the clock, Roberto Mancini went toe-to-toe with Sir

Alex Ferguson in the technical area in a moment that summed up the

Italian’s success in getting to the United manager.


Ferguson, angered by Nigel de Jong’s challenge on Danny Welbeck,

complained bitterly to fourth official Mike Jones and Mancini instantly

joined in, prompting an angry response from his opposite number.


Mancini has played the mind games well in recent weeks, insisting the title

is over and that United can only lose it.


Few have rattled Ferguson as Mancini has done and not since Jose

Mourinho in his Porto days has a manager dared challenge the Scot.

Mancini has taken him on and might end the season as top dog.


5. Manchester City are no laughing matter

For years, City have been the butt of jokes in Manchester, with even Sir

Alex Ferguson joining in by labelling the Etihad Stadium as the Temple of



It was United’s Temple of Doom on Monday night, though, and the City

supporters, so often ridiculed for being pessimistic nervous wrecks, played

their part in getting their team over the line. There were few jitters, just

noisy support of their team.


For four years, the question has been all about when the balance of power

will shift in Manchester, but the pendulum swung heavily towards the blue

half with this result.


Two more victories and the title is City’s and, once and for all, the comedy

club tag will be banished forever





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