In the “Subway Series of Soccer,” Manchester City trampled Manchester United 6-1 on Sunday to prove they weren’t pretenders but contenders for the Premier League Crown. For Americans, the Manchester derby can easily compare to baseball’s famous local rivalry. Playing the role of the New York Yankees – Manchester United. Both hold the record in titles, (27 for the Yanks,
16 19 for United) both are the richest franchises in their sport and any non-sports fan can recognize these team names without seeing a minute of their games.
Another parallel would be the healthy dose of cross-town rivalry that exists between the two clubs. Now playing the role of the New York Mets (without a Madoff, ponzi scheme strapped budget) – Manchester City. And unlike the Queens baseball team, Man City has the richest roster in the Premier League signing the likes of Sergio Aguero who contributed to one of the worst defeats of Manchester United on their home field during the era of Man U manager Sir Alex Ferguson:
“For the first 10 minutes, we absolutely dominated the game and played some brilliant football so it was hard to believe when we went 1-0 down…But that kind of defeat will make an impact on the players. There’s a lot of embarrassment in the dressing room and quite rightly so.” [Manchester United]
The first half looked like it could go either way even with Mario Balotelli’s first goal in the ’22, the fifth consecutive game he’s scored in this season. TSS’ own, Devin Chanda – I’m calling you Nostradamus on your scouting of the “Black Italian.” His post-goal celebration with a “Why Always Me?” T-shirt will ink him in Manchester Derby lore.
The second half was all Manchester City starting from the straight Red Card on Jonny Evans. Another goal by Balotelli from the James Milner cross in the 60th minute and then another cross from Micah Richards to Aguero nine minutes later looked like Man City had the game wrapped up. A brief reprieve for United came with Darren Fletchers goal to make the tally 3-1 in the 81st minute but the real Manchester massacre came to form at the end of the game. With three goals in the dying moments of the game with one from Spanish international David Silva (“91) and two back to back goals from Balotelli’s substitute Edin Dzeko (’89,”93 ), this was more than a statement game. The match is a sign that Manchester City may in fact be a force in the years to come as a contender for the League title.
But thinking Manchester United is out of the title race is as premature as a male porn star’s debut film. Alluding back to baseball glimmers of a new regime came with the New York Mets in 2006 with an eventual collapse and string of consecutive disappointments to follow. The Yankees later came to win a title in 2009. For now, Manchester United fans will hang their heads in shame but the season is still too young to crown Man City so foolishly. However one thing cannot be denied that the baby blue of Manchester City will not be underestimated as the little brothers of England’s own version of the Evil Empire, Manchester United.