Flashback: Top five Manchester derbies – Man United vs. Man City

Leave a comment

It’s derby day in Manchester, and you can watch Manchester United host Manchester City in the 167th Manchester Derby live on NBCSN from 3 p.m. ET and online via NBC Sports Live Extra.

But if you need a little something to whet your appetite before then, here’s a look back at five memorable Manchester derbies from the Premier League era.

In the last 20 plus years we’ve been treated to some stunning matches, as the Red and Blue halves of Manchester try to dominate the metropolis in Northern England. Earlier this season City hammered United 4-1 in a demolition job at the Etihad Stadium, so the Reds will be looking to avenge that humbling as bragging right have been with the Blue half of Manchester since September.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

Head-to-head it couldn’t get much closer looking back at the games which have taken place at Old Trafford. Man United have won six, Man City have won seven, while their have been three draws.

So, City have the slight edge heading into this match, but let’s take a look at how some of the most famous derbies of the past two decades played out.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United – December 9, 2013

On the way to winning the Premier League title in 2013, Manchester United secured a pivotal win away at the then reigning champions, City after letting a 2-0 lead slip. Robin van Persie sent the away end into raptures, as his last-gasp free kick deflected off Samir Nasri and beat Joe Hart to hand the Red Devils a late, late win. Fergie time indeed. A young City fan tried to get on the pitch and attack United’s players, but luckily Hart was on hand to give him a right good telling off and defuse the situation. Fiery, goals galore, inspiring comebacks and late drama, this had it all.

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City – October 23, 2011

This match will always be remembered for Mario Balotelli’s celebration. When he scored the eccentric Italian lifted up his shirt to reveal a message stating “Why always me?” Priceless. What was also invaluable was the momentum Roberto Mancini’s City side gained from this record 6-1 win as they used it to surge towards their first-ever PL title, which they eventually won on the final day in the last minute to stop, who else, United from lifting the crown. It remains the Red Devils’ heaviest home defeat since 1955.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City – February 1, 2011

Wayne Rooney wrote himself into derby folklore with one of the best goals ever scored in the Premier League era. A cross from Nani on the right found Rooney, who jumped up and swiveled to smash home a bicycle kick in the 77th minute to seal a crucial win in the title race. United went on to win the league that year, and after a strong start in that derby for City, Rooney’s wondergoal was deemed as the turning point in United’s campaign.

Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City – September 20, 2009

Michael Owen didn’t do too much in his injury-hit spell with Manchester United, but that doesn’t matter… who scored a winner in the derby. The former England international popped up in the 94th minute to seal a spectacular comeback for the home side, as Sir Alex Ferguson called it “the best derby of all time”… it was hard to disagree. What a game. Rooney put United ahead early on, but then former United striker Carlos Tevez leveled for City, before Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy both scored to make it 2-2. Fletcher then scored again to make it 3-2 to the home side, but Bellamy popped up in the final minute to make it 3-3. However Owen had the last laugh, as his calm finish sent over 70,000 fans wild.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United – March 14, 2004

One of the unluckiest derby wins in recent history, as City had only just been promoted back to the Premier League and United’s team was far superior to their neighbors. But Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jon Macken, Robbie Fowler and Trevor Sinclair were all on target to dispatch a poor United team who were in transition as Arsenal continued to dominate the Premier League. Sweet victory for City’s long suffering fans, as the start of a new era at Eastlands was still a few years away.

CONMEBOL WCQ: Venezuela, Bolivia teetering on elimination

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying is always a challenge, and this World Cup cycle is no different.

With six teams currently separated by a mere five points under leaders Brazil, everything is left to play for as Round 14 hits South America.

[ MORE: Messi could face suspension from CONMEBOL ]

Here’s a look at what’s on the docket for Tuesday:

Bolivia vs. Argentina — 4 p.m. EDT

It wasn’t pretty at all, but La Albiceleste picked up a crucial three points against Chile, which could produce a morale lift for Argentina given their past struggles against the reigning Copa America holders.

Lionel Messi’s actions from the match could harm the Albiceleste though, with the Barcelona man reportedly facing sanctions from CONMEBOL for verbally abusing a linesman.

Meanwhile, Bolivia is in desperate need of a win in La Paz, and anything but three points could potentially end La Verde’s hopes of reaching Russia 2018.

Ecuador vs. Colombia — 5 p.m. EDT

It took a long time for Colombia to crack the Bolivia backline on Thursday but a late run from Juan Cuadrado helped set up the eventual winner from James Rodriguez, and kept Los Cafeteros in the top four.

Ecuador didn’t have the same fortunes though four days ago after falling to a very game Paraguay side. La Tricolor have gone winless in three of its last four World Cup qualifiers, leaving Gustavo Quinteros side with little margin of error against the Colombians.

Chile vs. Venezuela — 6 p.m. EDT

Chile’s qualifying struggles continued on Thursday after falling to La Albiceleste in a closely-contested match. Arturo Vidal’s six goals leave the Bayern Munich midfielder third in all of CONMEBOL this campaign, but the Chileans still sit on the outside looking in at the moment and in sixth place.

Venezuela is teetering on the edge of elimination, and a loss against Chile would all but seal their fate of missing out the World Cup. After reaching the quarterfinals at last summer’s Copa America Centenario, La Vinotinto have failed to replicate that form this qualifying campaign with just one win to show.

Top scorer Josef Martinez is no longer with Venezuela after suffering an injury in Thursday’s 2-2 draw against Peru, creating a major void in the side’s attack.

Brazil vs. Paraguay — 8:45 p.m. EDT

The Selecao continue to score at a lightning pace this qualifying campaign with 32 goals in the first 13 rounds of play. Despite conceding early to Uruguay on Thursday, Brazil responded emphatically with four goals, and most notably Paulinho‘s hat-trick.

Elsewhere, Paraguay kept itself within striking distance of the top five after its 2-1 win over Ecuador. The side is just two points behind fifth place Ecuador.

Peru vs. Uruguay — 10:15 p.m. EDT

Los Incas have not reached a World Cup since 1982, and although the team is just five points behind fifth, they need to pick up victories. Ricardo Gareca will be pleased with his side’s resiliency against Venezuela on Thursday, but more draws simply won’t do with only four rounds remaining after Tuesday.

Uruguay still sits in a solid second position after Thursday’s slip up against Brazil but another defeat could be potentially disastrous for La Celeste, who are just three points above sixth place Chile. However, Edinson Cavani’s nine goals leads all of CONMEBOL and Peru has allowed the third-most goals this campaign (22).

Ugly scene forces Ivory Coast-Senegal match to be abandoned

Dan Mullan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Monday’s international friendly between Ivory Coast and Senegal turned out to be anything but that when the match was interrupted towards the tail end.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

The fixture was abandoned with two minutes remaining in regulation after pitch invaders disrupted the the match by getting past security guards and began chasing after players from both sides.

The score was level at 1-1 in the 88th minute when the disruptions occurred, causing the referee to halt play at the Stade Sebastien Charlety in Paris.

One of the intruders even managed to tackle Senegalese defender Lamine Gassama (as shown in the picture to the right).

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane gave Senegal the lead minutes into the second stanza after he converted from the penalty spot, while Cyriac Gohi Bi leveled the score at one apiece just minutes later.

Messi could face CONMEBOL suspension for verbal abusing official

AP Photo/Eugenio Savio
1 Comment

Already facing some uncertainty with a depleted roster, Argentina could face a significantly greater challenge.

[ MORE: Aguero left out of Argentina starting XI vs. Bolivia ]

Barcelona star Lionel Messi could face suspension after reportedly verbally abusing linesman Marcelo Van Gasse during the second half of Thursday’s 1-0 win over Chile.

UPDATED: Fox Sports Argentina is reporting that Messi will receive a two to four match suspension and will be effective for tomorrow’s match against Bolivia.

Messi was reported to CONMEBOL for yelling, “F*** off, your mother’s c***” at Van Gasse and refused to shake the official’s hand at the end of the match.

The officiating crew from the match didn’t initially include Messi’s rant in the post-match report, however, it was added on Monday and submitted to CONMEBOL.

The South American federation must now decide if and when it will punish Messi for his reported actions, and there is the potential that the world-class attacker could be suspended for Tuesday’s clash against Bolivia if the federation acts quickly.

There are several other scenarios though for CONMEBOL to action, including disregarding Messi’s verbal assault.

La Albiceleste currently sit third in World Cup qualifying on 22 points.

Arena speaks about USMNT turnaround, says “no secret formulas”

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Leave a comment

It’s only been one competitive match since Bruce Arena regained control of the U.S. Men’s National Team and there’s already been a noticeable difference in form.

[ MORE: Three keys for the USMNT ahead of Panama clash ]

The former LA Galaxy manager wouldn’t have you believe that though following Friday night’s convincing 6-0 victory over Honduras in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

“It’s nothing I can write a book on,” Arena said about his team’s turnaround in form against Honduras. “You have a sense of your group, and you go about doing your business. There’s no secret formulas to this stuff. Work together, take ownership in what you’re doing, treat them like responsible professional athletes, and you get on with your business.

He added, “They want to be successful. They want to play in a World Cup. Is that a recipe for success? I don’t know. I’m sure Honduras wants to play in a World Cup too.”

Arena, who took over for Jurgen Klinsmann following the U.S.’ collapse during the first two matches of the Hexagonal, is unbeaten in his first three games in charge since getting his job back with the Stars and Stripes.

Although there has been a considerable turnaround in the way the USMNT has performed in the first three matches of 2017, Arena wouldn’t stoop to comparing his style to that of Klinsmann.

“I’m not doing anything differently,” he said. “I’m not taking a survey [of the players]. I know it’s different. We lose tomorrow, there will be articles written that, ‘This a—— is letting these guys run loose.'”

“I have spent no time on the past. There’s nothing I can do about it. I kind of have a sense about things, but there’s no point in me spending time investigating what went on in the past. The idea was to get it going the right way from the start.”

Arena’s next test with the U.S. will be on Tuesday when the Yanks travel to Panama City to take on Panama.