19th August 2007
ref Mark Clattenburg
City: Schmeichel, Corluka, Richards, Dunne, Garrido, Johnson, Hamann, Petrov, Geovanni, Elano, Bojinov – subs Ball(73), Mpenza (6). Bianchi(63) Hart(unused), Onouha(unused)
United: Van Der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Hargreaves, Carrick , Scholes, Nani, Tevez. – subs O’Shea(72), Campbell(73), Eagles(58), Kuszczak(unused), Silvestre(unused)
There were 2 changes to the side that beat Derby, Stephen Ireland fell ill before the game which handed a full debut to Geovanni. Also Sven decided that City would be under the cosh from United so would concentrate on a counter attacking tactic and therefore chose the speedy Bojinov over the more static Bianchi to lead the line.
Things didn;t quite go as planned, as just 6 minutes in Bojinov landed awkwardly and had to be stretchered to the dressing room with what later was to be diagnosed as a Cruciate ligamate injury which will see him sidelined for around 5 months. Mpenza, with just 45 minutes reserve team football behind him was chosen to take Valeri’s place.. Just 1 minute before Bojinov departed Kasper made a fine double save from Nani. The same player tested Schmeichel, again in the 16th minute when he sent in a low drive which the Keeper held well.
United had most of the possession without really creating too much as Richards made some fantastic interventions. Then on 31 minutes Geovanni hit a 25 yard shot with the outside of his right boot which took a deflection off Vidic before nestling in the back of United’s net. 1-0 to the blues and suddenly they started to play football with some ‘keep ball’ to the ole’s of the City faithful. So half-time came with City still to concede a goal this season.
United came out in the second half with all guns blazing, however they had one problem they had no centre forward. Kasper did not have to make one notable save in the second half thanks to one of the greatest defensive displays the Premiership has ever seen from Micah Richards who ‘apparently is still learning his trade at Centre Half. Vidic hit the bar with a header in the 47th minute. However the most amazing miss came on the stroke of half time as Tevez delivered a header from point blank range, Ferguson was punching the air with delight before realising that the ball had amazingly gone a foot wide of the City goal. And so as the final whistle blew the City fans basked in the knowledge that they were top of the league with United lying in an amazing lowly 16th place.