It’s delicately poised in the League Cup semi-final as Sunderland take a narrow 2-1 lead to the Theatre of Hollow Myths in a fortnight. It’s all up for grabs as to who will get to Wembley to get stuffed by City in what will be seen, now that Man U are out of the FA Cup, as the most glamorous domestic cup final of the season.
This was a tense and scrappy affair, with the Pride of Devon at least able to claim the goal of the evening with Vidic’s header after the interval equalising a Giggs own goal in the first period.
The decisive moment came when ex-City flyer Adam Johnson surged into the Man U area where he was felled by Cleverley. Amazingly, the penalty was given, despite the fact that both Giggs and Rafael were on hand to explain politely to the ref that when Man U are playing, it’s never a penalty against them unless somebody is actually killed. Rafael picked up a yellow card for childish petulance.
Borini converted the spot kick, beating de Gea all ends up – though to be fair, how much penalty practice do Man U keepers get? Rafael was slightly lucky shortly after his petulance booking to escape a second yellow after a blatant foul on goalscorer Borini. The young Brazilian was only spared when the ref noticed what badge he was wearing.
So a narrow lead for Sunderland which they will do well to hang onto in the return leg. The tie is delicately poised at 2-1, but with the possibility of injuries clearing up for Man U and the probability of a penalty or two, you’d have to rank the Pride of Devon as marginal favourites to get handsomely thumped by Manchester’s finest in the showpiece at Wembley.
I have a feeling lightening will strike twice rob, sunderland will do what wigan did last season, win a domestic trophy and get relegated, both teams beating city in the final …
Incidently I took wigan at 8/1 to beat city in the final last year and a very nice drink was had by all 🙂
I’d happily back your judgement with my heart Mr O, but my head tells me it’ll be City v Scum at Wembley – and hopefully City won’t screw up two in a row!
I nearly choked on my bacon sandwich at ‘Giggs and Rafael were on hand to explain politely to the ref that when Man U are playing, it’s never a penalty against them unless somebody is actually killed’.
As ManUre have been proving this season, nothing is set in stone and the Theatre of Referee’s Bonuses is not so impregnable!
Maybe the FA dished out a wage rise to ref’s this season?
Oh dear – I hope I didn’t spoil your bacon buttie!
Great article Rob,keep up exposing the truth. I’m afraid to say like you stated that the( hand picked ) ref will give them a penalty or two in the second leg,probably a red card early doors for a sunderland player thrown in as well to put them under pressure.Seen this injustice so many times over the years.
Me too – it’s ruined many an evening’s entertainment before it’s properly started. Thankfully, it was mainly a Taggart thing. That purple-nosed freak really did terrify refs etc. Moyes might try for the same approach, but it’s laughable – like watching a poodle trying to pull off a Rottweiler impression. Still, I think Scum will have too much for the Mackems – but it’s City’s cup if they can avoid a repeat of their display in last season’s FA Cup Final.