Newsletter #1924

Still glowing? The wry smile still on your lips? I do hope you didn’t gloat? Well… not too much!

Manuel has arrived it appears, with an absolutely rip-roaring, scintillating performance that quite simply wiped the Rags off the park. We even stopped playing after 60 minutes… presumably to rest ahead of facing sterner challenges! It was glorious and it felt inevitable after just the first few minutes. We spanked ’em!

As indeed we did Wigan in the Milk Littlewoods Cola Capital Cup. A mouthwatering game on Tyneside awaits us in the next round and should provide a good challenge and experience to the likes of Lopes, who may yet make a League breakthrough this season.

Roll on the Villa and let’s keep this momentum going.

Next Game: 28 September, Aston Villa, Villa Park, 15:00 GMT


Manchester City totally outclassed United in a pulsating derby on a beautiful September day to send out a strong signal to the other title challengers. City were far superior to United in every department from the first whistle and class told on an afternoon that could prove to be very significant in the history of Manchester football.

Indeed, there was plenty to celebrate on Sunday 22nd September 2013 – another derby drubbing just one day short of the 24th anniversary of that glorious day back in 1989 when City thrashed United 5-1.

City looked hungry and energetic from the start and were first to the ball. Our passing was quick and as confident as it could be for the start of such a big match, and the City players worked extremely hard for each other. United, in contrast, were pedestrian, slow and lacked City’s commitment to the cause. Their plight was epitomised by the half-hearted, sluggish Ferdinand and the ponderous Carrick, who at one point was out-muscled by Agüero as the little striker won a tackle.

Yaya Touré, all class, poise and power, imperiously dominated midfield with his industrious partner Fernandinho in support. City were clearly the better team from the word go, and we dominated possession. When we didn’t have the ball we pressed United into giving the ball away cheaply. Even Vidic’s clearance from inside his own box found Navas who spooned over in the fourth minute. United were rattled. City were relentless, and attacked in waves. Clever work from Yaya and Nasri freed Kolarov and Vidic was forced to block his goal-bound shot. Nastasic headed a pin-point Nasri cross over, and Yaya had a shot deflected behind by a United body, but there was only so long before the irresistible Blue tide swept United away and City took a deserved lead in the 16th minute.

Nasri teased and tormented the gangly Smalling down our left, bided his time and fed a cute side flick with his heel to the overlapping Kolarov who crossed invitingly for Agüero, whose volley fizzed into the net. The Etihad Stadium overflowed with joy as we po-goed jigs of delight, with hugs, and high fives all round. There was unbridled joy written over City faces and chants of “Sergio! Sergio!” filled the air as he was mobbed by every outfield player. The replays in the stadium showed that Agüero’s volley was particularly well executed because the ball was slightly behind him.

City continued to dominate, playing composed football in search of a second goal. After a corner was cleared in the 20th minute, Agüero crossed from the right, Zabaleta nodded down and Nasri volleyed just over the bar.

It was all too much for Rooney who finally found his way into the book after a foul on Kompany. In fact Rooney should by rights have been sent off as he should have seen yellow on more than one occasion before that, having flung Agüero to the ground after one of his foul challenges and he was persistently guilty of dissent. That he wasn’t booked and sent off was a disgrace, but it was no surprise that Howard Webb didn’t book him, given his history.

United had a little possession in the middle of the first half, but they lacked guile and pace in midfield, and moved the ball too slowly. Rooney dropped back into midfield but even he couldn’t fashion a clear cut chance. With Kompany leading the way for City, the visitors found City too well organised as a team, with every single player prepared to work tirelessly for the cause. A superb example of this was when Navas tracked back to make an interception on the edge of our box. It was superb team play from City and a model in how to defend.

The best that United could manage were efforts from Valencia and Young that were well wide of the mark. United had no belief, City exuded confidence.

City pressed forward in search of more goals and Kompany played in Negredo who was denied by a desperate block as United toiled, but we were not to be denied as half time approached. Nasri swung over a searching corner, Negredo beat Vidic and Ferdinand to flick on, and Yaya skilfully bundled the ball in with his knee. It was a superb delivery by the Frenchman, excellent centre forward play by Negredo and a deft finish from our colossal midfield giant.

City, unsurprisingly, we given a standing ovation after such a convincing 45 minutes and a deserved 2-0 lead at the break.

The City players bounded out to warm cheers for the second half, visibly eager to get to work again. It was a wonderful sight, and City did not waste any time in putting United to the sword again.

The second half was not even a minute old when City cut United to ribbons with a move of simplicity that was perfectly executed. Nasri was relishing his role on the left of midfield and slipped a lovely pass down the inside left channel. Negredo gave chase, stopped and shielded the ball from Vidic with ease, turning through 180 degrees before delivering a perfect cross for Agüero, who volleyed into the net with one bounce for a well deserved 3-0 lead. It was a wonderful, joyous start to the second half.

Vidic and Ferdinand in particular could not cope with the pace and movement of City, who tore United to shreds with each attack. City were rampant.

It was 4-0 in the 52nd minute, as City continued to make use of the flanks to great effect. Kompany intercepted a ball in defence and fed Navas on the halfway line and he left Evra trailing far behind in his wake. Our spritely new right winger strode down the right flank and crossed to the far post where Samir Nasri THUMPED a volley into the net. It was a beautiful goal. The audible THUMP and the way it hit the net was a moment to savour, and we certainly drank it in. It was great to celebrate again, and again. Nasri ran to the corner flag, beaming and fittingly delivering a few boxing jabs to the corner flag before being mobbed by his team mates. If this had been a twelve round boxing match, it would have been stopped by the end of the 7th.

Our joy was unconfined and there was time to pointedly remind Moyes with relish that he’d be “sacked in the morning”! Whilst United probably won’t panic it would be no surprise if this limited, cautious manager would be gone by next season. Moyes and his chief executive Ed Woodward look out of their depth. There’s a karma working on several levels where United are concerned. Moyes has had plenty of snide digs at City over the years as he has schmoozed his way into Stretford, and that has not been forgotten here. United are roughly where Liverpool were in 1990, with an ageing, declining team and have been papering over the cracks for a few years now. The chief difference being the Liverpool had a lot of respect and carried themselves like Champions. The Rag empire is most definitely crumbling and their most effective employee has just retired. City, in contrast, are getting better and better.

The atmosphere was cracking all afternoon. “It should have been ten…” was boomed out just to remind the Rags of that 6-1 gubbing. There is no answer to that, and there wasn’t! It is no exaggeration that it might have been close to double figures on this occasion too. With just 52 minutes on the clock, and with City playing so well, it was a surprise that we did not score even more goals. That we did not score more was purely down to City easing off. Our intensity levels dropped, and we allowed United to have time on the ball, which they did little with, as they faced a Blue wall.

It was 68 minutes before Fellaini finally worked Hart, forcing him to tip over his curling shot on the turn.

Navas was replaced by Milner and soon after Negredo was replaced by Dzeko to thunderous applause, which both departing players demonstrably appreciated.

Dzeko was soon into the action and de Gea nearly spilled a well-struck low effort, and had to scramble backwards to stop the Bosnian striker notching another goal.

Hart made a regulation save from a Rooney shot, Evra hit a post with a header but referee Webb continued with some preposterous decisions when he awarded a free kick to United after Cleverly had fouled Fernandinho. City were content just to sit back and soak up pressure for the last quarter of an hour. It was if we’d decided to have some defensive practice. Kompany repeatedly threw himself in the way of crosses, and Nastasic was cool as you like.

Rooney won a free kick, which he expertly curled into the net off Joe Hart’s outstretched glove to give United an undeserved goal and a flattering score line, but Rooney should not have been on the pitch. It was disappointing to concede, and if we are being really picky, it would have been nice to have seen the six, seven or even eight goals that this City team are quite capable of scoring past United, but to win so convincingly is more than satisfying.

Dzeko fired just wide in stoppage time, as City looked to emulate Lakey, Morley and Hinchcliffe, but there was no denying that we had given United another jolly good battering.

This afternoon was significant because it underlined the strength of Manchester City and the weakness of the declining power in Stretford. The mostly silent away section must have been a painful, miserable place to be. United can delude themselves that they dominated the last fifteen minutes, but in truth the game was already well beyond their reach and we had taken our foot off the gas. Make no mistake, this was a rout. “This City is ours…”

United can make excuses about not having van Persie, but they don’t wash. City were without chief creator David Silva and Gael Clichy, and still managed to create a plethora of chances. Quite frankly Moyes’s excuses about having a tough set of fixtures to start with are pathetic, but that’s United all over. Undignified, and it’s always somebody else’s fault. Lame.

United were poor, but City were brilliant and didn’t allow United to play when it really mattered. Rich credit is due to City.

Starting with the manager, Manuel Pellegrini, who could have been excused for being cautious in his first Manchester derby, but not a bit of it. The man who has managed River Plate and Real Madrid was not fazed at all, and he selected a team of all round strengths that was encouraged to attack, but very well drilled in defence.

Manuel Pellegrini sent out a superbly balanced team and every player can take credit for his performance. The City team was a model in how to attack and defend as a team. The Boys in Blue played with such verve and vigour, were generally first to the ball and served up beautiful football to an appreciative audience. City had the patience to hold the ball, there was excellent movement and there were the changes in pace. There was also plenty of width. We are also using the width of the pitch more. The third and fourth goals were not the sort of goals that we would have scored last season, as we got to the bye line more. There were partnerships throughout the team (e.g. Kolarov and Clichy, Yaya and Fernandinho), and everyone looked comfortable with each other.

Of course, it’s important that our players don’t get too carried away because we could have lost heavily at Stoke last week, and we have to maintain our intensity and performance levels go and win at Villa next week to get up with the pace at the top – one suspects that Paul Lambert’s side will present a sterner challenge than United, but that is for another day.

City thrashed United again here. City slaughtered them, mullered them, crushed them, demolished them, battered them, humiliated them. We had them for breakfast, lunch, tea and supper. Yes, it was that good.

“We’re the pride of Manchester…”, again.

Very, very well done, City. Thank you, Sheikh Mansour, for making this possible.

Manchester City: Agüero 16, Yaya 45+1 (=46!), Agüero (46), Nasri (52) Man United: Rooney (87)

Attendance: 47,156

Hart: Handled well on the rare occasions that he was called upon and kicked with more precision. He noticeably took more care of his clearances after his manager showed his frustration in Plzen: 8
Zabaleta: Another aggressive and assertive show: 8
Kompany: Superb leadership throughout. He is so influential and breathes authority and confidence into City. His defending was top drawer, and he was very sharp in the tackle and quick to deny Rooney time on the ball, repeatedly nicking the ball off his toe. So much so that the England striker dropped deeper into midfield. Kompany repeatedly flung himself in the way of crosses both on the ground and in the air in the last 15 minutes to snuff out United’s threat: 10
Nastasic: Aggressive, sharp in the tackle and mature well beyond his years. Harshly booked: 8
Kolarov: An assist for the first goal and some good work all round before cramp got the better of him late on: 8
Navas: Always a threat down the right and was willing to do his fair share (and more) of defending: 9
Fernandinho: Quickly adjusted to the frantic pace after being caught in possession early on to give a performance full of energy: 8
Yaya: An awesome performance of strength, power and skill from the complete midfield player. Like Kompany, he was colossal: 10 (man of the match for his awesome dominance of the midfield of the park, but Agüero, Kompany and Nasri were highly impressive too)
Nasri: Had a hand in all four goals. After the nightmare of his dangled leg that cost us last year’s Etihad derby, it was good to see Nasri shine and enjoying his football so much here. He played with a smile on his face. He was so creative, hard working and played so well: 10
Negredo: An unselfish, hard working, skilful show from our centre forward, who gave Vidic and Ferdinand a tough time: 8
Agüero: Top class skill, finishing and movement: 10
Milner (for Navas 69): Trademark tenacity, which the Kippax appreciated with a “One James Milner” chant: 7
Dzeko (for Negredo 72): Drew one regulation save and nearly notched a late goal: 7
Garcia (for Agüero 86): One dreadful pass gave the ball away in a dangerous area. A popular member of the dressing room who sadly isn’t anywhere near good enough: n/a

Best oppo: Howard Webb: They’ll name a stand after him down in Stretford.

Howard Webb: Another far from even-handed showing here from the ex-South Yorkshire Police Sergeant. He was United’s twelfth man yet again. His failure to send repeat offender Rooney off was a prime example of this. He was very quick and harsh to book young Nastasic early on, yet United players like Rooney got away with far worse. Tellingly the well respected Gary Lineker saw fit to tweet during the game at 4-0: “Even Webb can’t turn this one around”. Webb would be better going back to South Yorkshire Police. 0 (Zero)

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>


Okay I’ll admit it, I didn’t see the match on Sunday. In fact I honestly can’t remember the last time I watched an entire derby match. I simply can’t put myself through the agony and potential for anguish. The only way I could think of making time go by slower would be if I were to undergo dental work whilst I was on the treadmill down our gym. The best I could manage in recent years was the FA Cup semi-final in which I probably caught near on half of it between many, many stomach-churned, pulse-throbbing-across-my-forehead walks up and down our street. That was one I could neither watch nor avoid for more than a few minutes at a time.

On Sunday it was a case of staying well out of the way until about five to six, taking a deep breath and a hard swallow, and then daring to turn on the telly. But oh, if there was ever a time I kicked myself for not overcoming my admittedly pathetic cowardice, and sitting through at least the second half then this was it. I might even have relaxed just slightly when goal number 4 went in – maybe!

The worst of it was that upon seeing that scoreline I simply had to indulge myself in a celebratory sherbert or three, indeed enough of them to ensure that I fell asleep on the settee about twenty minutes prior to Match of the Day, waking up not far short of 4 AM!

On a very different note, it seems that there are no end of pundits, journos and ex-players lining up to say just how Di Canio simply had to go, citing that the fear factor no longer works in the Premier League and that good player management is an essential element if you don’t want to lose the dressing room. Erm, slight change from the panning City got when we sacked Mancini who had likewise been authoritarian, aloof and a little too public in his player criticisms. Now I’m obviously aware of the not insignificant difference between what Bobby Manc did for us and PDC’s Sun’lan CV but I just think both cases have plenty in common.

Anyhow, I hope all of you brave enough to have sat through the entire 90+ minutes on Sunday, whether at the match, down the pub or in the house, enjoyed it and its aftermath to the max.

Steve O’Brien <bodsnvimto(at)>


A much changed Manchester City turned on the style and swept away Wigan on a very enjoyable evening to progress to the 4th Round of the League Cup. It was a very encouraging showing from the players that were selected chiefly because they all showed the desire and commitment to be fight for a place in Saturday’s squad, let alone City’s first eleven. It was especially refreshing given our shadow team’s exit home to Villa last season and at places like Brighton and West Bromwich in previous years.

Pellegrini made ten changes from the side that thrashed United (again!), with Fernandinho the only player to start both games. He was partnered by Javi Garcia, with 17-year-old Marcos Lopes featuring on the left wing and James Milner on the right. Up front was an all Balkan combination as Edin Dzeko came in to partner Stevan Jovetic who was making his home début. At the back Micah Richards made his first start of the season, with Gael Clichy in at left back, and Joleon Lescott partnering Dedryck Boyata in the heart of our defence. The transition was seamless and we were quickly into action. Richards and Boyata both forced Wigan goalkeeper Nicholls to tip over powerful goal-bound headers in the first five minutes.

Good work from Milner set up Richards to cross and Marcos Lopes hit the bar in the 28th minute, but it was only a temporary stay of execution for Wigan. Barely five minutes later Jovetic found Fernandinho in a central area and he chipped an incisive pass that Dzeko volleyed past Nicholls.

Costel Pantilimon started his first game in goal, but he could have stayed at home, such was our dominance. Wigan failed to trouble him all evening.

With James Milner very much to the fore on the right flank, City were slick and inventive. Milner teed up Jovetic and his half volley was saved, and then he skipped past his marker and crossed for Marcos Lopes, whose goal-bound shot was deflected behind by a Wigan defender.

After the break, Dzeko forced a save, the ball broke lose to Milner and his shot was deflected onto the post. Yaya headed wide from Milner’s resultant corner. More goals were inevitable and so it proved on the hour when a slick move unlocked the Wigan defence. Milner found Dzeko who played a perfect pass for Richards to run onto and cross. Jovetic’s snap-shot was blocked by Nicholls but the Montenegrin despatched the rebound to register his first goal in City colours. He and Dzeko both forced saves from Wigan’s increasingly overworked goalkeeper. Indeed, the second half was even more one-sided of the contest as Wigan tired.

Yaya Touré, who had come on for Fernandinho at half time to share the workload, then surpassed all his previous dead ball strikes with yet another spectacular strike. Again from the inside left position about 23 yards out, he hit an unstoppable free kick of awesome power right between angle of left hand post and bar. No goalkeeper in the world would have had a chance of saving this perfect free kick. It was the best moment of an enjoyable match. Simply awesome.

There was a comedy moment when Nick Powell, on loan from the Rags, came on to boos (love that continued attention to detail, Blues!), but City were nowhere near finished.

After Marcos Lopes was substituted after a decent showing, Jesus Navas took his place and Milner switched to the left, and the Yorkshireman showed his two-footed ability with a searching cross that was cleared to Jovetic, close in, and he coolly chested it down and swept it into the net with his right foot to make it 4-0.

“Taxi for Wigan” bellowed one wag.

City weren’t finished, though, and Jovetic and sub Negredo combined to free Navas in the inside right position, who scored with a rasping, angled low drive to round off the scoring.

This wasn’t “revenge” for Wembley (another lazy media cliché). We couldn’t win the Cup back at the Etihad, and in any case, no one bears a grudge towards Wigan after Wembley. They beat us fair and square, and were class in victory.

All in all it was a delightful evening. It hasn’t been a bad few days has it?

Right, Villa is our next match and we will need to compete hard and maintain our performance levels in a game that we must win.

Goals: Dzeko 33, Jovetic 60, 83, Touré 76, Navas 86
Att: 25,519

Pantimilon: Had nothing to do, so not easy to mark. Good distribution, so: 7
Richards: Busy in attack, not really troubled in defence: 7
Boyata: Unlucky not to score. Untested but looked comfortable: 7
Lescott: Solid and assertive: 7
Clichy: Lively down the left flank in the first half: 7
Milner: An impressive all action display. Very impressive in attack and industrious in defence: 9
Fernandinho: Lovely pass for the opener. A good half of football: 8
Garcia: Neat and tidy. Not tested really: 6
Lopes: A promising showing from the 17 year old, and he went close to scoring another goal: 7
Jovetic: A good evening, which saw him improve as the game progressed. Manuel Pellegrini revealed afterwards that he had been a little static in the first half and that his movement between the lines (one modern catch phrase that I do like!) improved significantly after his half time pep talk. Not that Manuel is taking all the credit! 8
Dzeko: Showed a poacher’s instinct to net his volley. Some good combination play. He’ll probably be on the bench on Saturday and ready for Bayern next week: 7
Yaya (for Fernandinho 45): Another seamless transition. His free kick strike was a thrill to see: awesome power, and perfection: 8
Navas (for Lopes 71): took his goal well: 7
Negredo (for Dzeko 79): Straight into the action: n/a

Best Oppo: Nicholls: He’s got a bright future in the game after several good saves: 8

Refwatch: Kevin Friend: Low profile on an easy night: 7

(I’ll happily take being labelled “young” at 48, even from a young’un like the Ed!)

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)>

MCIVTA FAQ [v1112.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Philip Alcock)         :
News/rumour                      :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings by email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page/Twitter is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site. You can also follow on to get the latest updates.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at and the official club Twitter page at The club also has a facebook page at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

The Official Supporters’ Club and the Centenary Supporters’ Association have merged to become the Manchester City Supporters’ Club ( The club also recognise the Manchester City Disabled Supporters’ Association (

[6] Where can I find out about Points of Blue?

The committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. Points of Blue appears on the club website under the “Fans” heading (

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

Live match commentary can be found on the club website. The Radio Manchester pre- and post-match phone-in is available on the web at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premier League games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. A useful site for North American viewers is

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with Usenet, a basic explanation is available here:

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Do any squad members have their own Twitter accounts?

A list of genuine player accounts is maintained at!/MCFC/players

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth historical analysis try

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Philip Alcock,

Newsletter #1924