Man City 2 Man United 3: Lessons learned from a thrilling derby

Manchester United set up a fourth round tie against Liverpool after beating Manchester City 3-2 - but what did we learn?

FA Cup Third Round, 8 January 2012, Etihad Stadium
team1
Man City
2 - 3
team2
Man United

Some games do live up to the hype

Given the huge billing this game received, many feared that the real thing would be something of an anti-climax. Fortunately this was not the case. A Manchester derby in a knockout competition always had the potential to be a thriller and so it proved. The game had practically everything: a red card; one penalty rightly given, one perhaps wrongly denied; as well as a great comeback, not forgetting a thrilling finish. The magic of the FA Cup lives on.

What constitutes a straight red?

Undoubtedly the key moment in the game was the sending off of Vincent Kompany which will be a talking point for some time. Although the Belgian did jump into the tackle a little rashly, his feet were on the ground at the point of contact and he got all of the ball without touching Nani, who failed to notice anything had happened at all. Overall it was the performance from referee Chris Foy that will attract strong criticism and it maybe sometime before he is handed another game as big as this.

Wayne Rooney is vital to Manchester United

United furiously denied the rumours flying around on Saturday that Wayne Rooney would be sold in this transfer window and the striker underlined in the derby just why they are so desperate to hold onto him. Many see this United squad as the weakest for years, with Rooney arguably the only real star they have left. And in a game that did little to appease those starting to doubt the Red Devils, his two goals emphasised just how vital he is to his side.

Rusty Paul Scholes

The big story before kick-off was the return of Paul Scholes who, to the surprise of many, came out of retirement to take a place on the United bench. However, judging by his performance it may be a few games before the celebrated midfielder is back to his best. Scholes’ only real contribution to the game was to give the ball away cheaply in the build up to Sergio Aguero’s goal, such was his stuttering performance that he didn’t even earn his customary yellow card. Only time will tell whether Scholes’ comeback proves to be a stroke of genius or a sign of desperation.

Samir Nasri is yet to shine for City

There is no doubting Samir Nasri’s class, but most people would agree that he is yet to find his best form at City. Due to the wealth of attacking options at City’s disposal, Nasri has not been guaranteed a starting spot, so it is all the more surprising that he did not seize this opportunity to stake a claim. Instead, the Frenchman was so anonymous for large parts of the game it led City fans on Twitter to suggest that City were playing with nine men. It is a case of “˜must try harder’ for Nasri if he wants to make a meaningful impact at Eastlands.

Gary Lineker
Carragher, Lineker react to Origi's winner in Liverpool FC's 1-0 victory at Wolves
Michael Owen
‘Body blow’: Michael Owen reacts to Divock Origi’s goal in Liverpool FC’s 1-0 win at Wolves
Paul Merson
Paul Merson states his prediction for Wolves v Liverpool FC
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for West Ham v Chelsea FC
Thomas Tuchel
Mark Lawrenson predicts outcome of West Ham v Chelsea FC
Gary Lineker
Carragher, Lineker react to Origi's winner in Liverpool FC's 1-0 victory at Wolves
Michael Owen
‘Body blow’: Michael Owen reacts to Divock Origi’s goal in Liverpool FC’s 1-0 win at Wolves
Paul Merson
Paul Merson states his prediction for Wolves v Liverpool FC
Michael Owen
Michael Owen reveals his prediction for West Ham v Chelsea FC
Thomas Tuchel
Mark Lawrenson predicts outcome of West Ham v Chelsea FC
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature