Man City vs Man United: Ferguson should fear punishment from recognition denial
Manchester City have been urged by their avid fans to punish Ferguson’s Manchester United on Sunday in the FA Cup.
The Citizens are entering this weekend’s clash with high hopes and confidence, following their recent 3-0 demolition of Liverpool. The Red Devils, meanwhile, are carrying two consecutive victories on their back.
They lost a 5-goal thriller against Blackburn Rovers on New Year’s Eve before surprisingly falling 3-0 away to Newcastle United. Consequently, Manchester City opened a 3-point advantage over their local rivals and coach Roberto Mancini presumes that Alex Ferguson is struggling to face reality.
“It’s difficult to say your neighbours play the best football. It’s hard. But I think until now we’ve played the best football in the Premier League,” the Italian told reporters.
“In every city where there are two teams, the rivalry is very intense. Rome, Milan, everywhere it’s very strong. [AC] Milan were at the top for many years, winning the Champions League and the championship. For Inter this was very, very difficult because Milan won everything.”
Pursuing the explanation of his opinion, Manchester City’s Mancini added:
“Here we have the same situation. It’s clear Manchester City don’t have the same history [of winning as many trophies as United].
“But when you arrive and start to build a new team, a strong team, and afterwards it becomes as strong as the other team, for me it’s the same.”
Manchester City embarrassed the Red Devils by ousting them from the FA Cup semis last year. Earlier this season, the Citizens made a bigger mockery of their foes by trouncing them 6-1 at Old Trafford. With players like Sergio Aguero and David Silva, whom the club acquired thanks to its unmatchable wealth, Man City are making quick progress.
“In one or two years we can catch up,” Mancini said. “United have had this winning mentality for 25 years. If we win the title or another cup then we can catch up.”
One man who will strive to keep Manchester United goalless on Sunday is Joleon Lescott. Alex Ferguson for branding the Citizens as “noisy neighbours”, much at the fury of the defender who publicly slammed the press this week:
“It's an unfair label. We're not just making noise, we're top of the league and rightly so. We're the team to beat.
“We take it with a pinch of salt now. We took it as a bit more disrespectful at the start but even now they've started to regret saying it because we're consistent and a good team.
“After that [humiliating 6-1] game we could have been really noisy but we showed respect.”
Don’t be surprised if Sunday’s Manchester derby in the FA Cup lacks respect from either or both sides…