Wednesday, April 10, 2013


As Kun Aguero shot across the edge of the 18-yard box with three United defenders in his wake, it was hard not to think of Diego Maradona in his pomp.
That low centre of gravity, the pumping oak-tree thighs, the hapless defenders hanging onto his slipstream like jettisoned threads of cloud, the staggering run, off balance, but still too good, too strong, too fast. Away goes the shot.

-- Aguero fires in the winner
-- Mancini delighted
-- Martin: City pride restored

And not just any shot, a weak contact, a flap nor a poke. No, a full-blooded smack, rising off his right boot as he tumbles, rising still as it passes David De Gea's outstretched hand, rising still as it hits the top of the net. A magnificent physical feat from a player not yet deemed fit enough to start a game of this importance. It was quite a sight.

And it was the least City deserved from a performance of raw tenacity and great togetherness in their 2-1 win at Old Trafford Monday. Every single player in sky blue put in a mighty shift. Not a man was left needing to be urged on.

At the heart of everything, the magnificent Gareth Barry. Castigated for his comedy own-goal at Southampton, deemed past his sell-by date by the knee-jerk brigade, Barry made the whole show tick. Beyond the expected close passing, timely tackling, closing down, shuffling and shunting, he managed to notch the unlikely statistic of the player who made the most dribbles too! Absolutely magnificent.

Alongside him, James Milner matched him pace for pace. The Yorkshireman never stopped running, was full of invention and eager into the tackle when needed. If Barry and Milner deserve to be mentioned first, it is perhaps because they are the water carriers in this stellar eleven. 

Read the rest of the article on ESPN's Manchester City pages 

Read Daniel Taylor's Guardian reaction here and his match report here 

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