Déjà vu for City as Scholes rolls back the years

Paul Scholes

Citeh 0-1 United: Observations…ish

Déjà vu. Three out of four Mancunian Derbies have been decided by late, match-winning goals. And on all three occasions, it has been the team in blue who have been on the losing end of it all. Once again, they found themselves punching the turf, hiding their faces or just staring blankly into space in utter disbelief. But, who would have believed this? An utterly dreadful, abysmal (not Joey Tribbiani’s definition) show that has all-but shamed the TV Chiefs. This tie was not a glitzy or glamorous Derby by any means, instead it was scrappy and rather ugly.

But sometimes ugly things are beautiful. This late goal by Paul Scholes is just another twist in the race for the title. It was a lovely header. It was just what this game needed, even if that took 93 minutes. If you want ninety minutes of glitz and glamour, please tune into Britain’s Got Talent tonight. I hear they’ve found the next Susan Boyle. Or, you could avoid all that like I’m doing and just watch this hideous ‘show-piece’ again on Football First.

There are many things Susan Boyle and Paul Scholes don’t have in common, such as the fact that he’s ginger and she’s…not. Or that he’s a professional footballer and she’s…not. The one which I want to talk about, though, is how there will always be a new SuBo but never will there be the ‘Next Paul Scholes’. This guy is on a another level. He’s irreplaceable. He’s just signed a one year contract extension, how grateful are we for that! There’s a shot right at the end where Gary Neville embraces Scholes with a smacker. I can’t blame the skipper and would not have hesitated to do the same…bit awkward now, eh?

If he hadn’t scored, he will still quite easily have been man of the match. He controlled the game excellently, and was terrific both defensively and as the creative force. His passion, determination and hunger was second to none at Eastlands. His goal was the icing on a great performance, worthy of a 9, but much of his hard work had come in vain as United just couldn’t impose themselves in the final third. Sure they defended superbly, keeping out Tevez and Adebayor in the process, so a 0-0 draw would’ve a been a fair result.

How far could this go in the title race? It could all mean little in terms of the championship, but definitely this result proved, if any were needed, that Manchester is red and will remain red. Pride was at stake and that pride remains with United. The only real sour note on a game worthy of mass celebration on the streets of Manchester is Wayne Rooney’s fitness. He looked about 73% (a random number, yes, but accurate) fit today. He was later subbed on the hour in a game where he had missed one or two great chances to break the deadlock. That ankle needs wrapping in cotton wool as United require one more final push in the race for the title. In this final hurdle, they mustn’t stumble, but for the time being, you’d still bet on the horse of Chelsea to prevail. However, there is still hope thanks to Paul Scholes.

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