Sunday, May 15, 2011

Manchester City is United as Red and Blue Celebrate EPL and FA Cup Wins.

Not since 1968 have both sides of Manchester had something to sing about, but history repeated itself today as, first, Manchester United were crowned Premier League Champions for the 12th time before Manchester City beat Stoke City on the FA Cup Final to claim a memorable double for the former industrial centre of the world.

United wrapped up their 19th English League title with a well taken penalty from Wayne Rooney as they claimed the one point they needed against relegation threatened Blackburn Rovers. While in London, Yaya Toure, a certainty for City's player of the year, scored the only goal of a one sided game against Tony Pulis' Stoke side.

The victories were everything both sides deserved and the magical thing for both sets of fans is that, despite the trophy wins, their seasons still have much to offer.

City, having qualified for the preliminaries of the Champions League with a victory over Spurs midweek, can now go on and claim 3rd place and automatic qualification as Arsenal's season continues to implode.

The Gunners have only won two league games since losing to Birmingham City in the Carling Cup Final at the end of February and have slumped from title challengers to 4th placed also rans in a mere matter of games.

The manner of their performances over the last three months has left Arsene Wenger in precarious position at the club with a growing number of fans calling for him to resign after a sixth year without a trophy.

For Roberto Mancini things could not be better.

He has helped guide City to their first trophy in 35 years and they sit on the verge of the Champions League proper with the very real prospect of another huge transfer spend on the horizon as the club looks to move up another rung on the football ladder.
"I think it is amazing we have won this final to go with our Champions League place," said Yaya Toure after the final.
"It means a lot to the players but even more to the fans," added City midfielder Patrick Vieira, who came on as a late substitute for the impressive David Silva. "They have been waiting a long time for this."
 Meanwhile, on the Red half of Manchester, the Red Devils are celebrating their 12th Premier League title, Sir Alex Ferguson's 12th league title with the club, and the clubs 19th league title in total which takes them one past the previous record of 18 held by Liverpool.

When taking over the club in 1986 Sir Alex Ferguson vowed to "knock Liverpool off fucking their perch," at the time it seemed like an impossible task but Manchester United 2011 will always be remembered as that record winning team despite much criticism and negative comparisons with previous title winning sides.

The win came via Wayne Rooney's penalty. Given the actions of the player last October, when he handed in a transfer request, it seems strange to see the player step up to take the penalty that had so much riding on it.

But if Rooney is anything on a football pitch he is a colossus and he struck the ball into the side netting with aplomb as Paul Robinson dived the wrong way. However, he admitted to having second thoughts on the run up.
"I was terrified, I just had to compose myself," said Rooney. "After the year I've had, you know... the ups and downs..."
United now travel to Wembley on May 28 for a showdown with Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Final in what promises to bet yet another intriguing clash between the two giants.

The pair met in 2009 when Barcelona won the final 2-0 after La Blaugrana dominated the game from start to finish. This time around though, Manchester United must do without both Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo as they come face to face with a Barca side that has arguably gone from strength to strength.

Regardless, of result, 2011 will live long in the memory of Manchester.