• FT

    Man City

    2

    Man Utd

    3

  • FT

    Everton

    2

    Tottenham

    1

  • FT

    West Ham

    2

    Liverpool

    3

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Etihad Stadium

Attendance: 47166

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Manchester City

  • Yaya Touré 60'
  • Pablo Zabaleta 86'

2 - 3

FT

Manchester United

  • Wayne Rooney 16'
  • Wayne Rooney 29'
  • Robin Van Persie 90' +2'
  •  

    James Tyler: Bye!

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks again for your comments and wit! Been a blast. Thanks to you too, Rog. Always trenchant.

  •  

    James Tyler: Aye, reportedly a coin thrown. Fans obviously can't be trusted with non-paper money.

  •  

    [Comment from zaphod]
    What happened to rio? Hit by something?

  •  

    James Tyler: Join us for the next Boot Room, which will be... not sure when. Check Twitter and ESPNFC.com for that!

  •  

    James Tyler: Follow us on Twitter:
    @JamesTylerESPN (BIAS)
    @RogBennett (IMPARTIALITY)

  •  

    James Tyler: Right then. I'm sure we'll all be blogging about this mess this week. Off to handle the post-game, folks. Thanks again for joining us for yet another memorable Manchester derby. No 0-0, eh?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Scenes indeed. Rock on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ha! Cheers Rog. I now smell of Cadbury's. Scenes.

  •  

    [Comment from ABINHO11]
    2 players that should have left the field at half time, BARRY & NASRI... they were both garbage

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Agreed JT. You did well too after spilling that hot chocolate down your shirt. Boot Room flooded.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    United six points up in the Prem now. Might be a definitive gap in La Liga or Serie A. Not so in the EPL.

  •  

    James Tyler: Credit to United's players and staff for keeping calm under the pressure, too. Didn't aggravate tensions further. That said, ludicrous that they couldn't enjoy their game-winner. Football!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: TItle Over? So will ask the tabloids. Short answer. No

  •  

    James Tyler: No, Ian. Sadly not. We have to work other things!

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    You guys sticking around for the matches in a half hour?

  •  

    [Comment from Vargo]
    Roger, he's won 16 points so far!

  •  

    [Comment from Jim from Reno]
    Rog: Fellaini vs. Clintu. What do we do?!

  •  

    James Tyler: Last season it was City doing it! Just a never-say die attitude from United today. Tevez concedes a silly free kick, Nasri's ping does the rest.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Awful football. Great Theater. Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett

    @jamestylerespn

  •  

    [Comment from Femi]
    How does Manchester United do it? Always manage to pull something out of the fire, when all seems lost.

  •  

    James Tyler: United's now six points up on City atop the Premier League.

  •  

    James Tyler: Can't script this stuff. United hanging on in the final 15-20 minutes, bailed out by Nasri's deflection off RvP's free kick.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: That game ended like a 1980s tie... very old school. United gut it out. RvP magnificent this season. how many points has he won for United already?

  •  

    James Tyler: Van Persie's first Manchester derby, first extra time game-winner. Not too shabby.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    What an up and down match for City fans

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    Yet again, City strikers can't find the back of the net

  •  

    James Tyler: United players celebrate an epic win. Really massive.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Thought Martin Atkinson was dire, but he did handle the end-game maelstrom well enough.

  •  

    James Tyler: FT: Man City 2, Man United 3. We'll read about it for ages, though it'll have nothing to do with the game itself.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: IT'S OVER

  •  

    James Tyler: Tevez kicks Phil Jones on the sideline....

  •  

    James Tyler: No -- was hit by a coin, it appears.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Blow the whistle now

  •  

    [Comment from scot]
    Did Rio split his own eye open in excitement?

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah. We're in the 96th minute but feels like a daze.

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    What a buzzkill

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    TV won't show us what's happening at the Etihad, but we'll read about it for a good while.

  •  

    James Tyler: Police very active in one corner of the stadium but we're not being shown. Rest assured we'll hear about this for ages and ages.

  •  

    James Tyler: Desperate foul.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD, MAN CITY: Barry scythes across Rooney. Soft foul.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: City live and die by the scoreline 3-2

  •  

    James Tyler: At some point, we need to have faith enough in humanity that a football game can have a definitive result that doesn't end in blood spilled.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris C]
    Hope the fan gets punished. Security needs to get beefed up yo!

  •  

    [Comment from Simon]
    Scored by Nasri, assisted by RVP!!! Good ol' Arsenal partnership!

  •  

    James Tyler: Ferdinand's bleeding from above his eye. This is mental. And they still need to finish the game.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Why can't we ever have anything nice, football? Fun game, wretched aftermath. Endless repercussions to come.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: The Manchester Derby has always stoked passions but that is far too much.

  •  

    James Tyler: Joe Hart darts out to protect the referee.

  •  

    James Tyler: Fans on the pitch, one makes a run at the ref. Insane.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rio is bleeding. this is awful to watch

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    This game is a lot like the Pacquaio - Marquez fight from last night. That was the stunning knockout punch.

  •  

    James Tyler: And Rio Ferdinand's struck by something from the crowd as he celebrates on the sideline. Not good.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ugly ugly scenes at City

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Not always good to deflect it when you're in the wall...

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    What'd I say earlier about Van Persie? Out of nowhere as always.

  •  

    James Tyler: takes a chunky deflection off the wall. Pings in off the post.

  •  

    [Comment from maverick]
    yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  •  

    James Tyler: Bends it over all, around Hart's outstretched gloves...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: RvP....

  •  

    James Tyler: TAKE A BOW, RVP

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR MAN UNITED

  •  

    Roger Bennett: HOLY COW

  •  

    James Tyler: *shakes fist*

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Eric GFOP -- My FSC has been out for an hour. Thanks Mediacom

  •  

    James Tyler: 92nd minute...

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh boy. Tevez fouls near the edge of the City box. Menacing free kick territory. Clipped Rafael as the young right back darted infield.

  •  

    [Comment from Darryl]
    COME ON VAN PERSIE

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ok. Typed that too soon

  •  

    [Comment from Eric GFOP]
    Omg my FSC just went out.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Not a great game of football tactically but you cannot take your eyes of it...

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Tevez shoots low from the edge of the box. De Gea saves.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris C]
    Should have brought on Chicharito. Nice save De Gea!

  •  

    James Tyler: Is this classified as Fergie Time? Don't believe so.

  •  

    James Tyler: Four minutes of added time.

  •  

    [Comment from Michael]
    Visit Manchester..where teams only score meaningful goals in the last 10 mins!

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Silva shoots low from the right side of the box, De Gea smothers it. (Takes puff on inhaler)

  •  

    Roger Bennett: De Gea did well to hold onto that

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    2nd City player booked for mouthing off.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Can City do this?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Is 2-0 the hardest lead to defend? I'd say 2-1.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tevez fouls inside the United box under pressure. Talks himself into a yellow card.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hard on Tevez there

  •  

    James Tyler: 88th minute. Anything left in the tank? Let the record show I flagged a 3-2 City result in Friday's predictions. Will it happen?

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    The worst part about this is that Mancini's Domenech-esque man-management has been bailed out once again.

  •  

    [Comment from Fresh Prince of Bel Air]
    I'm calling Copyright Infringement on that haircut.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 2-0 JT. what is it they say about 2-0

  •  

    James Tyler: Danny brought it back, full-blast. And it's wonderful.

  •  

    [Comment from KwV]
    Welbeck bringing back the flat top....or did itnever go out of style?

  •  

    James Tyler: Or will he simply be asked to run about and add fresh legs to the rearguard?

  •  

    James Tyler: No clue what this is about. Midfielder off for a forward. To punish City on the break?

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN UNITED: Welbeck on, Cleverley off.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    Great photo of Tom Cruise celebrating City's equalizer in Noel Gallagher's box: bit.ly/Uo69iQ

  •  

    James Tyler: Panic stations for United now in the final five minutes.

  •  

    James Tyler: Danny "House Party" Welbeck to enter. Best haircut in modern football.

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    Dzeko on! City Score! Coincidence or MYSTERY OF THE UNKOWN!

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    Work ethic is unbelievable.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Zaba's one of the most underrated in the Prem.

  •  

    James Tyler: Thunderous drive. Simply. Through everyone. De Gea statuesque.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner cleared, Argentine full back thumps it low through the crowd from the top of the box.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: PABLO ZABALETA

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL, MAN CITY

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Does the Dzeko reputation precede him or is it fully earned?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Aguero's decision making has been really poor today.

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for City! Dzeko muzzled inside the box. Instant impact.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's the emissary charged with keeping Tom Cruise happy.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN UNITED: Phil Jones is on. Valencia off.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Scott Sinclair City's intern? He works in the cafeteria

  •  

    James Tyler: Chillaxing.

  •  

    [Comment from Jeremy]
    where is scott sinclair!?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Dzeko Time meet Fergie Time

  •  

    James Tyler: No pressure, then.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN CITY: Toure Yaya off, Edin Dzeko on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nasri down the right, booms in a decent cross but Tevez can't wrap his right foot around it sharply enough, ball goes over the bar.

  •  

    James Tyler: It is.

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique]
    I hope that is a joke about Kolo James....???!!!!

  •  

    James Tyler: United playing eight minutes of keep-ball. Risky but working so far as City can't get it back

  •  

    James Tyler: Another City attack perishes at Patrice Evra's boots. He's had a decent game today too.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kolo Toure couldn't cut in MLS.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Aguero's distribution has been poor

  •  

    [Comment from Kyle]
    Into the final 10 minutes now. If we were watching Toronto FC right now, I'd be petrified...

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Edin Dzeko's sub taking a while as he can't find a phone booth in which to put his cape on.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Both super-subs to come on soon?

  •  

    James Tyler: He's in a phone booth outside, putting his cape on.

  •  

    [Comment from Jim from Reno]
    Where on earth is Edin Dzeko???

  •  

    James Tyler: Not so, Rog! I've learned a lot over my time on earth. Researching books does wonders for ones trivia capacity.

  •  

    James Tyler: Cheers, Femi! I'm paid to know some tidbits.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wikipedia

  •  

    [Comment from Femi]
    @JT .I'm African and that explanation for the Toure YAYA naming convention is exactly right. Curious to how you knew that though

  •  

    James Tyler: Rooney gets poor service from Ashley Young, allowing City defense to scramble it clear.

  •  

    James Tyler: (eye roll)

  •  

    [Comment from Guest1]
    Very Biased Commentary.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    De Gea was properly positioned and it luckily glanced his shoulder. Easy on the "magic."

  •  

    James Tyler: Worth noting, as we've ragged on him all morning: Nasri's improved in the past 15 minutes. Not sure why or how, but he's been a bit more menacing.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pinged off De Gea's shoulder and onto the bar. Out for a corner.

  •  

    James Tyler: How did Silva not score??

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 12 minutes to go

  •  

    Roger Bennett: De Gea. Magic there

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for United: RvP unmarked for a header but pops it over the bar.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: By RvP's standards that was gilt edged...

  •  

    James Tyler: City corner's cleared. 13 minutes left in this most intriguing of contests. At least since half-time.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: INSWINGER PLEASE

  •  

    James Tyler: His full name is apparenly Gnegneri Toure Yaya Toure Yaya. The family name is Toure but Yaya is his given last name back home. Or it's the naming convention.

  •  

    James Tyler: I know the toure answer!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: United craving possession here to stave off City pressure

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Cruise very Eyes Wide Shut there

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    Yaya just barged into Cleverly, did he funny bone his knee?

  •  

    [Comment from Harts Near Post]
    I never got why Yaya Toure's shirt says "Toure Yaya"

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Does anyone know answer to next question

  •  

    James Tyler: Ryan, Zaba's one of the Prem's unheralded gems.

  •  

    [Comment from :)]
    It's times like these where you really wish you had heskey on your team...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Bad sight for City... Yaya in agony.

  •  

    James Tyler: YELLOW CARD, MAN CITY: Yaya Toure catches Cleverley. In the book you go, lad.

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    Zaba is one of City's most under rated player.

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    Christmas lights on, first snow of the year, on my third Leinenkugel at 9:00 am, and hanging with the Boot Room... life is good!

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Free kick's flicked on but Kolo Toure can't swing his fat leg around fast enough to direct his shot on goal. He's offside anyway so never mind.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wrong Toure

  •  

    James Tyler: Toure had nothing but space in front of him. Yet no advantage played. City fans and players understandably upset.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ref's having a minor nightmare now. Yaya Toure free down the left wing after some superb skill to ride out a couple of tackles, only to be called back so a yellow card can be shown to Wayne Rooney.

  •  

    [Comment from Harts Near Post]
    Atkinson has a face I would never tire of punching

  •  

    Roger Bennett: City MUCH more committed this half. Terrific performance from them win or lose. And good for Mancini...

  •  

    James Tyler: Ashley Young and Zabaleta at it again.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Best battle this weekend: Ashley Young vs. Pablo Zabaleta. Both giving it their MMA all. Great fun.

  •  

    [Comment from bombscarejr433]
    It's Wayne Rooney ! of course it was skill. I see how the Boot Room operates.

  •  

    James Tyler: For some reason all the comments are coming out of order at the moment.

  •  

    James Tyler: Isaac, I like a winger that stays on the wing.

  •  

    [Comment from Isaac]
    Tony Valencia is the bizarro Robben... He ALWAYS cuts to the outside.

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    Tottenham was up here late 1-0 not too long ago. Didn't end well.

  •  

    James Tyler: Smalling does well to hold off Aguero. He's been a little stressed since coming on. United looks a bit less robust but it's not a problem -- YET.

  •  

    [Comment from Eric GFOP]
    That was a world record for wanker signs on one corner kick!

  •  

    James Tyler: We'll never know. Think it was deliberate the more I see it but also looked a lot like scuffed contact.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    btw first goal by rooney, skill or luck?

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner's decent but Patrice Evra's header is off his shoulder.

  •  

    James Tyler: So the game stops for ages? This isn't the NFL. We don't have time. Give us 90 minutes and let us go back to the pub. Or go to another pub.

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    I wish they could just give the goal, then review the build-up during the celebration/restart.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: City have scored a huge amount of their goals in the last 20 minutes...

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely cross by Valencia is nodded out by Barry with Rooney lurking. Corner, United.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nice guys finish last, etc.

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    and thats why players Dive, Tevez stands strong while being fouled and no call by the ref

  •  

    James Tyler: It was a 50/50 call and the ref is, last time I checked, still allowed to make those as they see fit.

  •  

    [Comment from southy]
    just because youve seen penalties given for a lot less doesnt mean that was one

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    I just got here (California-based) but I can already tell the Boot Room is HEAVILY biased toward one of the Manchester sides...

  •  

    James Tyler: Carlos Tevez and integrity. I'm floored. Diving is just such a part of the sport now. We live with it.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Scared to answer that without hurting Maverick's feelings

  •  

    [Comment from Chris C]
    James and Roger, think CIty can come back???

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Good on Tevez not going down there... could have done

  •  

    James Tyler: This game's far too open for Woy. He'd have four holding mids on in a flash to neuter this mess.

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh look, the Patron Saint of Stodge in the stands. Roy Hodgson looking on in grim-faced judgment.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Maverick. We are equal opportunity haters. BTW. Do you have a friend called Goose?

  •  

    James Tyler: 67 minutes gone.

  •  

    James Tyler: Just did it, maverick. Relax.

  •  

    [Comment from maverick]
    No mention of the Kolo push either. I see how the Boot Room operates

  •  

    [Comment from Matt W.]
    So this is what soccer looks like without a ref!

  •  

    James Tyler: Kolo Toure's lack of pace shown in full there. Nudges Evra off the ball inside the box having been beaten on the run. Seen penalties given for a lot less. Like yesterday at the Emirates.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    When does Bo Jackson come on?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Debatable offside call devolves into moratorium on preserving integrity of the game.

  •  

    James Tyler: City with the bit 'twixt the teeth now.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Maverick. Not true. For us, this is like a knifefight between Piers Morgan and Idi Amin

  •  

    [Comment from maverick]
    United are the only team that cant get favourable calls. If that was City the Boot Room would of been up in riot.

  •  

    [Comment from bombscarejr433]
    The pass from Tevez to Yaya for the goal - credit.

  •  

    [Comment from Harts Near Post]
    ah yes, the myth that United gets all the refereeing decisions. idiot.

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    They've showed it twice on FSC and it looked off sides both times

  •  

    Roger Bennett: When Kolo and Yaya grew up they dreamed of days like this

  •  

    James Tyler: Hard to say because the offside line graphic looked miles behind Zabaleta. 50/50 call. You win some, you lose some.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris C]
    James and Roger, I saw the replay, Ashley's "goal" seemed onside? Am I seeing things?

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    If there's anyone in the world who shouldn't be complaining about a bad decision, it's Man U fans.

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88]
    If City come back we will never hear the end of the disallowed goal from Utd fans and SAF

  •  

    James Tyler: He plays it low to Aguero who works his way wide. Low cut-back cross is easily cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: City free kick. 25-30 yards out, nice angle for a shot. Yaya over it...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: A thank you card. From good people?

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    That has to be a card for Rio, right?

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. Worth noting that Silva should have slotted it seconds before Yaya did. The power of second chances.

  •  

    [Comment from Wu]
    Silva almost squandered that in the most hilarious fashion

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    YAYA TOURE, the jersey I waited for for six weeks..international customs..

  •  

    James Tyler: Now, Tevez down following a high-ish boot from Rio Ferdinand.

  •  

    James Tyler: Marginal shout. But what a manic sequence. Goal called off, City bomb down and pull one back. Not just pull it, but heave and haul it.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Crystal ball tells me Chicharito is yet to play a hand in this game...

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    ONSIDE DAMN IT THAT WAS ONSIDE

  •  

    James Tyler: Sixty seconds of mania. City breaks following the goal disallowed at the other end, three people have the chance to beat De Gea but are blocked, ball eventually worked to Yaya from 18 yards out and his low roller is perfectly placed past the strewn United backline.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: right in the corner

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Terrific finish by Yaya

  •  

    Roger Bennett: THANK YOU... we have a game ladies and gents

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: YAYA

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL, MAN CITY

  •  

    James Tyler: Joe Hart helpless on RvP's firecracker shot, spinning off two defenders and curling it off the post. It's poked home on the rebound but is offside.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: RvP comes alive... that would have been SportsCenter

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL, MAN UNITED BUT IT'S OFFSIDE

  •  

    James Tyler: It's so predictable. The fact that Samir Nasri escapes legitimate censure is maddening. Much easier to apply it to Balotelli, I suppose.

  •  

    [Comment from Dave]
    Aguero poor all season

  •  

    [Comment from Ryan]
    Dzeko will be brought on, and Aguero will come off.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Nasri's first meaningful contribution. Gets it wide right, slides a low angled cross to the far post with Aguero bearing down to presumably tap it in. Rio Ferdinand pokes it out for a corner. Kolo Toure promptly nods the set piece off-target.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Quality from Rio there... but odd decision from Nasri

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City: Clichy finds Aguero at the top of the box, curls it well wide.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How much worse than Aguero was Balo?

  •  

    James Tyler: Please, don't compare Carrick to Pirlo. Even with quotation marks.

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    United did this against Reading. 4-1-4-1 with Carrick the "Pirlo" player and Van Persie up top

  •  

    James Tyler: Zabaleta and Ashley Young tangle for the thousandth time today. Ends with United winning a free kick.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: MMA

  •  

    James Tyler: What he's good at. And in the right situations, it's perfectly fine.

  •  

    [Comment from Vargo]
    Carrick is playing so deep he's like a slightly-advanced CB.

  •  

    [Comment from M]
    Mancini's coaching style is to throw stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks?

  •  

    James Tyler: Matija Nastasic is down now. Trod on by Van Persie after taking too long to clear the ball. He'll be fine.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's a drunk frat boy at a sports bar, DeSelby.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    Darts at a dartboard, JT? What if Mancini is as good as Phil "The Power" Taylor?

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    Nasri to Atkinson: can you please give me a yellow card so I can have one camera close-up this match?

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    It's funny, of all Arsenals players sold to City, Nasri was mourned the least. He has a terrible attitude and goes missing for half the season

  •  

    James Tyler: 54th minute. Game's in a dull ebb, not helped by City's unwillingness to make this a competitive fixture at 2-0 down.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Immediate Twitter response of "serves Balotelli right." He was decent today. Lot less selfish. Tried to set teammates up.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wonder if Balo will sell the t-shirt we never saw for charity

  •  

    James Tyler: I know, right? Mancini's awful, Alex.

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    What an idiot. Embarrasment to his teamates

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    One step closer to Milan. Come on home, Mario.

  •  

    James Tyler: City flagged for offside. Silva was comfortably on but as Nasri was near the play, up goes the flag.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Darts-at-a-dartboard management from Roberto Mancini. Great to watch.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt K]
    straight to the tunnel...

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN CITY: Balotelli off, Carlos Tevez on. Super Mario has a stare at Roberto en route to the dressing room.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Exit Balo.

  •  

    James Tyler: 51st minute... Decent cross from the right but Cleverley belts it over the bar.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: cant watch

  •  

    James Tyler: (nods)

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Cassano worked out pretty well, Morty.

  •  

    James Tyler: Disagree. But I'll say Mancini hasn't figured it out yet, Morty.

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    Nasri just hasn't been the same since they banned snoods

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    there is no right partner for Balotelli.

  •  

    James Tyler: Quick City counter but Nasri's easily relieved of the ball by Patrice Evra. Someone, spare Samir any further pain.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Most PL goals: Shearer? 260, Cole? 187, Henry? 175, Fowler? 163, Lampard? 153, Rooney & Les Ferdinand? 150.

  •  

    James Tyler: United on the break again via Rooney. Finds Ashley Young wide left but the cross is blocked.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Aguero the wrong partner for Balotelli. He needs to be the focal point, not the set-up man.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's because they're all happening now, Nick!

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    No changes at half. Surprising?

  •  

    James Tyler: Tevez is about to come on!

  •  

    [Comment from Sara]
    Manchini doesn't like inswingers, all evidence to the contrary (from Soccernomics, I think)

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN UNITED: Chris Smalling on, Jonny Evans off. He gives a game clap to the uncaring crowd as he exits.

  •  

    James Tyler: Imagine that. Evans/Ferdinand swapped for Smalling/Jones. It might happen. It might be hilarious.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, then. Evans about to be replaced but now Rio Ferdinand is hobbled also.

  •  

    James Tyler: "Come on, City" says the crowd.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kolo floats a cross for Balotelli but he's isolated and can't corral possession at the top of the box.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Interesting stat. Kun has only passed to Balo once all game

  •  

    James Tyler: Aguero's cross eludes all his teammates. Lament.

  •  

    James Tyler: Known as the Idling 18-Wheeler.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    My favorite formation of all time was Chelsea's 6-3-0 against Barcelona in the Champions League last year.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jonny Evans has twinged something. Tweaked something. He'll be off shortly.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Jonny Football is injured

  •  

    James Tyler: Clichy then fouls Ashley Young.

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Move Francois in goal and put Joe Hart up front. I've seen that Youtube bicycle kick.

  •  

    James Tyler: Low inswinger but volleyed clear by RvP at the near post.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Inswinger towards De Gea please

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    I'm betting on a 3-1 finish. City score early but United ends the game in the late stages

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off. Early corner for Man City as Zabaleta gets forward down the right.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Right, second half.

  •  

    James Tyler: 3-0-7

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    City should put on Dzeko and Tevez and go 3-2-1-4

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Great stat: @OptaJoe
    86 - Man Utd have won 86 of the 88 PL games in which they were exactly 2-0 up at half-time, losing none. Comfortable.

  •  

    James Tyler: Let me rephrase: Silva and Tevez wide, Barry/Yaya in the middle. Heck, try a midfield diamond. Something, anything, now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Three at the back is asking for trouble. Considering how poor City's been at defending on the counter, RvP and Rooney would just shred that.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt K]
    No I'd take off a defender and go 3-4-1-2

  •  

    [Comment from WhiteSpeedReceiver]
    If you're Mancini, you're spending a couple minutes before the 2nd half looking for a mover for tomorrow

  •  

    James Tyler: Why play a 4-3-3 when they're not finding any room wide? Battle's being lost in the middle. Need numbers.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tevez on the flank, Balo/Aguero up top, Silva/Barry in the middle.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Inside his own mind

  •  

    [Comment from maverick]
    where does balo play in that?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT -- do it do it

  •  

    James Tyler: If I'm Mancini, I'm bringing on Tevez, taking off Nasri, moving to a 4-4-2.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett (Kolo)

    @jamestylerespn (Yaya)

  •  

    James Tyler: Think LFC draws today. But a desperate one.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    I'm sad Suarez is out against West Ham, if only because it's hilarious how much Warren Barton hates him

  •  

    [Comment from Sheik Mansour]
    I think this Francois lad is pretending to be Kolo Toure.

  •  

    James Tyler: Shhhhhhh

  •  

    [Comment from Matt W.]
    James, don't forget about a surging Norwich

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    Of course the game is not over, it's city. But id like to think United can put it away now

  •  

    James Tyler: RIP Sir Patrick Moore, astronomer genius.

  •  

    [Comment from ChristophLedger via Twitter]
    In memory of Patrick Moore, here's Whigfield playing Yoshi's Island on GamesMaster. She's wearing a Menswe@r T-shirt: youtube.com/watch?v=GC_eI8…

  •  

    James Tyler: Worth noting a United win gives SAF a six-point lead atop the table. With Chelsea in disarray and Arsenal being Arsenal, that's not too shabby heading into the Xmas period.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Rog. Early goal in second half could swing door wide open again.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Second big question. If City lose... Whither Mancini...

  •  

    James Tyler: He's doing his mundane ditch-digger's work manfully thus far. Never the most assertive player (he's English, after all) but holding down the fort well.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Big question. Is this game over? I do not believe it is by a stretch.

  •  

    [Comment from Vargo]
    James, what do you think of Carrick? I've hardly heard his name called, but he's had some important touches.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: He likes money more than football. He's human...

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    The Scott Sinclair signing made no sense for me.

  •  

    James Tyler: But does Mancini actually use him or care? Not really.

  •  

    James Tyler: Scott Sinclair is this season's Adam Johnson. Almost feels like a Make-A-Wish signing, plucking a promising lad and giving him lucre and the hope of starting for a burgeoning Euro force.

  •  

    James Tyler: He played in midweek! I think.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt K]
    I'd like to file a missing persons report for Scott Sinclair. Last seen in August leaving Swansea headed for Manchester.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: If City do not score in next 20 minutes they will lose a man

  •  

    [Comment from Alex]
    What are the odds both teams finish with 11 men? A few testy moments...

  •  

    James Tyler: But he'll be rich and enjoying the Monaco nightlife, so it's a mixed bag, really.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Nasri is heartbreakingly bad. When he is 50 he will look back on his decline with a guilty sadness

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    Wait, was Nasri playing?

  •  

    [Comment from G]
    Nasri is absolutely terrible! Take him off and bring on Tevez.

  •  

    James Tyler: Uh oh. We agree with Wazza Bazza.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    Warren Barton too says get Nasri off.

  •  

    James Tyler: I tell you what, we are excellent at turning any Boot Room in a Liverpool/Arsenal forum. Which is just fine with me.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Of any team, I think Pep is ideally suited for Arsenal.

  •  

    [Comment from Phil Jones]
    Don't worry guys, I'm here.

  •  

    James Tyler: Who knows, TMLP. City's building something grand, it must be said. Lots of youth investment, plenty of stars in the making.

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    Pep G. - does he really fit with either of these teams? Given his strong emphasis on the academy and developing a system through all levels of the club, wouldn't he be a better fit for some place like Liverpool that has a stronger youth system in place?

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    I think Mancini was right when he said he had 4 strikers who can't score

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    I'd take off Francois for Tom Cruise.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. We've long since debunked the notion that more possession = better.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    @Kartavya, touching the ball more does not equal better

  •  

    James Tyler: Might as well, right? Does seem like in dire situations, Nasri's always the first to get hooked. Because he is rather rubbish.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    If I'm Mancini, I take Nasri off, he's been useless (for a while now), put Tevez in and go all in.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: City: 59% of possession. Just one shot on goal.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Tom Cruise spending halftime explaining to the Gallaghers that this is somehow Xenu's fault.

  •  

    James Tyler: I disagree. Think they're just playing smarter. Doing more with less. Letting City waffle about the pitch to their hearts' content but attacking with blunt force trauma on those rare moments in possession. Good discipline at the back, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Kartavya]
    @JT : United are hardly playing with aplomb. Yes they have 2 goals but they were the poorer team of the two in my opinion.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. City ransacked the supermarket like the apocalypse was coming. Yet didn't think about how it would all fit together. Oh well. Not crying for 'em.

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique]
    Good point JT. This is why Madrid also does not build around Ozil; these creative type of players have too many up and down games, you cannot build an entire team around such a player.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah! Don't let 'em off the hook, Guest. I agree. United's plenty weak also yet playing with aplomb.

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Let's not hear how City miss Kompany ok? United are missing their best CB and captain as well

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    A billion-dollar team reliant on David Silva. Like building Trump Tower on a bowl of custard.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: City's changes are going to be fascinating in second half. This could be it for him... how he handles the locker room in time of panic is going to be symbolically illuminating

  •  

    James Tyler: I reckon he'll just wet his scarf and lash the squad.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    What's the Italian word for "hairdryer"?

  •  

    James Tyler: 60% of the ball for Man City, but useless.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Did not see it coming: Manchester City have a "Manny Pacquiao" of a first half

  •  

    James Tyler: Mancini can't handle the truth.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    @enlineadegol Hmmm...official league game notes have him with 150, as did the broadcast.

  •  

    James Tyler: HT: Man City 0, Man United 2.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    @MatthewStanger Daniel Agger?

  •  

    James Tyler: More than that: City just limp around the attacking third.

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    What on Earth was that? Kompany gets hurt and City falls apart, I guess.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Mancini's subs: Joe Hart to CF. Kolo Toure in goal. Tevez to climb atop Sergio Aguero and form a footballing Megatron.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    If you can't see Clattenburg's hair does he really exist?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: United fans goading City fans in crude language that they are too "poor" for the Europa League

  •  

    James Tyler: Joe Hart's bored. Comes a mile off his line to shin a ball into the crowd. United's CRUISING right now.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    I love Europa League jokes. RT @tomwfootball: 'You're too sh*t for Channel Five!' the chant from the United fans.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Clattenburg going incognito

  •  

    James Tyler: Two minutes of added time to close out the first half.

  •  

    James Tyler: He's running diversion so Rooney can get free. Working nicely, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Isaac]
    Oh wow. I guess RvP IS in this game. Crazy to think United is up 2 with him so quiet.

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for City: Balotelli on the ball in midfield, has a run, picks out his pass for Aguero in behind the defender but Aguero tumbles and De Gea collects.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Jonny Evans is the real Jonny Football @Mikeinthe501@MenInBlazers Can we refer to Johnny Manzeil as Johnny "American Football"? confusing

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    BILL won't be happy about closing the boot room before the greatest team in the world plays

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Balotelli lays it off for Gaz Baz at the top of the box, whose scuffed low shot is dragged painfully wide. City's best chance since falling behind, and it's taken by Gareth Barry. Not how Mancini would have drawn it up.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Death mostly

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique]
    Football is just football. The boot room is life and death.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rio done a good job on Kun so far... shackled

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Roberto Mancini could really use James Milner to turn this one around. (pause) Just kidding.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Football wins Garrett

  •  

    James Tyler: You can ask, though our Boot Room will gracefully fade away after this game. Reckon a 1-1 draw.

  •  

    [Comment from Garrett]
    Am I allowed to ask about Everton-Tottenham later? If so, who wins that one?

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, but when you build a billion-dollar team that is so reliant on ONE inventive Spaniard, you're in trouble. Just look at Chelsea.

  •  

    [Comment from Mark]
    David Silva epic drop in form has been key for me

  •  

    James Tyler: Five minutes to half time.

  •  

    James Tyler: Patrice Evra's hurt following another zesty challenge. Poor lad.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, LE. He really has little beyond that. Even on the depth chart, he's got midfielders like JAMES MILNER. Ugh. No balance.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    @enlineadegol Les Ferdinand 150.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: only 40 minutes until Dzeko arrives and levels up the scores

  •  

    [Comment from Lennons Eyebrow]
    It seems like the only tactical change Mancini has discovered in his time at City is to bring on a defensive midfielder and push Yaya Toure forward and hope the big Ivorian bails him out.

  •  

    James Tyler: Zabaleta fouls Ashley Young in a bid to win back possession on the fringes of the United area. More good defensive work by the ex-Villa winger.

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique]
    The key to this game has been Rafael's new haircut.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Man City looking alarmingly static.

  •  

    James Tyler: Because that always works. Maicon could add width but Zabaleta's doing a reasonable job.

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    3-4-1-2 time maybe?

  •  

    James Tyler: He's got two left in pocket.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    How many changes can Mancini make? He's already lost a player to injury.

  •  

    James Tyler: When your only midfield option is another holding mid, you've arguably planned poorly.

  •  

    James Tyler: The issue is a dearth of viable midfield subs to help alter City's shape. His bench is a GK, a RB, two CBs, two FWs and Javi Garcia.

  •  

    James Tyler: Tevez will feature. You can almost guarantee that. But beyond that? Dzeko?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I have felt all season that Mancini does not know the eleven he can trust. This game will be real evidence of whether that is true. Going to be fascinating to see if he makes any changes at halftime

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Roman Abramovich is trying to fire Mancini right now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Going to take more than force of will to turn this one around, if it's even possible.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Per FSC broadcast: Rooney's 10 league goals vs Man City move him past Bobby Charlton for most in United history.

  •  

    James Tyler: The one decent attack involved an overlapping left back and an angled ball over the top. Now, City's reverted to a more neanderthal, pass sideways/dribble approach.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, City's also not offering much invention in the attacking third. Simply trying to dribble through the masses.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    I think United are defending extremely well so far. One of their best team performances this season in terms of covering and tracking back and staying with their runners. Also solid, smart tackles and interventions being made. And then allowing them to strike fast on the counter

  •  

    James Tyler: One cheeky pass too many in that sequence.

  •  

    James Tyler: Valencia, Rafael and van Persie fuse down the right wing, trying to work some magic. Valencia's eventually flagged offside.

  •  

    James Tyler: "We Want Three, We Want Three"

  •  

    [Comment from Mancinis Inner Voice]
    I wonder if Chelsea are still looking for a manager?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    So far, this game is one giant intangible. Can't divine much from it. Which is great. #UnitedCity

  •  

    [Comment from Isaac]
    Rafael's new haircut makes him look like a mini Santi Cazorla

  •  

    James Tyler: 33 minutes gone, United up two goals from barely three attacks.

  •  

    James Tyler: Is City really this bad? Is United really this good? Can we divine anything from this?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mancini's inner monologue right now...?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 2-0. Worst lead in football, City fans...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: City have no width. Need to bring Adam Johnson on... no wait...

  •  

    James Tyler: Rio Ferdinand stands up well to Balotelli in the air. This game's mental. And great.

  •  

    James Tyler: Bite your tongue!

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    Serie A matches start in a couple of minutes.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    This is what happens when you host Tom Cruise for your sporting event. I expect he'll whip out the Thetan Meter at HT.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Wayne Rooney is the 7th player with 150 career Premier League goals.

  •  

    [Comment from Frozen_North]
    Love that camera shot of Mancini's face.

  •  

    [Comment from TwistyMaze LittlePassage]
    David Silva - shameful tracking back

  •  

    James Tyler: Easy as you like, really. Good delayed run and he meets the low cut-back perfectly.

  •  

    [Comment from Mike]
    This game was over once Kolo Toure came in

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How do you leave him with that much room???

  •  

    James Tyler: Too easy. Rafael's low cross swept home casually by Rooney with no-one marking him.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: WAYNE ROONEY AGAIN

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Good Lord.

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR UNITED

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. A work rate we don't often see. Worth noting.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Young's tracking back very well on the left to cover for Evra and help out with Nasri, Toure, and the like

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Rog, I always think Man U's checkered jerseys require two animated dogs eating the same string of spaghetti

  •  

    James Tyler: Nasri with a decent probing cross, it's cleared to Kolo Toure, so of course the rarely-used CB decides that this is his time to shoot. It's in Row ZZZZZ.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Oh Francois

  •  

    James Tyler: He also knocked the ball too far ahead of his run.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yaya going a bit Santi Cazorla there...

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Yaya Toure bulldozes through about 10 people then falls down when clear. But of course it was a foul

  •  

    James Tyler: Well then. City breaks via Yaya, eventually Rafael induces a dive from the Ivorian by faking a tackle and then pulling out before contact's made. Smart move to out any divers, that. Pretend tackling.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: when United play, there are always moments of clarity where it hits me just how horrific their checked jerseys are

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner's cleared. Cleverley can't get past Clichy though in a bid to bang in another cross.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Man City's defense as thin as Liverpool's strike force.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for United as Valencia's cross is deflected out.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Will indeed be interesting to see how United respond from scoring FIRST for once in the last couple games. It has been awhile no?

  •  

    James Tyler: Crowd yelling "COME ON CITY". And they're right. Defending champs look a little wallflower-y.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ha! Costel Pantilimon would have saved it, etc etc etc

  •  

    [Comment from ZB]
    That shot would have gotten by Hart

  •  

    James Tyler: He pressed all his RT/LTs just then, Jesse. And waggled the joystick to boot. A true pro. I bet Snoop Lion can't do that.

  •  

    [Comment from jesse]
    FiFa-like run for Aguero

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Aguero bulldozer

  •  

    [Comment from Car Salesmen]
    Don't soil our good name.

  •  

    James Tyler: Aguero versus the world! Dribbles through 7 United players, lucky to beat a couple but gets through only to roll a soft shot to a grateful De Gea.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Should be 1-1

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Crazy game... City defending like United.

  •  

    James Tyler: All United now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for United! Ashley Young played in over the top, forcing Hart to come to the edge of his box and kung-fu kick it clear.

  •  

    James Tyler: Kompany's hurt. Clipped achilles. Or something.

  •  

    [Comment from Tosh]
    Why sub so early?

  •  

    James Tyler: City's central defense is now a Serbian teenager and a pill-popping (alleged) car salesman (confirmed).

  •  

    James Tyler: Diet Pills! Diet Pills!

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB, MAN CITY: Captain Kompany off, Kolo Toure on.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    It gets worse for City. Forced to bring on Francois, a used car salesman

  •  

    James Tyler: Normally it's United playing from behind -- 15 times so far this season -- but City looks bedraggled.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Wayne Rooney scores his 6th PL goal in a Manchester derby. Only Eric Cantona has more (7).

  •  

    James Tyler: United with bags of confidence now. Cleverley plays Young through on the left but his cross is blocked and cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Well then. City's response? Must be immediate. Or close enough. Vincent Kompany's moving a little less gracefully than usual. And is about to be subbed off. Well then...

  •  

    James Tyler: Over-rated (clap clap clap-clap-clap)

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    rooney shins an overhead kick and it goes in and now he scuffs a dribbler in? luckiest player ever. (i'm kidding)

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Heh. RT @Callum_TH: What discipline from Hart. A less cool-headed keeper would've dived to try and save that.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Mancini tells Tevez to warm up...

  •  

    James Tyler: Seriously. United's first real attack, first shot, first anything at the City end, really. Fergie has a wry smile. Chews his gum a little less forcefully.

  •  

    James Tyler: I LOVE THE SMELL OF HOWLERS IN THE MORNING

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Joe Hart looks like someone just stole his surfboard and headed up the Mekong Delta...

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, bit weird. Not even an effort of a dive.

  •  

    [Comment from ZB]
    Is it me or did Hart have the oddest reaction to that shot? Shuffling his feet as he watches the ball roll into the net...

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    Lovely touch by Ashley Young following the Van Persie flick. That was the key

  •  

    James Tyler: You won't find that goal on a commemorative DVD or end of season clip show but it still counts.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ugly but they all count. Except the ones that don't.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    that counts as a goal?

  •  

    James Tyler: He scuffed that shot completely. Still on target. Joe Hart watches it slide in.

  •  

    James Tyler: Out of nowhere. Nowhere! ALL THE RIGHT MOVES. Simple break, Young slots it to Rooney in the middle following a good run, Wazza cuts infield onto his right food and shoots poorly through Barry's legs. Hart watches it dribble in.

  •  

    James Tyler: Amazing. WAYNE ROONEY

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Stunning

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR UNITED

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What a finish. first shot!

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for City on a counter-attack but Balotelli's through-ball for Aguero is too powerful, De Gea collects.

  •  

    James Tyler: 15 minutes gone in this one. Plenty of gusto but one shot on goal.

  •  

    James Tyler: A.N. Other

  •  

    [Comment from Jack]
    Who do you fancy up front for Liverpool today?

  •  

    James Tyler: Or Crocodile Dundee: "No, Jonny, THIS is a knife."

  •  

    James Tyler: Yaya Toure surges up the middle, slots it wide to Balotelli with the United defenders on their heels. Loses possession in a double-team and slides through Jonny Evans' legs in retaliation. Classic.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Oh Balo. That was like Raiders of the Lost Ark. The scene with the guy with the knife. Evans just whipped out his pistol.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Trillarvi. I am hoping for the fake tuxedo tshirt. I always hope for the fake tuxedo

  •  

    James Tyler: That's how he rolls, Orr.

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    City bossing the game which surely means Van Persie will score out of nowhere at some point

  •  

    [Comment from Jay Jay Okocha]
    RVP has secretly been rubbish for the past month.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    That volley was like Nuke LaLoosh's opening pitch in Bull Durham. Someone find Susan Sarandon to pass him a note.

  •  

    James Tyler: De Gea spills it at the back post but collects it with no City players around.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: De Gea... amazing. no pressure. DROP.

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    Rog your bet on the novelty shirt? I think it's a camouflage shirt

  •  

    James Tyler: Another City corner...

  •  

    James Tyler: Was a rather adventurous attack for City. They tend to prefer keeping the ball on the grass, sliding it around. Lofted crossfield pass into the left corner opened United up like a tin of beans there.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    RVP still hasn't scored? What a drought!

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for City! Mario Balotelli shanks one high over the bar following good work by Clichy to get in behind Rafael. Lovely ball over the top for the left back, his first-time cross bounced awkwardly and Super Mario couldn't get over the shot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Has endless games of "Kill, Kill, Kill."

  •  

    Roger Bennett: There is a novelty t shirt under his jersey itching to get out...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Balotelli's adrenalin filled brain: "Kick it, shoot it, burn it, fight it"

  •  

    James Tyler: Great, isn't it Raza?

  •  

    [Comment from Raza_88]
    Nasri's been in decline ever since he left Arsenal

  •  

    [Comment from Grace]
    I can't wake up for work on weekdays, and here I am awake at 530 am ... Oh how I enjoy the game!!!

  •  

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Nasri can't get past Evra down the right flank. Nice feisty game in the offing. Agree that the ref needs to get a grip but part of me wants to see how violent this can get.

  •  

    James Tyler: Footy's very good for releasing thetans, I'm told.

  •  

    [Comment from Trillarvi]
    What is Tom Cruise's history with soccer? Never thought he actually followed it

  •  

    James Tyler: Aguero tries to shrug off Cleverley's advances in midfield following the throw deep in the United half, works possession back to Kompany.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    Comedy Gold. Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall talk soccer ahead of the Manchester Derby 101greatgoals.com/gvideos/tom-cr…

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    Rio is a liability at this stage. Maybe he can take Marquez' place at Red Bulls.

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli, who apparently takes all the set pieces now, swings the corner to the near post but it's cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Jostling in the box! Jostling! Corner kicks are always good for some shoving.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick Christie (GFOP)]
    Hahaha, this is like having a lemur on the pitch to referee a match between a rhinoceros and an elephant. Fun.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for City.

  •  

    James Tyler: Left side of the box, Balotelli drills it low to the near post and De Gea punches it out for a corner though it was going wide.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ref needs to get a grip. Lot of early tough tackles setting the tone here. What he lets go will dictate the style of the game. But too many early yellows and we are going to see him giving out cards like Willie Wonka

  •  

    James Tyler: Free kick for City, not really within shooting range.

  •  

    James Tyler: Uh oh. Simmering now. Valencia is clipped by Clichy, barely, and then Rio Ferdinand comes right across Aguero with a hockey-esque hip check. Cue Balotelli getting in Rio's face. This is fun already.

  •  

    James Tyler: Evans sweeps in to dispossess Balotelli down the left.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pablo Zabaleta: most underrated player in the Prem? Rarely turns in a duff performance. More consistent than all the best English RBs.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Blue Moon at City

  •  

    James Tyler: "Wonderwall".

  •  

    [Comment from Rene]
    For domestic games like these, is there any type of anthem (national or otherwise) pregame?

  •  

    James Tyler: Silva's hacked down by Rooney. Free kick, wide left. Fans agitate as moments later, Wazza comes right through Yaya Toure. One man wrecking ball, eh.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rooney playing like United's Balotelli

  •  

    James Tyler: First couple of minutes full of the fire you'd expect. Both sides had their Red Bull this morning.

  •  

    James Tyler: Early possession for City.

  •  

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off!

  •  

    James Tyler: Best one of those ever, Rog? Jimmy Bullard?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tY0XPkrmJI

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I hate games that dont have a champions league anthem before kick off

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I love these full body team sheets. De Gea looks surprised to be picked when he strolls towards the camera

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    maybe cruise is still trying to find an audience for Rock of Ages.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    @tomEurosport That's amazing. When?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Cruise is apparently in the Gallagher box. I would love to see video of how that one goes

  •  

    James Tyler: *Buys solo matinee ticket for the Gerard Butler instant classic*

  •  

    [Comment from Orr]
    Tom Cruise set to star in "Playing for Keeps 2: Ghost Protocol"

  •  

    James Tyler: Think ol' Tommy knows the lyrics to Champagne Supernova?

  •  

    James Tyler: I wonder if Liam and Noel are slinging back pints with Tom Cruise right now.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Re Evra. He thinks its MovDecember

  •  

    James Tyler: Of course! It's always about Arsenal.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    I'm hoping for United, only because I'm always thrilled to see that last undefeated team lose a game so that Arsenal will forever be the only undefeated season.

  •  

    James Tyler: He grows a beard about as well as Wayne Rooney grows hair without help.

  •  

    James Tyler: Patrice Evra's facial hair? Why?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Love that big Hollywood stars are seeping into football. Feels like a key cultural tidbit for their PR portfolios.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Me too. That Untied team will rely on muscle memory if they are to win...

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm picking them outright, too. 3-2. Manic game.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: David Silva looking a bit Leighton Baines

  •  

    James Tyler: Man City.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Forced to choose one team to win -- no hedging -- who will you pick?

  •  

    James Tyler: They dredged Johnstone from the kids' table for this one.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    He hasn't even made the bench and presumably is fit and was in full contention to play today, so I could see that rumor being true

  •  

    James Tyler: Loved him in 90s video game show "Gamesmaster." And also his extraordinary work in the field.

  •  

    James Tyler: Moment of silence for Sir Patrick Moore.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20657939

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    RT @James_Dart: Tom Cruise and Robert Duvall at the Manchester derby? *Awaits defensive mishaps. Prepares Days of Blunder headline*

  •  

    James Tyler: Balotelli is a four of a kind or a 7-2 off-suit.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Interesting rumors that Lindegaard's wife has gone into labor. Gareth Bale style.

  •  

    James Tyler: Love Robert Duvall. If I could pick someone to narrate the audiobook of my life, I might lean on the man who shone as "The Apostle."

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    I think Tevez would have been the better play today, honestly

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNFC via Twitter]
    The countdown has begun! #FCBootroom for #MUFC vs. #MCFCchat @JamesTylerESPN @rogbennett Join us at 8 a.m. ET tinyurl.com/cxgv36p

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Balo's physicality -- they are hoping for a bullying performance. I always think playing Balo in a big game is like going all in on a hand of poker. Hattrick or red card. Nothing in between.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Robert Duvall on Sky Sports: "I am very interested in football. I was in London years ago to see Pele travelling through when he was 17, and I have followed every World Cup since. "I can safely say the greatest character i have ever met is [former Rangers winger] wee Willie Johnston. I named a dog after him."

  •  

    James Tyler: It might. But only if Balotelli is inspired to use it. Tevez' industry would arguably cause more problems for Evans and Ferdinand, but I think Mario's wild countenance is an asset in such a highly charged game.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Jonny Evans. In two words.

  •  

    [Comment from charan]
    do you think pace of balotelli will help city today as utd defence had been very slow this season?why is he preferred over tevez?

  •  

    James Tyler: You mean Wazza Bazza, Rog? Indeed. Man's teeth glisten too. Living the dream.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    Check out ESPN's new Man United-Man City commercial, complete with translations at the end: youtube.com/watch?v=sfrGaT…

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I wish I had a tan like Warren Barton

  •  

    James Tyler: It's rather Wengerian to adhere so faithfully to ones most stubborn principles.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Rog. Almost as if he's committed to this "goalie rotation" nonsense and refuses to admit he was perhaps wrong to do it so often.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What is hard to understand re the United goalie dilemma is what Ferguson has seen in De Gea's game that he does not like. Lindergaard has seemed so poor -- to keep choosing him over the Spaniard is the most enigmatic of choices

  •  

    James Tyler: They tend to be fairly narrow, etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: Both Lindegaard and De Gea are crap in the air, mind you. Yet I think City will not be playing too much from wide positions for the crosses.

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    De Gea definitely the right choice for me as well today. Having that raw shot-stopping ability is going to be key with players of this talent.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think a lot's made of it -- aka when one starts, we all make jokes that the other could have saved that, etc -- but I think De Gea's the right choice for today. More athletic goalie and City will be spraying shots around.

  •  

    [Comment from EliClick]
    Do you think the pick of Lindegaard over De Gea will make or break United? I personally prefer De Gea.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Amazing moments in Manchester Derby history
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=p_st29mlQwU

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Has Mancini made ALL THE RIGHT MOVES? Is Ferguson dabbling in RISKY BUSINESS by starting Valencia? Etc.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    RT @ESPNFC: #FCBootroom for #MUFC vs. #MCFCchat @JamesTylerESPN @rogbennett Join us: tinyurl.com/cxgv36p

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Here's my preview of the game. James Bond himself is a City fan...
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/blog/_/name/relegationzone/id/595?cc=5901

  •  

    James Tyler: The Argentine Teddy Sheringham.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Which super sub is more likely to rescue their team today? The Bosnian Solskjaer or the Mexican Dzeko?

  •  

    James Tyler: Will be in the next week or so. Wasn't quite ready to start vs. Cluj in midweek, Morty.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Valancia will be interesting to watch. City can be very narrow. Big game possible for Tony V

  •  

    [Comment from Dan]
    Both Cleverley and Valencia make the field today when they were considered serious doubts just yesterday. I know Fergie likes to keep his cards to himself, but it will be interesting to see how their firtness holds up

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    When is Vidic back United can;t feel good about having to put Rio out there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Both teams picking attacking lineups and all too aware of the psychological power today's result can have over the holiday period.

  •  

    James Tyler: As good as it ending 5-4. I'm picking that today will be an insane, punch-drunk affair. Bit like United-Reading.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: A draw is very likely. Both managers would like a point

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    What are the chances ts match ends in 0-0 draw?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: For United Evans has to aim high and hope for a mediocre performance. But Rooney's head has to be in the game if they are to control the game.

  •  

    James Tyler: I can see that, Rog. Patrice Evra will have his work cut out. As will Rio Ferdinand, who's been less than imperious.

  •  

    James Tyler: ANYWAY, to bigger matters. City. United.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT -- I think Silva is going to be key. His ability to create space in front of a United defense that has been a liability will be critical. He will have to be the Silva of last season if City are to thrive.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, but he's also the worst commentator ever. But that's for another Boot Room on telecommunications. Sounds like Will Ferrell's voice immodulation problem character from Saturday Night Live.

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique]
    Love how BeIn has Bodo as a colour man. What other station can have a former World Cup and 2x Champions League winner on their staff? Awesome!

  •  

    James Tyler: I mean, he's not been himself this term. Would be smart to kickstart his season today.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Duvall has actually been in a bunch of soccer movies. Kicking and Screaming among them. None have had the quality and staying power of "Victory"

  •  

    James Tyler: Rog, keys to the game? Doesn't it get repetitive for us to keep typing YAYA, YAYA, and YAYA?

  •  

    James Tyler: I did, because I have BeIn Sport! Ozil was superb. In wonderful form, too. 5 goals in his past 7 games.

  •  

    [Comment from Henrique]
    James, did you get a chance to watch Madrid's game? Ozil's second goal (free kick) was one of the best this season!

  •  

    James Tyler: But I enjoy the improbable convergence of movie stars and football. Like when Liam Neeson was snapped in an LFC scarf at Craven Cottage last season when the two teams met.

  •  

    James Tyler: Are they filming a movie here or something? Odd.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    I understand Robert Duvall is also at the game...which strikes me as more bizarre than Tom Cruise.

  •  

    [Comment from Raghav]
    Prediction- 2-2

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Even harder to fathom: Young Tom Cleverley has an identical haircut

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    It's good that Rooney got that hair transplant so he can shave all the hair off his head a year and a half later.

  •  

    James Tyler: Don't even, Morty. Santi Cazorla needs a boating permit. #HorribleForeigners #EnglishPlayersNeverDive

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    hopefully this will be more satisfying than the diving exhibition at Emirates yesterday.

  •  

    James Tyler: John, I reckon Tom's in his Tropic Thunder heels.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: One team cant score. The other has not been able to defend. And even more surreally, City fans cannot tell you a Derby when they last were favorites, even at home.

  •  

    [Comment from John]
    Has Tom Cruise installed a clause that Sergio Arguero cannot stand next to him in case Cruise is shorter?

  •  

    James Tyler: Two legit wingers, again not something he's liable to do in high-risk games. Rooney in the hole behind RvP.

  •  

    James Tyler: Meanwhile, Fergie doing about as well as he can. Carrick to hold the midfield, Cleverley to charm it.

  •  

    James Tyler: Elated to see that James "Beige" Milner is nowhere to be found. Normally, Roberto fancies his cotillon of bland, space-filling mids in big games. Instead he's got an attacking tilt to today's XI.

  •  

    James Tyler: Subs:
    City: Pantilimon, Maicon, Kolo, Javi Garcia, Tevez, Dzeko, Lescott.
    United: Johnstone, Jones, Smalling, Giggs, Scholes, Hernandez, Welbeck.

  •  

    James Tyler: Man United: De Gea -- Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra -- Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Young -- Rooney -- Van Persie.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Xavi. Messi. Silva. Cruise.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    I don't get it. Tom Cruise is really short.

  •  

    James Tyler: Big move to start Super Mario but if ever a game was tailor-made for his madness, it's this one.

  •  

    James Tyler: Man City: Hart -- Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy -- Nasri, Yaya Toure, Barry -- Silva, Balotelli, Aguero.

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS:

  •  

    James Tyler: Absolutely.

  •  

    [Comment from Nathan]
    it's safe to say both team's fans have a bit of nerves right?

  •  

    James Tyler: If you're CIty, onus is on winning. Unbeaten at home in two-ish years.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: If ever there is a game that is too close to call...

  •  

    James Tyler: Nervous? What's to be nervous about? If you're a United fan, you're three points up and a City win today wouldn't devastate "too" much.

  •  

    [Comment from EliClick]
    I'm nervous lol

  •  

    James Tyler: Jan, you're a gem. We are happy you're here too.

  •  

    [Comment from Jan in Cardiff]
    Good day to you JT. As always, good to be back in the Boot Room with you. Missed you on Wednesday night when we had Ravi running it.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Tom Cruise is at the Etihad. I'm not surprised at all.

  •  

    [Comment from PCarrESPN via Twitter]
    How the Manchester derby will affect which team is the league's Top Gun: instagr.am/p/TBEdvUs0j5/

  •  

    James Tyler: Will Mancini make "All The Right Moves" by starting Mario Balotelli?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Eyes Wide Shut mate

  •  

    James Tyler: I know, right? Madness. But this game is no "Bachelor Party." It's a bid for the Prem's "Top Gun."

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How big is this game? Tom Cruise Big

  •  

    Roger Bennett: TOM CRUISE JT

  •  

    James Tyler: Will it live up to the hype? Probably not. But when it's all said and done, we'll know a bit more about one another.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'm tearing through last night's half-eaten burrito. I can barely contain myself.

  •  

    James Tyler: The battle for Manchester, the battle for the Premier League, the battle for a Sunday morning.

  •  

    James Tyler: It's go time!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Manchester City

  • 18(9)

  • 16

  • 12

  • 56%

    44%

  • Manchester United

  • 10(3)

  • 28

  • 9

Manchester City

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 Joe Hart

D

4 Vincent Kompany
D
28 Kolo Touré

D

5 Pablo Zabaleta

D

22 Gaël Clichy

D

33 Matija Nastasic

M

8 Samir Nasri

M

18 Gareth Barry

M

21 David Silva

M

42 Yaya Touré
F
10 Edin Dzeko

F

16 Sergio Agüero

F

45 Mario Balotelli
F
32 Carlos Tevez
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
G 30 Costel Pantilimon
D 3 Maicon
D 6 Joleon Lescott
D 28 Kolo Touré
M 14 Javi Garcia
F 10 Edin Dzeko
F 32 Carlos Tevez

Manchester United

Line-up
POS No Name

G

1 David De Gea

D

2 Rafael

D

3 Patrice Evra

D

5 Rio Ferdinand

D

6 Jonathan Evans
D
12 Chris Smalling

M

7 Antonio Valencia
D
4 Phil Jones

M

10 Wayne Rooney

M

16 Michael Carrick

M

18 Ashley Young

M

23 Tom Cleverley
F
19 Danny Welbeck

F

20 Robin Van Persie
 
Substitutes
POS No Name
G 50 Sam Johnstone
D 4 Phil Jones
D 12 Chris Smalling
M 11 Ryan Giggs
M 22 Paul Scholes
F 14 Javier Hernández
F 19 Danny Welbeck

Match Stats

  • Manchester City
  • Manchester United
18(9) Shots (on goal) 10(3)
12 Fouls 9
8 Corner kicks 2
4 Offsides 4
56% Time of Possession 44%
4 Yellow Cards 3
0 Red Cards 0
0 Saves 7