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Manchester Derby: City 2, United 3 Last Updated : 10 Dec 2012 11:43:37 AM IST File Photo:Manchester United VS Manchester City
Van Persie, Manchester United’s Dutch striker, scored with the game in injury time to give his club a 3-2 win and a 6-point lead over its crosstown rival Manchester City in the standings of England’s Premier League
United took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute on an interchange of delicate passes between Ashley Young (header) to van Persie (chest), sending Young down the left side. He slid a pass to Wayne Rooney in the middle of the field for a right-footed shot that he did not strike well, but still rolled to the near post past Joe Hart.k
The Belgian international Vincent Kompany left the game after 20 minutes because of an injury, replaced by Kolo Toure. With time running down in the match, Yaya Touré also left the match with an injury, replaced by Edin Dzeko, who has six goals this season largely as City’s supersub.
Kompany’s exit seemed to make little difference when United midfielder Tom Cleverley stretched for a difficult pass and slipped it to Antonio Valencia on the right.
He gave the ball to an overlapping Rafael whose cross went through the legs of the French defender Gaël Clichy.
City Manager Roberto Mancini took a chance at the start by teaming Sergio Agüero and the talented but flighty Mario Balotelli up front. The experiment ended hastily in the 52nd minute when Mancini lifted Balotelli for Agüero’s Argentine countryman Carlos Tévez.
Balotelli did not stick around to discuss the substitution, heading straight for the City locker room, but emerging later to take his place with his teammates in those cushy chairs on the sideline.
Seconds later, City broke to the other end, with Tévez taking a close-in shot that was turned away by keeper David De Gea, with the rebound falling to David Silva for another shot, stopped by a reflex save by De Gea. But Yaya Touré took a short cross from Tévez to push the second rebound into the near corner. Game on.
For the next 10 to 15 minutes or so, United had few scoring opportunities as City pressed to get back into the match.
Then in the 79th minute, City’s David Silva broke into the United penalty area, cut the ball back as Patrice Evra slid to the turf and blasted a shot that bounded off De Gea’s shoulder for a corner.
City’s pressure was rewarded, erasing the 2-0 deficit in the 86th minute. A corner kick appeared to glance off the head of van Persie, eventually finding an unmarked Pedro Zabaleta at the top of the penalty area. His right-footed half-volley, again to the near post, eluded De Gea.
Minutes later, Tévez, who had just taken a yellow card, took down Rafael outside the penalty area on the right, a perfect spot for van Persie to take a left-footed free kick. That he did, with the shot deflecting off the lifted left leg of Samir Nasri in the three-man wall, spinning, bouncing and sailing past Hart into the net for his 11th league goal. As the United players celebrated, the match threatened to spiral out of control when and object thrown out of the stands hit United defender Rio Ferdinand just above his left eye, drawing blood.
The victory gave United a six-point lead in the p with two games to go before Christmas Day.
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