Manchester City 2 – 1 Manchester United

by Neil Sherwin

Manchester City have drawn first blood in their League Cup semi final tie with rivals United after Carlos Tevez inspired them to a 2-1 win at Eastlands tonight.

Roberto Mancini’s men came from a goal down in what was a pulsating first tie between the country’s most successful club for the past two decades and the potential heirs to the throne.

The visitors took the lead through veteran Ryan Giggs. A superb cross field ball from Patrice Evra found Antonio Valencia in acres of space and his cross found the Welshman after a flick from Wayne Rooney got past both Shay Given and Dedryck Boyata.

City struggled to get going early on and switched from a 4-4-2 formation to 4-5-1 but still it was United who looked the most comfortable.

The hosts drew level in controversial circumstances just before half time. Rafael Da Silva was adjudged to have pulled back Craig Bellamy in the ara, though replays shouwed the foul took place outside the box. However, referee Mike Dean’s decision stood and ex-United man Tevez stepped up to smash the spot kick past Edwin Van der Sar.

With the game opening up in the second half it was City who grabbed the lead on 65 minutes, and it was that man Tevez again.

The United defence failed to deal with Craig Bellamy’s inswinging corner and when the ball broke to Vincent Kompany near the byline, he was able to hook the ball across the six yard box to the waiting Argentine.

By way of celebration, Tevez, who maintains he was poorly treated by United, ran 50 yards to the halfway line where he looked towards Sir Alex Ferguson and cupped his hands to his ears as the City of Manchester Stadium erupted.

Shay Given again showed his quality with some top drawer saves to deny Wayne Rooney, and when United did finally get the ball past the City keeper, substitute Nedum Onuoha was on hand to clear off the line.

The last ten minutes were nervy for the home fans as United piled on the pressure but their side held on for a moral boosting victory ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford in eight days time.

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