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United, Everton and Liverpool win. City blue.

Simon Binns on Mancini’s staying power and Fergie’s phone etiquette

Written by . Published on March 23rd 2011.


United, Everton and Liverpool win. City blue.

Those London types eh?

You go down there with all your best gear on, only to be turned away by some posh West London club and sent back up the M1 with a flea in your ear and an empty pocket.

A man from Newcastle nearly scored for Liverpool, but for a header cleared off the line by a man from Middlesbrough captaining Sunderland. Which is a lot closer than Fernando Torres has got to scoring since leaving Anfield.

Roberto Mancini’s City came out second best in the battle of football’s deepest wallets, deciding to play nobody up front and let Chelsea stick two goals past them with minimal resistance.

David Luiz and Ramires (with a Brazilian beauty of a dribbling goal) made sure Chelski leapfrogged Abu City into third place, while Arsenal’s generosity in giving West Brom a two-goal head start before they started playing meant United stretched their lead at the top by beating Bolton with an 88 minute goal - rather early by their standards.

Fergie clearly had some free minutes to use up on his Old Trafford phone tariff, sitting in the stands on the blower for most of the game. How rude.

The issue for City now is how long the owners give Mancini, who seems intent on his side keeping the ball, until they get near the opposition’s penalty area. Dzecko clearly needs to acclimatise to the Premier League, but City’s best two striking options, Tevez and Balotelli, seem to be constantly injured, banned, getting sent off in order to get banned, or homesick. Or all of the above.

Meanwhile, a man from Newcastle nearly scored for Liverpool, but for a header cleared off the line by a man from Middlesbrough captaining Sunderland. Which is a lot closer than Fernando Torres has got to scoring since leaving Anfield.

Oh, Liverpool, you are an enigma. Finally sorting out their away form in the Premiership, but looking toothless against Braga in midweek.

Dirk Kuyt is flourishing, however, which is good to see. He showed immense promise as the baddie in ‘Karate Kid’ all those years ago, and is now paying back the faith fans have shown in him with goals instead of just hard work.

Everton notched up a good 2-1 win over Fulham, who hadn’t won for 18 games at Goodison. But whither now for Everton?

Straight to mid-table where it’s safe and warm, where troubles are manageable and nobody has to get excited about winning anything. Or being relegated.

Eight games to go and nine points off a Europa fifth place. Nothing but mid-table looks possible.

Are such dreary seasons the stuff of football?

STOP PRESS: Glazer-based news
The firm that owns Manchester United made a loss of £108.9m in 2009-10, according to newly released financial results by Red Football Joint Ventures, the Glazer family company.

The cost of setting up a £526m bond scheme to replace debts of £509m in January 2010 is partly to blame for the loss, as is a dip in transfer fees for players. The firm made a profit of £21m the previous year.

The company had to pay £30m interest on £220m of payment in kind (PIK) loans, which have been repaid.

Time to dust off the green and gold scarves again.

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