The Aftermath Of The Manchester Derby

Manchester United fans may be quiet for the next week or so, but it certainly isn’t time to panic.

Coming off a stinging 4-1 defeat in the backyard of their ‘noisy neighbours’, the Red Devils will not be feeling like champions at the moment.  With Sir Alex Ferguson having moved upstairs, this was new head of the household David Moyes’ first confrontation with the team from down the road.  And instead of giving them an early warning ahead of a gruelling battle for the Premier League title, the new United chief left the Etihad Stadium having been bettered in every department on the field.

Whether Moyes and his team failed to deal with the pressure of the game is debatable, but an inept performance did not make the job any easier.  With the away side lacking creativity and any sort of solidity defensively, the opportunity to win the match was there for City to take.  And take they did.

Losing any football match hurts, but it takes longer to get over such drubbing from your bitter rivals.  It is easy to forget that it is just one of 38 games in a league season, and that the consequences of the result are probably not as drastic as they seem during and immediately after the match.  Quite often, the team that wins the league start slowly, whilst a team that gets off to a flier fades into midtable obscurity or worse.

Despite the match creating only a three-point gap between them, the message for the two Manchester clubs could seemingly not be more different.  City fans should revel in the glory of their derby win, whilst the United faithful are quite right to feel embarrassed, angry and let down. 

However, both sides must remember that there is long way to go until May.  Getting carried away with any result, be it positive or negative, could mean taking your eyes off the prize. 

And in the last few years, that prize has become much more than just bragging rights.