Glory, Glory, Man Unit….CITY?!
Alright, I need to get this off my chest early: I did not watch the Manchester City v. Queens Park Rangers match live. I know, I know. Get your insults and bashes in now so we both can put this behind us. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, (which I no longer will take for granted knowing the struggles and strife that face Ben Cosman on his venture through the city that never sleeps), I was able to watch the match in its entirety not 5 minutes before writing this article.
Before the match began, QPR and City fans were screaming and chanting alike. Scarfs waving, signs hoisted, beer slugged, everyone was ready. The passion was increased ten-fold knowing that City needed the win for the EPL title and QPR to avoid potential relegation.
A few minutes into the match, the strategy became apparent. QPR was going cement everybody in their defensive half and try to fend off the goals-for leading City team in hopes of pulling out the tie, because that’s all QPR needed to remain in the EPL. Proof? The match possession. According to Telegraph.co.uk, 81% of the match was controlled by City and 19% by QPR (obviously).
Anyone else who watched the game knows that a) it should not have come down to stoppage time and b) the score should not have been 3-2. David Silva and Sergio Aguero both had numerous solid chances. Specifically, Aguero almost snuck one in but Paddy Kenny was able to save it before completely crossing the line. My favorite match stat is the shots-on-target numbers. City struck 15 shots on net while QPR had…wait for it….3. THREE! Until the second half extra time, this match defined the “we outplayed them the whole game but somehow those pricks were able to capitalize on the two or three times they even touched the ball” type of game. The frustration was mounting at Etihad Stadium with each and every passing second.
The word to describe this match: emotional.
Let me break down said emotion by goal, as I saw it.
- Goal 1: (scored by Pablo Zabaleta of City) This goal was huge because City was finally able to break QPR’s 10-0-0 formation. City fans were ecstatic; QPR fans shocked the gameplan had failed; City manager Roberto Mancini is reserved. City 1 – 0 QPR.
- Goal 2: (scored by Djibril Cisse of QPR) A misplayed City header resulted in this goal. City fans stunned; QPR fans go berserk; Mancini still reserved. City 1 – 1 QPR.
- Alright this next point of emotion does not have to do with a goal. I lied. Sue me. Joey Barton of QPR (formerly Manchester City) elbows Carlos Tevez in the face resulting in a red card. On his way out he employs a move most commonly found in middle school locker-rooms: the corn-dog. Barton effectively uses said move on Aguero and storms out of the stadium. QPR and City fans both in bedlam; Mancini, again, reserved.
- Goal 3: (scored by Jamie Mackie of QPR) Mackie was able to capitalize on City’s inability to mark up here. City fans in tears (seriously); QPR fans fornicating everywhere (not seriously); Mancini, once again…just kidding..he started dropping F-bombs everywhere at this point. City 1 – 2 QPR.
- Goal 4: (scored by Edin Dzeko of City) Initially marked, he was able to shake the defender for a miraculous header. City fans begin to think there is a chance; QPR fans regress from fornication to foreplay; Mancini goes apeshit. City 2 – 2 QPR.
- Goal 5: (scored by Sergio Aguero) Mario Ballotelli from the ground plays a ball (sort of) to Aguero and he blasts it to the back of the net. City fans are now fornicating; QPR fans have put on their clothes and prepare to exit the stadium; Mancini begins fornicating with a fan only to have his head explode moments later (not seriously). Fans storm the field (seriously).
I might have dramatized the previous segment but that is essentially what happened. All in all, Manchester City deserved it more than anyone. They lead the EPL in goals, goal differential, and were 2-0 in the head-to-head against cross town rival and potential EPL champ Manchester United. The way they were able to battle back in a matter of minutes is to be commended.
Kidding aside, the passion felt during this game was uncanny, by both the players and the fans. The weight this match carried was incredible and dare I say it “Landon Donovan against Algeria“-like. What I’m about to say may be bold, and controversial, but this match is arguably one of the best contests to ever occur in sports.