Manchester United’s evergreen midfielder Paul Scholes has scored at the last possible moment in this afternoon’s Barclays Premier League early kick-off, the Manchester Derby against rivals Manchester City. The Reds lifted the match 1-0, to keep their title dream for 2009/10 alive.
United, with the three points from today’s derby are currently just one point behind Chelsea, in 2nd place, though the league leaders have a game in hand – which is a tricky away fixture against Tottenham Hotspur at 5:30pm.
Man City, in taking nothing from a match in which they had shared 50:50 possession and the majority of shots on target, may have severely dented their own hopes of a UEFA Champions League spot: if Spurs can claim a point or more at White Hart Lane – which is no easy task, by any means – they will wrestle fourth spot away from City once more.
This season, which looked to be going to the wire, has got even closer, thanks to a super-close game won quite literally by an old Premier League head. Paul Scholes knocked in the winner with a rare headed goal, following a last-minute-of-injury-time cross from Patrice Evra.
The match, which was otherwise faintly uninspiring, could well be a turning point in both Manchester teams’ fortunes.
Manchester United claim the early afternoon bragging rights, but it is another derby match, in London, later today, which will be arguably more important for both sides today.
The Manchester derby means a lot to these players, however, as the men in red celebrated Scholes’ winner more than any to date this season: they knew nothing short of victory would be enough to keep their season alive. That the victory should come in the heart of enemy territory was surely just icing the cake.
City, on the other hand, will be hoping for many reasons that Chelsea show their very best form this evening: a Chelsea win sees them stay in fourth place, by a point, and their bitter rivals facing a four point gap at the top of the table.
Revenge may come very soon indeed for the men in light blue.