Monday, January 4, 2010

The moments of 2009

5. A Club In Tatters
Manchester City 0 Nottingham Forest 3

It is fitting that we should start the countdown at the very first match of the calendar year — the meek surrender in the FA Cup to Championship-strugglers Nottingham Forest.

The match was a turning point in City's season. Incensed by the inept performance of the side, Hughes reportedly asked the owners to immediately invest further in the squad. As a result, Shay Given, Craig Bellamy, and Nigel De Jong were added in the transfer window — players who have at times been instrumental in City's success in 2009.

It's interesting to note that Darius Vassell, Jo, Dietmar Hamann, and Michael Ball never played for the club again, and rumours were abound that the latter two deliberately played poorly to undermine the manager's position. Based on the perfomance that day, nothing would surprise me.

4. Champions League... You're Having a Laugh
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 0

Manchester City had the honour of competing in the Joan Gamper trophy in front of over 90,000 fans in Barcelona. And winning 1-0 at the home of the winners of the Champions League (as well as the Club World Cup, La Liga, UEFA Super Cup, Copa del Rey, and Supercopa de España if you don't mind) certainly made the football world sit up and take notice.

Some of the biggest teams in Europe such as Inter, Milan, Juventus, and Bayern Munchen have been invited to take part in this match in the past, and it's a testament to ADUG that we are now considered in the same breath as the elite.

3. Those Famous European Nights at Anfield Eastlands
Manchester City 2 Hamburg 1

Last season, the UEFA Cup often provided an unwelcome distraction, especially early in the season when we struggled for form. However, it was great to play against some new opposition and to go on some quality Euro away days (especially Schalke). Despite our struggles in the league, we managed to make it to the last eight, which was a fantastic achievement all things considered.

The second-leg of the quarter-final against Hamburg is one that will live long in the memory. The club offered tickets at £5 a piece to ensure a full house, and the atmosphere was amongst the best seen at home for a long, long time. Despite winning 2-1 (with Elano hitting the woodwork twice from set-pieces), it was not enough for City to win on aggregate.

It was yet another competition that Manchester City had crashed out of at the quarter final stage, until...

2. Quarter Final Hoodoo Busted
Manchester City 3 Arsenal 0

Having already beat Arsenal's first team 4-2 earlier in the season, victory over Arsenal's kids would have seemed a fait accompli to the neutral. However this was City we're talking about, the team that had failed at the quarter-final stage numerous times in the past.

After a nervous, scoreless first half, City ran away with the match courtesy of two amazing solo goals from Carlos Tevez and Shaun Wright-Phillips, and a late goal by Vladimir Weiss, set up by a winding touchline run by Craig Bellamy.

1. We Was Robbed
Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3

For approximately 95 minutes, this was the game of the season. And probably still is from a neutrals point of view. But a goal in the sixth minute of four minutes of injury time is still a bitter (arf!) pill to swallow.

Some fans were silent in disbelief, some cried, some punched glasses in frustration... but deep down I think all fans saw this as proof that our time is not too far away...

Redemption begins on Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. I saw this match live on Foxtel when I was in Darwin about to start a holiday in the Top End. Gee, to be robbed by a freebie from Newcastle - almost spoilt my bloody holiday


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