By JUSTIN FERGUSON
It most likely will do nothing more than delay their rivals’ title celebration a few more weeks, but Manchester City will surely take great pride in a second straight win at Old Trafford.
The defending Premier League champions defeated first-place United 2-1 on Monday evening, giving the blue side of Manchester back-to-back road derby wins for the first time in 41 years.
Just like in City’s famous title-clinching win last season, striker Sergio Aguero was the hero for the visitors on Monday night. Seven minutes after coming on for Samir Nasri, Aguero cut through the heart of the United defense before curling an unstoppable shot from a tight angle.
United, who grabbed an equalizer 20 minutes earlier on a Vincent Kompany own goal, generated very little offense after Aguero’s remarkable individual effort. The final minutes of Monday’s match were filled with more yellow cards and shoving matches than goal-scoring chances for the Red Devils.
The City win shrinks United’s lead on top of the Premier League table down to 12 points with seven matches to play. Although City remain mathematically in the race for the title, Monday’s win was more about bragging rights and reclaiming a seven-point lead over third-place Chelsea, who City play Saturday in a FA Cup semifinal.
Here are some more stories to wrap up your Monday:
ROMA AND LAZIO PLAY OUT 1-1 DRAW
For the first time in six years, AS Roma and Lazio were forced to share honors in the Rome Derby.
A 56th-minute penalty conversion from Roma’s Francesco Totti erased an early golazo from Lazio midfielder Hernanes, keeping the separation between the rival European contenders at three points.
Hernanes played both the hero and the villain for 10-man Lazio during Monday’s night’s draw. After hitting a long-range effort into the corner of Maarten Steklenburg’s net in the 16th minute, the Brazilian midfielder found himself on the wrong end of two second-half penalties. He skied a penalty try four minutes into the second half and brought down Miralem Pjanic in the box seven minutes later.
Totti, who was denied by Lazio goalkeeper Federico Marchetti several times in the match, calmly tucked his penalty into the bottom corner to tie it up.
Despite falling behind a man in the 69th minute, Lazio rebounded from the equalizer and took the attack to Roma. Hernanes came close to redeeming himself with a stoppage-time assist, but Michaël Ciani’s header flew left of Steklenburg’s goal.
The point from the draw moves Lazio up to a Europa League-qualifying fifth place in the Serie A table. Roma remains in seventh place with 48 points.
YANKEE STADIUM TO HOST CHELSEA-CITY, SPAIN-IRELAND
Chelsea and Manchester City will end their 2012-13 campaigns with a friendly doubleheader in the United States, the clubs announced Monday.
New York’s Yankee Stadium, which first hosted soccer during the 2012 World Football Challenge, will host the two English giants on May 25, two days after the clubs meet in a previously scheduled match at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Chelsea played in the first soccer match at Yankee Stadium last summer, a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain.
“We received sensational support in what was a sea of blue fans inside and outside the stadium that day,” Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said. “Spending the week in St. Louis and New York also provides a great opportunity for the club to reconnect with our U.S. fans before we head to Asia in July for preseason.”
In addition to hosting the 2011-12 Champions League and Premier League winners, Yankee Stadium will also host Euro 2012 winners Spain.
Spain, who do not have a competitive match scheduled until September, will take on Ireland on June 11. The two sides last met in a Euro group stage match last summer, which Spain won 4-0 en route to their third straight major championship.
The FA has announced that it has found no proof of alleged racial chants towards Rio and Anton Ferdinand during England’s 8-0 win at San Marino last month. (REPORT)
PSG defenders Alex and Thiago Silva, who both missed Saturday’s 2-0 win over Stade Rennes, have been included in the club’s roster for Wednesday’s UCL quarterfinal match at Barcelona. (REPORT)
Jose Mourinho confirmed Pepe as doubtful for Real Madrid’s quarterfinal match at Galatasaray after the defender suffered an injury during Monday training. (REPORT)
Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer will miss a crucial weekend match against PSV after he received a two-match ban following his red card during the league leaders’ 4-0 win over Heracles. (REPORT)
A Swedish league match between Djurgarden and Mjallby was abandoned on Monday after Mjallby defender Gbenga Arokoyo was hit in the stomach by a pear thrown by a Djurgarden fan. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? How do you think the Manchester Derby result will affect the end of United and City’s seasons? See Lazio or Roma qualifying for Europe next season? Excited about a second City-Chelsea match and a Spain friendly in the States?
Share your comments below.