By Jordan Katz, Digital Sports Scene
If there is one game to watch in this year’s English Premier League season, you’d surely pick one that has title implications. A game between two teams with massive star power. A game contested by two teams that play in the same city, that hate each other. Manchester United at Manchester City is the most important game in this EPL season, and the one game you should watch.
The rivalry dates back to ye olden days of soccer, on November 12, 1881, when the clubs that later become Man U and Man City played, where the predecessors of Man U won 3-0. The all-time record between the two sides is 66 wins for the Red Devils of United, 44 wins for the Blues of City, and 50 times they have drawn equal.
But come Monday, at 3:00 (EST) none of that will matter. It will be Manchester United, first place in the Premier League with 83 points, and Manchester City, in second place with 80 points. The clash between the two sides will be one of the most important in the rivalry’s long and well-known history.
This game will determine who wins the EPL, with a City win putting them in first place after a tie breaker, and a Man U win giving a virtually insurmountable 6 point lead with only two games left.
Playing host to this crucial game with be the Blues of City, at the Etihad Stadium. This current season, the Blues have been nothing short of great on their own ground. In the 17 home games they have played this season, they have not lost a single one. 16 wins, and one draw, including beating the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea. But while those stats are nice, there is one more win they’d like to add on to that nice list of victories, and it’s Manchester United.
A rivalry game with league title implications on the line would already be enough intrigue to tune-in. But the past meeting this season add even more interest to it.
The teams have already met 3 times this season. The first meeting was in the FA Community Shield, an annual pre-season game between the winner of the FA Cup, City in that instance, and the EPL, Man U. Man U won the preseason contest by a 3-2 score on August 9th in London at New Wembley Stadium.
The next meeting came during the EPL season, October 23, at the famed Old Trafford of Manchester United. And City surprised everyone, as they unleashed a massive beat down on the Red Devils. They scored six times, including two goals from Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko, on their way to a 6-1 win, humiliating the Red Devils in their own venue.
The third meeting of the two sides occurred in the FA Cup tournament. A cold, rainy Sunday at the Etihad resulted in a 3-2 win for Man U, as they denied City a chance to defend their title, and got back at them for the beat down from October.
Both teams are hungry for revenge in an enjoyable twist. City would like to triumph over Man U after they beat them at home during the FA Cup, and also cost them a chance at defending the title. Man U would like to get revenge from being handed a 6-1 beat down they experienced in EPL play, back in October, and would take immense delight in knocking their rivals out of the EPL title race, after having already done the same in the FA Cup.
No matter what happens this upcoming Monday, Manchester City-Manchester United will be 90 minutes of passionate soccer, and will be on ESPN2 for all of America to take in the Beautiful Game.