Manchester United & City: A tale of one city

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Updated: September 12, 2011

Rumour has it that Manchester United routinely start the season slow and don’t hit top gear until after Christmas.

On Saturday, Bolton Wanderers were destroyed by a fresh, youthful, exciting United side. a side which has now found the back of the net 18 times in their opening four league matches.

Invigorated by the arrivals of David de Gea, Phil Jones and Ashley Young, and with both Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck having been promoted to the first team following spells on loan last term, they look like a team with a huge desire for success.

Their form so far has been embodied by Wayne Rooney. Rooney is back to his very best and richly deserved his second hat-trick in successive league games, becoming just the fourth player in the Premier League era to achieve such a feat.

If this is a team which has yet to hit top gear for another couple of months, good luck to the rest of the Premier League.

Four games into the 2011/12 season, and ‘noisy neighbours’ City also have four victories, with 15 goals scored.

It’s exciting times to be a Manchester City fan as a Champions League debut is also looming on Wednesday, with City starting their campaign against Napoli.

Looking at City against Wigan on Saturday, you might be forgiven for thinking they were trying to emulate Champion’s league winners Barcelona.

The brilliance of Sergio Aguero, the link up play and skill of David Silva, a return to the team of Carlos Tevez, positive attacking displays from defence from the likes of Gael Clichy, the imposing presence of England number one Joe Hart between the sticks, the list goes on.

Argentinean striker Aguero scored a hat-trick of his own that day and he now joins team mate Edin Dzeko on six league goals for the season.

After the game the £35 million summer signing from Athletico Madrid said: “I have come here to help the team develop and win titles and if we can do that this year it will be perfect.”

Frenchman Samir Nasri echoed the whole team’s wish for silverware by saying: “I hope that it is just the beginning.”

City want United’s crown, and owner Sheik Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan is spending whatever it takes to bring glory to the blue half of Manchester.

It is all set up to be the closest battle between the two fierce rivals in decades.

Two weeks ago, when City hammered Tottenham Hotspur, 5-1, in London, United responded hours later with a superb 8-2 demolition of Arsenal.

Manchester United and Manchester City are both scoring goals for fun in the Premier League lately.

The record for goals scored in a season was set by Chelsea in 2010 when they scored 103 times.

At this rate that figure will be blown out of the park this season perhaps even by the two Manchester sides.

Seeking an incredible third Champions League title in four years, Barcelona will no doubt still be the name on everyone’s lips as the Champions League starts up once again this week

United need no reminders of how much they were outclassed by Barcelona in the Champions League final last season, indeed the scars are still raw from that Wembley night.

City have been placed in the classic ‘group of death’ alongside Napoli, Villarreal and Bayern Munich, so we will see just how good they are as the tournament progresses.

Barcelona are the benchmark. Whatever happens, it will be the most competitive season for years, of that I am certain.

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