Premier League - Papers: Manc derby won by... Chelsea!

Thu, 11 Nov 08:57:00 2010

After all the hype, mind games and po-faced warnings from local police, the winner of the Manchester derby turned out to be Chelsea - according to this morning's Daily Mirror, at least.

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That's the headline on the Mirror's match report, a pithy summary that would strike a chord with any impartial observer who had just lost a couple of hours of their life enduring the goalless draw at Eastlands.

And with little action to report, the papers have to get creative with their coverage of the match.

The Daily Star leads with Alex Ferguson's comments blaming the 'donkey derby' on the pre-match war of words - an assessment rich in irony considering that it was Fergie who fired most of the verbal broadsides before kick-off.

The Daily Mail and Daily Express go with United keeper Edwin van der Sar, who claimed that it was only City who made the match boring, saying "we really wanted to win but they were more defensive". City boss Roberto Mancini claimed the exact same thing of United.

The Sun makes no attempt to think up an angle - but then they don't have to, because their photographer at the match grabbed a hilarious picture which appears to show Carlos Tevez helping Rio Ferdinand give birth out of his rectum. Our snappers got a similar image - used with this story - but their version really is worth a look.

But the best analysis of the match comes in the headline in the Daily Telegraph, which runs beneath a picture of Tevez and Rafael squaring up. "Now we are equals," it reads - and with Chelsea now four points clear at the top, there is simply no need for them to add "but not in a good way".

The other big story of the morning is Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas apologising for his horror challenge on Wolves defender Stephen Ward, who had to be stretchered off at Molineux after the Spaniard clattered him with a sliding tackle.

The Daily Mail and Daily Star both run big back page stories about Fabregas's apology, illustrated with heart-rending images of the playmaker looking contrite. Even Wolves boss Mick McCarthy praised Fabregas for his post-game apology to Ward, claiming: "It's like a throwback to the days when you've broken someone's nose and then buy them a pint at the bar."

Funny, though, how the angel-faced Fabregas gets sympathy for his clumsiness, while Lee Cattermole becomes public enemy number for taking out Luka Modric while getting the ball on Tuesday night.

Finally, a bit of transfer gossip with Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger apparently to go head-to-head in the January transfer window to lure Dinamo Zagreb's Sime Vrsaljko. Dinamo have already turned down 6 million from Marseille for the 18-year-old defender.


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