Scholes' last-gasp goal stuns Manchester City

Manchester City 0 Manchester United 1

Paul Scholes' last-gasp goal stunned Manchester City as Manchester United caused their neighbours more injury-time heartbreak at Eastlands today.

After Michael Owen's winner in the sixth-minute of stoppage time at Old Trafford in September, there were just 20 seconds of the three additional minutes left this time around as Scholes rose unchallenged to head home Patrice Evra's left-wing cross from 10 yards.

It was an amazing finish to a game that seemed destined to end goalless.

For Scholes, who signed a one-year contract extension yesterday, it was his 149th Red Devils' goal and the perfect way to retain the outside title hopes United still cherish.

Yet again after a meeting with the team they are so desperate to usurp, City must lift themselves off the floor after suffering the most shattering of blows, still believing a Champions League place can be theirs.

After his appearance against Bayern Munich 10 days ago, it was hardly a surprise that Wayne Rooney should declare himself fit after just a single day's training.

But the prospective PFA player-of-the-year looked ill at ease, repeated rants at referee Martin Atkinson and a petulant kick at Nigel de Jong belied his mood.

Rooney appeared tentative, he declined to set up Ryan Giggs when he had the chance to do so, and there was no real conviction behind his only decent opportunity of the opening period, when Antonio Valencia forced the ball into the area.

Having beaten Kolo Toure with a deft piece of skill, the goal opened up for striker, who had scored 34 times before his unfortunate ankle injury.

He dragged the effort wide though, which only increased his frustration, his contribution eventually brought to an end 15 minutes from time when he was replaced by Dimitar Berbatov.

Rooney's attack on De Jong might have been revenge for a thunderous challenge from the Dutchman on Patrice Evra, which set the tone for an opening period high on energy but low on goalmouth incident.

A bulldog of a midfielder, De Jong gave United little time to settle on the ball, and though the visitors had plenty of possession, much of their passing was of a sideways variety.

Only Antonio Valencia looked as though he could cause the Blues significant problems.

Having escaped a penalty-box handball that went unseen by Atkinson and, apparently, the entire United team, returning full-back Wayne Bridge was undone by the Ecuador man just before the break.

Valencia squeezed a cross through to the near post where Giggs was alert enough to make contact, but lacked the power to beat Shay Given with a low flick.

For their part, City seemed to have more movement but invariably ran into a defensive brick wall.

Against his old club, Carlos Tevez curled an early free-kick towards the top corner only for Edwin van der Sar to make an excellent save.

It turned out to be the sum total of first-half efforts on goal from Roberto Mancini's men, a fizzing low cross from Craig Bellamy not much to enthuse about considering his team had scored 11 times in their last two outings.

The was no discernable improvement - either in the overall quality or Rooney's temper - in the opening minutes of the second-half.

It did Rooney no credit at all that when he was kicked by Vincent Kompany, he rolled around in apparent agony then jumped to his feet and ran off without a problem once the yellow card had been brandished.

The problem for United was that with their bulwark at less than full throttle and Valencia their only source of pace, they were reliant on guile alone to open City up.

City had more speed and a flowing move, started by Emmanuel Adebayor and inevitably involving Tevez, ended when Craig Bellamy crashed a shot into the side-netting.

Shortly afterwards, the Blues had a penalty appeal turned down.

Gareth Barry could be accused of making too much of minimal contact by Gary Neville. There was certainly contact though, and not with the ball on Neville's part.

The crowd were still digesting that incident when Giggs got on the end of a long ball beyond the City defence and would have been clean through if he had not been confronted immediately by Given, whose goal was threatened by Berbatov with a deft header shortly afterwards.

It then took the interventions of Nemanja Vidic and Darren Fletcher to ensure a goalmouth scramble caused by Van der Sar's ill-advised charge to meet a cross did not ended in disaster for the visitors.

This flurry of activity gave the impression of a game finally heading somewhere. It took Scholes to find the map.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world