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?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
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 crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project