Capital One Cup final to witness a Manchester Derby?
Once Manchester United had defeated Stoke City - and the hailstorm from Hell - to reach the Capital One Cup semi finals, only one issue will have been on most minds; would the possibility of a Manchester derby final become a probability?
The chances of such a situation arising must have been increasingly apparent after Tuesday night, following Manchester City's 3-1 win in their quarter final against Leicester and the shock elimination of Chelsea - who have reached the final three times in the Abramovic era - by Sunderland. With Tottenham's miserable week taking another turn for the worse as they lost at home to West Ham, the two major London clubs left in the tournament were gone.
All that remained, of course, was for the Manchester clubs to be kept apart in the draw, and they were. With all due respect to West Ham and Sunderland, neither will have much chance over two legs against their powerful opponents. City's home form has been immense and while they have struggled away, they did win 3-1 at Upton Park. United have already beaten Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light and, after three successive wins with clean sheets, might be starting to turn a corner at last.
There has never yet been a Manchester derby cup final, although there have been semi finals in both domestic cups, including the last meeting of the two sides in the League Cup, in 2009-10. City won the first leg at the Etihad 2-1, but a last-minute Wayne Rooney header gave United a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford to send them through.
Wembley has seen two Manchester derbies, both very recently - the 2011 FA Cupsemi final - won 1-0 by City - and the Community Shield later that year, which United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2. Mark the diary for March 2nd 2014, because it will be a big shock if there isn't a third on that date.