At the risk of sounding premature, Early Doors would like to engage in some pointless parochial gloating at the misfortune of Britain's second city in last night's Champions League.
As a fully-fledged member of the Arrogant London Media (West), ED will always favour the likes of Chelsea and Spurs in Europe and, when feeling a touch effete and continental, Arsenal.
Making no apologies to Birmingham regarding second-city status, it is therefore with great pleasure that last night's results leave both Manchester clubs fighting for their places in the knockout stage of the Champions League - with said hopes hanging by a thread in the case of City.
Clearly City and United are the top sides in England at the moment, although North London's rival clubs are in excellent form after ropey starts to the season.
Chelsea are a shadow of their normal selves - they looked a more viable proposition under Avram Grant for Roman's sake - and have been aided considerably by a relatively straightforward group featuring a slow-starting Bayer Leverkusen and a Valencia side paying the price for Spain's duopoly.
However, the Blues are still in pole position to qualify for the next round, as are Arsenal, whose tantalising clash with Borussia Dortmund tonight will see two sides with similarly-ingrained attacking styles look to capitalise on their domestic resurgences.
Even if Abou Diaby was trending on Twitter the other day following his return from injury, the Gunners have won five in a row in the Premier League and are unbeaten in eight in all competitions. They also boast the form player in the country in Robin van Persie, although their form is arguably as fragile as the Dutchman's frame.
But back to the People's Republic of Mancunia.
United's travails lie in a combination of the dry functionality of their post-Ronaldo world, and the constant reshuffling of a defence that boasts undeniable ability but is blighted by injury problems for the experienced players and a touch of over-exuberance in its youngsters - not to mention a dodgy teenage keeper who barely speaks English.
United boast too much quality for the lesser lights in the domestic game, and have enough fight to at least hold England's top sides.
But in the vigour and spotlight of a buzzing European clash their less-fancied opponents - who, by default of being in the Champions League, will feature some of their respective countries' brighter attacking talents - will always raise their game enough to exploit relative hesitancy at the back.
ED has no doubt Sir Alex Ferguson's side will avoid defeat in Basel, but by falling behind Benfica - who should beat Otelul Galati with ease - in the head-to-head stakes, United have left themselves open to a nasty second-round draw that could see them pitted against Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Internazionale. Knowing their luck, though, they'll probably get Apoel Nicosia.
While United's malaise has a clear diagnosis, City's toil is harder to fathom, even if they have the toughest overall draw of the group stages, with Villarreal the relative whipping boys.
Cocksure, stylish and free-scoring in the Premier League, City's grinding form in Europe bears more resemblance to previous seasons, as if somehow their brilliance has been caught in the temporal vacuum that saw United struggle to impose themselves on the continental game for seven years after their first Premier League title.
Not starting Sergio Aguero doesn't really help either. Rampaging between the lines domestically, David Silva is guarded with greater efficiency by the better European sides. Aguero boasts a better first touch than Mario Balotelli, something needed to unlock defences and, on a more frequent basis, retain possession further up the pitch in the less overtly-physical Champions League.
Roberto Mancini lost his job at Inter Milan precisely because he was unable to translate domestic domination to Champions League success. His track record is of developing stylish, attacking sides that will generally blow away the domestic competition but possibly lack the interest in collective sacrifice to grab Europe by the scruff of the neck.
It is doubtful that City's owners will make unreasonable demands at this early stage of Mancini's career, despite the Mirror's claims that they "were supposed to the team who could win the Champions League at the first time of asking".
The Premier League will suffice for now, and the Emirati owners are canny enough to know that the Champions League is a cup competition that can be won or lost in a split second, usually by Barcelona.
If, as expected, City go out and United scramble into the last 16 there will be much gloating from the red half of Madchester. But it took almost 13 years for Sir Alex Ferguson to win the European Cup - and don't bank on City's wait being nearly as long.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "If somebody is still thinking I am a racist, sorry to say that I am working now practically 37 years in FIFA... there is no racism, nothing at all, and this matter for me is over and over. We go forward" - like all dictators, Sepp Blatter is blissfully unaware that it is not his place, choice or decision to end debate around his own misplaced words.
FOREIGN VIEW: "Only six out of the 16 clubs in the Croatian First League fulfil their contractual obligations towards the players. The footballers from FC Varazdin have not been paid for 13 months. The players from FC Sibenik have not been paid for 11 months. As a consequence, many players in Croatia have financial problems, as they do have to pay their taxes. Players are evicted from their apartments as clubs have stopped paying rents. Some players even find it difficult to buy their food" - despite boasting an incredible coastline and a population of supermodels, all is not well in Croatia according to FIFPro.
COMING UP: More Champions League action as Chelsea and Arsenal look to seal passage into the last 16 against German opposition. The game of the night though is Milan and Barcelona's group-defining clash at the San Siro, with sensible early kick-offs for the 'indie' choice of Zenit St Petersburg v APOEL Nicosia. For fans of sports other than association football, world number one Novak Djokovic takes on David Ferrer at the ATP World Tour Finals from 8pm.