Old Trafford, Manchester – The 182nd Manchester derby kicked off with a lot of notable absences on both sides. Kevin De Bryune was out injured for the visitors and so too were, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba for the home team.
Stat – Ole Gunner Solskjaer became the first ever manager to defeat Pep Guardiola three times in a single season.
Stat – United did the league double over City for the first time since 2009/10 premier league season.
Anthony Martial opened scoring from a Bruno Fernandez’s free kick on 29 minutes after the home side had dominated proceedings as Old Trafford went into a frenzy. But the truth is , Ederson should have kept it out.
United have been on a resurgence of late and a lot of that has to do with the arrival of Fernandez. They manage to put City on the back foot with a high press that forced a lot of turnovers from Guardiola’s men and, once that happens, United were very quick to counter with the pace of Daniel James and Martial. It worked a treat!
You have to say, Manchester City really looked uncomfortable playing out from the back and that’s not something you’d say too often. They looked very flat and lethargic without the creativity of De Bryune in midfield.
It was pandemonium at the restart as Sergio Aguero’s goal was disallowed for offside and two minutes later, Ederson dilly-dolly’d on a back pass that allowed Martial to close him down and the goalie just barely cleared the ball off the goal line.
Having seen nothing from his side, the city manager made a double change and brought on Jesus and Mahrez in the 59th minute for Aguero and Bernardo Silva respectively and boy did it make difference! City certainly retained the ball more and created more chances but just couldn’t find a way through.
The away team poured forward in search of the equalizer in the latter stages but the United defence were very resolute in their tasks and the away team would be punished in the 7th minute of added time when, Ederson sort to spring his team forward with a quick throw but it only fell kindly for substitute Scott McTominay who, fired home from well outside the City box.
Solskjaer, yet again got his tactics right against City and this team are showing some character that wasn’t apparent earlier in the season and their hopes of champions league football are well and truly alive for now.