Manchester Utd 1 – 2 Manchester City
The Blue side of Manchester took the honours in the 175th Manchester Derby as Pep Guardiolas’ Manchester City side opened up an 11-point gap from nearest rivals United at the top of the Premier League table – as City beat their neighbours 2-1 and set a new English top-flight record in the process with 14 straight league wins to break the record.
It saw the league leaders looking strong from the outset and had Raheem Sterling having the first shot on goal in the match after a neat one-two between himself and Gabriel Jesus, saw the England man firing a scuffed shot at David De Gea in the United goal.
A couple of minutes later it saw the visitors going close once more, when the Brazilian connection of Fernandinho and Gabriel Jesus saw the central midfielder playing a quick ball upfield to Jesus and the striker twisted and turned his way into the United penalty area and had the defenders turned inside out, but his finishing lack quality.
City, then had another chance go begging on 41 minutes gone on the clock, when a Fabian Delph ball was put back into the area and saw Ashley Young missing with a header and had Leroy Sane controlling the ball and then firing his shot toward goal, and needed an important save by the United keeper to stop the away side from going in front.
From the resulting corner, it saw the visitors breaking the deadlock through a David Silva goal as Kevin De Bruyne’s out-swinging corner was knocked goalwards by Nicolas Otamendi and saw the ball coming towards the Spanish International and the player nicknamed ‘Merlin’ by City fans put the away side a goal up.
United, who had failed to get into the contest during the opening forty-five minutes of the play, then saw them getting their foot in the door from a mistake by Fabian Delph in which the defender had a lapse of concentration – which in course gave the home side a chance and have Marcus Rashford punishing the visitors to make it 1-1 deep inside first-half stoppage time.
At halftime, it saw Pep Guardiola being forced into a defensive shuffle after losing his captain Vincent Kompany to an injury and saw Ilkay Gundogan coming on to replace the City skipper for the second half. It saw the game a bit more even with the home side looking to come forward a bit more than they had been doing, but City was still on top in the game.
The visitors restored their lead from a fortuitous goal by defender Nicolas Otamendi, as once again it came from a set-piece by Kevin De Bruyne and in truth the delivery from the Belgian maestro wasn’t the best, but a woeful clearance by Romelu Lukaku at the back post saw the ball hitting his teammate and coming straight to Otadmendi and the Argentine put City 2-1 in front and had the away fans in the corner going delirious.
Marcus Rashford saw his free kick for the home side just going over the bar from the England youngster, as United looked to find a way back on level terms but the leaders gave nothing away. City then created another good chance that came their way, after Fernandinho and Leroy Sane both combined to see Kevin De Bruyne running at the United back line and saw them standing off before forcing David De Gea into a save, as the Spanish keeper just managed to get a hand on it.
Fabian Delph was almost caught out for a second time in the game, after a Nemanja Matic ball went towards the City man and saw the England International failing to deal with it and that in turn let in Rashford again, but his strike on goal brought a good save down low from Ederson to deny the striker his second of the match.
In a week where the pre-match build up was full of soundbites from Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho, in which he labelled his rivals ‘divers’ – so it was somehow ironic that the home side should have a player booked for diving themselves. City’s Nicolas Otamendi had lost control of the ball in his own area saw and then saw Ander Herrera going over theatrically in the penalty box and claiming a penalty, but instead, he was shown a yellow card and the replays showed it was the right decision.
On 82 minutes, it saw without a doubt the best chance falling the way or United late on as a double-save from Ederson foiled the home side from levelling, after a low driven ball across the face of goal saw Lukaku hitting his shot into the face of the City keeper and then had the Portuguese goalie quickly up to make a brilliant save from Juan Mata and deny them a second.
Deep into injury time, it saw Bernando Silva with a great chance of making it 3-1, but the midfielder managed to overrun the ball too much and see his shot being easily stopped by De Gea. The derby victory for the Blues now sees City moving into a very strong position in the league standings already – but no one that follows the Blue Moon will be counting their chickens just yet.