Man United in the title race after controversial City win


MANCHESTER — Marcus Rashford scored in a seventh successive recreation as Manchester United overturned a 1-0 deficit to beat champions Manchester City 2-1, however it was a controversial turnaround in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

After a cagey first half, Jack Grealish’s opener seemed to have set City on track for a Premier League win towards United.

But Bruno Fernandes’ equaliser — tucking dwelling with Rashford clearly offside subsequent to him — levelled the scores and Rashford’s winner 4 minutes later then sealed an enormous win for the dwelling aspect. But the mud won’t decide on this one for a while.

JUMP TO: Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments | Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid response

1. United in the title race after controversial win over City

Man United at the moment are in the Premier League title race after combating again from a purpose down towards City to maneuver inside six factors of leaders Arsenal — who they play per week on Sunday at the Emirates.

In one in all the most dramatic Manchester derbies in latest instances, United’s failure to capitalise on various first-half possibilities seemed to have price them dearly when substitute Grealish headed City into the lead from a Kevin De Bruyne cross on 60 minutes.

But a controversial equaliser by Fernandes on 78 minutes put United again in the recreation and sparked anger inside the City ranks. With Rashford clearly offside when the ball was performed down the center, the United ahead charged by however left the ball for Fernandes to attain from 20 yards and the offside flag was raised. But referee Stuart Attwell overruled his assistant as a result of Rashford, whereas showing to intervene with play subsequent to his teammate, didn’t really contact the ball.

Four minutes later, Rashford then added insult to harm as he took his post-World Cup tally to eight targets in seven video games by scoring the winner from shut vary.

It was an unbelievable end and, after holding out to win the recreation, United now transfer to inside some extent of champions City, whereas Erik ten Hag’s crew know {that a} win at the Emirates subsequent week will put them firmly in the title race. United are the solely crew to beat Arsenal this season, profitable 3-2 at Old Trafford earlier in the marketing campaign.

Having misplaced 6-3 at City in October, United have bounced again impressively beneath Ten Hag and this efficiency was an indication of their unbelievable progress beneath the former Ajax coach.

In flip, City’s defeat highlighted considerations for Pep Guardiola’s crew. This was their second straight loss following a shock Carabao Cup defeat at Southampton in midweek they usually now face a battle to keep away from ending beneath United in the league for the first time since 2013.

2. Guardiola wants to repair away-day bluntness

Manchester City have an unbelievable array of attacking expertise, however Guardiola will probably be involved about their lack of a innovative away from dwelling. It price them the factors in this recreation.

Grealish’s header towards United was solely City’s sixth purpose in their final eight video games in all competitions and half of these got here in a 3-1 win at Leeds final month.

One concept in the recreation about City’s comparative bluntness away from house is that groups have labored out that almost all of the risk comes from Erling Haaland, so the goal turns into all about stopping the Norway worldwide and reducing off his provide line. And that strategy has labored. Haaland scored twice towards Leeds at Elland Road, however these targets have been his first away from dwelling since September.

The former Borussia Dortmund ahead was quiet towards United to the level of being nameless. And though United have been at all times cautious of the risk he posed, they knew that City do not assault in the similar wave-after-wave vogue that they as soon as did beneath Guardiola.

The breakthrough solely got here when Kevin De Bruyne burst into the penalty space and crossed to the far publish for Grealish to attain on 60 minutes.

If City are to catch Arsenal at the high of the desk, they should sharpen up and rating extra targets away from dwelling as a result of they’re in hazard of dropping contact at the high.

3. Martial operating out of possibilities at United

Anthony Martial lasted simply 45 minutes of this recreation and it is truthful to say that the United ahead won’t have an excessive amount of to look again on when he remembers this derby.

The 27-year-old began as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation and contributed nothing past straying offside too usually and angering the dwelling supporters when he did not press City goalkeeper Ederson when the Brazil worldwide was allowed time and house to clear the ball.

Martial has been one in all the nice survivors at United since arriving from Monaco in August 2015, however many would counsel he’s nonetheless residing off the reminiscences of a surprising debut purpose towards Liverpool a month later.

Since then, he has been a irritating performer, constantly failing to reside as much as his potential and each Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried and failed to dump him throughout their spells as United supervisor.

Martial is now in his eighth season at Old Trafford, however his efficiency towards City underlined the perception that his days at the moment are numbered beneath Erik ten Hag.

The mortgage signing of Wout Weghorst will put strain on Martial for his place in the crew, whereas in the long-term, United are already planning to signal a world-class centre-forward in the summer time. But with simply three league targets up to now this season, it’s clear the Martial is not as much as necessities at United and his woeful efficiency towards City proved it.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Tyrell Malacia — The United left-back confirmed tenacity all recreation and he stood up nicely to the problem of marking Riyad Mahrez.

BEST: Bruno Fernandes — The United captain confirmed actual management qualities and impressed the fightback with the opening purpose. How lengthy earlier than he will get the captaincy full-time?

BEST: Kevin De Bruyne — A cagey recreation wanted a second of high quality and De Bruyne delivered with an ideal run and pinpoint cross for Grealish to go in the opener for City.

WORST: Anthony Martial — Was off the tempo, offside, or each. Not adequate for a crew in the high 4.

WORST: Phil Foden — The City ahead scored a hat trick towards United at the Etihad earlier this season, however he barely touched the ball at Old Trafford.

WORST: Erling Haaland — No targets and no influence from the City striker. Now three video games with out a purpose, which is his worst run of the season.

Highlights and notable moments

Grealish arrived off the bench in the 56th minute and scored in the 59th.

Man United scored a controversial equaliser.

Then Rashford scored the winner simply three minutes later.

After the match: What the gamers/managers mentioned

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag about Bruno Fernandes’ controversial purpose to BT Sport: “I can see it from the other side as well. The rules, it’s a confusing moment for the back line of the opponent. The rules say Marcus didn’t touch the ball and he wasn’t interfering. Bruno came from the back — but I can see it from the other side.”

On Rashford recovering from harm: “Players have to be resilient. You get kicked in a game. It happened and it hurts but you have to keep going. You have to do it to get the right result and performance. Deal with the painful moment and the game will go on. In top football you have to suffer and sacrifice to get the right result. The belief is back and we’re in a good direction. You have to work out of possession [against teams like City]. They have qualities in split-moments to score goals. We saw that today. One mistake and they scored.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to BBC Match of the Day: “Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is not. Rashford distracted our keeper and centre defenders. It is what it is. We know where we play. It is difficult for the referees in these stadiums.”

On the recreation: “Congratulations to United. People will understand how nice Manchester City is. It was a fantastic game. We controlled the transitions better in the second half against Rashford and their fast players. We had the right spirit to do it. We were close and we have to improve when we concede the goal, be more stable, the gap between the first and second goal is too close. In general I have no regrets. I don’t care if we don’t win the Carabao Cup or the Premier League, we’ll try. I don’t care when a team performs how we play. It was quite similar to the many, many years we’ve been here. There are plenty of points to play for and we have to play there. In every game we have to perform. We always play in these sort of games and in others we struggle a little bit.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

– This was the 189th version of the Manchester Derby in all competitions: Manchester United lead the collection 78-58-53 (W-L-D) now.

– Grealish scored his second profession purpose in a Premier League recreation towards Manchester United. His first was on Dec. 1, 2019 when he performed for Aston Villa.

– Kevin De Bruyne registered his tenth help this season in Premier League. He joins Lionel Messi and Neymar (PSG) as the solely gamers from the Europe’s high 5 Leagues with 10+ assists this season (solely league play).

– Marcus Rashford tied Manchester United’s membership file for many consecutive dwelling scoring video games with Dennis Viollet, who achieved the feat from August to December in 1959.

– Manchester United have two targets each coming after the seventy fifth minute. They now lead the Premier League in most targets scored between the 76th-Ninetieth minute.

Up subsequent

Man United: An away journey to Crystal Palace comes on Jan. 18, earlier than they journey to league leaders Arsenal on Jan. 22.

Man City: Three houses video games in a row observe, with Tottenham Hotspur (Jan.19) and Wolves (Jan. 22) in the Premier League, then Arsenal in the FA Cup on Jan. 27.


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