Manchester United secures an impressive derby victory at Etihad Stadium ending a 21 match winning streak of rivals Manchester City.
The trajectory for both of the clubs has been upwards since they last met in the premier league. Manchester United boasts of the best away form in the league. Meanwhile, prior to the fixture, Man City were unbeaten in 2021 and looked set to win the league this year.
Controversy ensued early as Martial was tripped just inside the box through a reckless challenge by Gabriel Jesus. Bruno Fernandes stepped up and converted the penalty at 2 minutes into the game. Man City mounted the pressure and maintained almost 70% possession in the first half. They managed to create plenty of half-chances but nothing fruitful came out of it.
The Reds had to withstand some heavy pressure from the host but remained dangerous on the counter-attack. A few minutes into the second half United was rewarded with a breakthrough when they caught City off guard. A sublime run from Luke Shaw from his own half linked well with Marcus Rashford for a one-touch pass before calmly steering the ball into the bottom corner.
United had to play much of the game without the ball as City dominated 66% of the possession. Ole’s men dug deep and sat behind both the halves, only lurking forward on the break. Man City attempted 23 shots on goal, 3 times more than United’s 8. But both of them had the same number of shots on target(6).
Man City’s forward line was inefficient inside the box throughout the game as they failed to breach United’s defense. Sterling arguably had the best chances to put the host back in the game but he whiffed them as he looked a bit jaded. But he lacked composure on the night and missed clear sitters which he would have buried easily on some other night.
In the post-match Ole Gunnar conceded that the title race is over and the team must focus on winning the remaining matches. Despite losing to 2nd place Manchester United, Man City are still 11 points still clear at the top. Guardiola must be wary of complacency and make sure the player’s heads don’t drop at the twilight of the season.
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