Man United in the title race after City’s controversial victory

manchester – Marcus Rashford He scored in the seventh consecutive game as Manchester United came from 1-0 down to beat champions Manchester City 2-1, but it was a controversial turnaround in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

After the first break in a cage, Jack GrealishThe opener seemed to set City on their way to winning the Premier League against United.

But Bruno FernandezThe equalizer – scored by Rashford in apparent offside – leveled the scores and Rashford’s goal four minutes later sealed a huge win for the hosts. But the dust won’t settle on this for quite some time.

jump to: The best/worst performer | Highlights and notable moments | Quotes after the game | Key stats | Upcoming matches


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

Manchester United are now in the Premier League title race after coming from a goal down against City to move six points clear of leaders Arsenal – who play them a week on Sunday in the Emirates.

In one of Manchester’s most dramatic derbies of recent times, United’s failure to capitalize on a number of first-half chances appeared to have cost them dearly when substitute Grealish sent City ahead from Kevin De Bruyne’s 60th-minute cross.

But Fernandez’s controversial equalizer in the 78th minute brought United back into the game and angered the City ranks. With Rashford clearly offside when the ball was played in the middle, the United striker went ahead but left the ball to Fernandes to score from 20 yards and was flagged for offside. But referee Stuart Atwell disallowed his assist because Rashford, while appearing to interfere with play by his team-mate, had not actually touched the ball.

Four minutes later, Rashford added insult to injury as he took his post-World Cup tally to eight goals in seven matches by scoring the winner from close range.

It was a fantastic finish and, after holding out to win the game, United have now moved within striking distance of champions City, while Erik ten Hag’s side know a win against the Emirates next week will put them firmly in the title race. United are the only team to beat Arsenal this season, winning 3-2 at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

After losing 6-3 at City in October, United made a stunning recovery under Ten Hag and that performance marked their impressive progression under the former Ajax boss.

In contrast, City’s defeat highlighted the fears of Pep Guardiola’s side. It was their second successive loss after a shock Carabao Cup defeat by Southampton in midweek and they now face a battle to avoid United finishing in the league for the first time since 2013.

2. Guardiola needs to fix his outspokenness on the away day

Manchester City have an incredible array of attacking talent, but Guardiola will be concerned about their lack of an advantage away from home. It cost them points in this game.

Grealish’s header against United was only City’s sixth goal in their last eight matches in all competitions, half of which came in a 3-1 win at Leeds last month.

One theory in the game about City’s relative rudeness away from home is that teams have concluded that most of the threat comes from Erling Haaland, so the aim becomes to stop the Norway international and cut off his supply line. This approach worked. Haaland scored two goals against Leeds at Elland Road, but those goals were his first away from home since September.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker was too quiet against United to remain anonymous. And although United have always been wary of the threat they posed, they knew City did not attack in the same wave-by-wave fashion that they had previously done under Guardiola.

And this breakthrough came only when Kevin De Bruyne burst into the penalty area and crossed the far post for Grealish to score a goal in the 60th minute.

If City are to catch Arsenal at the top of the table, they will have to step up their polish and score more goals away from home as they are in danger of losing touch at the top.

3. Running out of fighting opportunities at United

Anthony Martial only lasted 45 minutes of this game and it’s fair to say the United striker won’t have much to look at when he thinks of this derby.

The 27-year-old started as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation and contributed nothing more than often offside and upset the home fans when he failed to pressure City goalkeeper Ederson when allowing the Brazil international time and space to clear the ball. .

Martial has been one of United’s greatest survivors since his arrival from Monaco in August 2015, but many would point out that he still lives on the memories of his stunning first goal against Liverpool a month later.

Since then, he has been a frustrating performer, consistently failing to live up to his potential, and both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have both tried and failed to offload him during their stints as United manager.

Martial is now in his eighth season at Old Trafford, but his performance against City confirmed the belief that his days are now numbered under Erik ten Hag.

The loan signing of Wout Weghorst will put pressure on Martial for his place in the team, while in the longer term, United are already planning to sign a world-class striker in the summer. But with just three league goals so far this season, Martial clearly falls short of the requirements at United and his poor performance against City proved that.


The best and worst performers

better: Tyrell Malacia The United left-back showed tenacity throughout the game and stood up well to the challenge of marking Riyad Mahrez.

better: Bruno Fernandez The United captain showed true leadership qualities and inspired the attack with the opening goal. How long before he gets to drive full time?

better: Kevin De Bruyne – The cagey game needed a moment of quality and De Bruyne delivered a superb strike and crossed for Grealish to lead City into the opener.

worst: Anthony Marcial He was off pace, offside, or both. Not good enough for a team in the top four.

worst: Phil Foden The City striker scored a hat-trick against United at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season, but barely touched the ball at Old Trafford.

worst: Erling Halland No goals or influence from the City striker. Now three games without a goal, his worst streak of the season.


Highlights and notable moments

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

Man United scored the controversial equaliser.

Then Rashford scored the winning goal just three minutes later.


After the match: What the players/managers said

Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag on Bruno Fernandes’ controversial goal to BT Sport: “I can see it from the other side too. The rules, it’s a confusing moment for the opponent’s back line. The rules say Marcus didn’t touch the ball and he didn’t tackle. Bruno came in from behind — but I can see him from the other side.”

Ali Rashford is recovering from injury“Players have to be resilient. You get sent off in a game. It happened and it hurts but you have to keep going. You have to do it to get the right score and performance. Deal with the painful moment and the game is on. In major football, You have to suffer and sacrifice to get the right result. Faith is back and we are in a good direction. You have to work from possession [against teams like City]. They have qualities in separate moments to score goals. We saw that today. One mistake and they scored.”

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day: “Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is not. Rashford distracts our goalkeeper and central defenders. That’s what he is. We know where we play. It’s hard for referees in these stadiums.”

On the game: “Congratulations to United. People will understand how great Manchester City is. It was a great game. We controlled the transitions better in the second half against Rashford and his faster players. We had the right spirit to do it. We were close and we have to improve when we concede, and be more stable.” “The gap between the first goal and the second is very close. In general I don’t have any 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 the team performs how we play. It was quite similar to the many, many years we spent here.” There are a lot of points to play for and we have to play there. In every game we have to play. We always play in this type of game and in other games we struggle a bit.”


Key stats (courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information Research)

– This was the 189th Manchester Derby in all competitions: Manchester United lead the series 78-58-53 (WLD) now.

Grealish scored his second career goal in a Premier League match against Manchester United. His first match was on December 1, 2019 when he played for Aston Villa.

Kevin De Bruyne has scored an assist for the 10th time this season in the Premier League. He joins Lionel Messi and Neymar (PSG) as the only players from Europe’s top 5 leagues with more than 10 assists this season (league play only).

Marcus Rashford equaled Manchester United’s record for most consecutive home goalscoring matches with Dennis Violet, who achieved the feat from August to December 1959.

Manchester United have two goals, both of which came after the 75th minute. They now lead the Premier League in most goals scored between the 76th and 90th minutes.


next one

Manchester United: A trip away to Crystal Palace comes on January 18, before they travel to league leaders Arsenal on January 22.

Manchester city: Followed by three consecutive matches at home, with Tottenham Hotspur (January 19) and Wolves (January 22) in the English Premier League, then Arsenal in the FA Cup on January 27.

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