Manchester City 0 Manchester United 2
Manchester United ended Manchester City’s 21-game winning run on Sunday afternoon with a superb 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium.
Goals at the start of each half proved to be the difference in the Manchester derby, with Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw grabbing the crucial strikes.
There were a few nervy moments for the Reds at times, as you'd always expect in these matches, but United defended brilliantly as a team and held on to grab a massive three points.
The win moves the Reds back into second place above Leicester City as we closed the gap on City at the top of the table and continued our outstanding unbeaten run in the Premier League.
FIRST HALF - FLYING START FOR UNITED
United couldn’t have started any better on a grey, but mild afternoon in Manchester and we were awarded a penalty within a minute of kick-off.
It was Anthony Martial, restored to the side from the midweek trip to Crystal Palace, who earned the spot-kick when he was tripped by Gabriel Jesus just inside the area.
Fernandes stood up and confidently powered the ball to Ederson’s right and, although the Brazilian got a hand to the shot, he couldn’t keep the strike out of the net, as the Reds went one up within just 101 seconds.
It could have been two soon after, but Luke Shaw didn't connect properly with his right-footed effort inside the box.
City were struggling to deal with United’s superb pressing, although the hosts did register their first shot on target after nine minutes, but Ilkay Gundogan failed to seriously test Dean Henderson in the away goal. Marcus Rashford then forced Ederson to scramble across his goalline to deny the attacker’s shot from distance.
After the Reds’ fast start, City began to apply more pressure from around 20 minutes. Victor Lindelof was called into action to block Jesus’s shot, before Gundogan fired over.
While Pep Guardiola’s side were on top, they failed to get in behind the United backline and were forced into several shots from distance. Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo produced dangerous strikes, but the best of the bunch came from Oleksandr Zinchenko, who forced Henderson into a smart stop to deny his blasted effort.
The United keeper had to be on his toes again on 38 minutes when he denied Gundogan and he tipped over Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick as the clock ticked closer to half-time.
Mahrez produced City’s last, and perhaps best, chance of the first period when he fizzed a right-foot shot just inches past the far post, with Jesus also close to converting as he slid in at the back post although replays showed he would have been offside.
SECOND HALF - SHAW-FOOTED REDS
The second period started as the first ended with United forced on the backfoot almost immediately, with Rodri clipping the top of the crossbar within three minutes of the start of the half.
It proved to be a big miss for the hosts, as United doubled our lead soon after. It was a goal that started in the hands of Henderson, who threw it out to Shaw near the half-way line and the defender pushed forward before knocking the ball to Rashford. Our no.10 then casually laid it back into Luke’s path and teed up the left-back to drive the ball past Ederson into the far corner. It was Luke’s third goal for the Reds, and what a time to get it! There were certainly plenty of smiles on the United bench, as everyone sprang in unison to their feet to celebrate.
From then on United looked dangerous on the counterattack, with Daniel James seeing his shot deflect wide, before Martial went close with a header in the box.
The second period was following the same pattern as the first, with City having plenty of shots from distance, although strikes from Sterling and De Bruyne failed to cause Henderson any worries.
On 65 minutes Jesus flashed an effort across goal, as United continued to threaten with our quick breaks. One such attack really should have resulted in a goal when Martial went through one-on-one against Ederson, but our no.9 hit his shot straight at the keeper.
As the game edged closer to its conclusion, City pushed to find a way back and came close via Foden’s turn and shot in the box, and on 78 minutes Sterling failed to get a final touch onto a wicked cross to the back post. City’s no.7 was certainly not enjoying his most prolific afternoon in front of goal and soon he headed well wide from inside the six-yard box, minutes before John Stones just failed to get a touch to an in-swinging corner which dropped in the area.
For all City’s possession, clear-cut efforts remained at a premium – De Bruyne had two strikes late on, neither of which worried Henderson. It wasn’t long until Anthony Taylor’s full-time whistle was sounded to end City’s winning run and means we win a third consecutive game at the Etihad.
Solskjaer's verdict on a fantastic derby win
In our interview, Ole explains why Anthony Martial was his star man and salutes Luke Shaw's goalscoring performance...
Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo (Walker 65), Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus (Foden 69), Sterling.
Subss not used: Steffen, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Silva, Torres, Aguero.
Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; James, Fernandes (Williams 90+3), Rashford (Greenwood 73), Martial (Matic 88).
Subs not used: Grant, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, Amad, Shoretire.
Scorers: Fernandes 2, Shaw 50.
Booked: Henderson, Maguire, Shaw.