Scott McTominay and Harry Maguire celebrate winning the Manchester derby.

The main talking points from the derby

Saturday 07 December 2019 21:13

Manchester United enjoyed a superb evening on Saturday, when we emerged from the Etihad with a vital 2-1 win in the Manchester derby.

The Reds grabbed all three points in the clash with Manchester City, thanks to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial’s first-half strikes.

While the hosts did make it a nervy end for United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s well-organised men held on to and deservedly came away with win, to the delight of our fans.

After our fantastic victory, we’ve rounded up all the main talking points from the 179th Manchester derby…

Much of the talk after Wednesday night’s win over Tottenham Hotspur was about how well the Reds performed in the first period, but United took that to another level on Saturday. Ole’s men ran City ragged in the first half - the hosts just could not deal with our pace, movement and the range of United’s attacks. The Reds bagged two goals in the opening 45 but it could have been so much had we made the most of our chances. Rashford even rattled their crossbar in the 27th minute, while Martial and Daniel James also forced smart saves from Ederson.

Raheem Sterling has established himself as one of the most dangerous wingers in world football over the past few years, but on Saturday the England international found time and space difficult to come by at the Etihad. That was mainly down to the excellent work of Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The right-back closed Sterling down at every opportunity and when faced with a one-on-one situation, he regularly emerged with the ball. Playing in his first-ever Manchester derby, the 22-year-old was outstanding and was voted our Man of the Match after the game.
What a performance by this man on Saturday.

The second half wasn’t easy watching for the United fans, with City piling the pressure on near the end. However, the Reds remained organised and compact, which limited City’s chances. The midfield and back four had to be diligent and hard working throughout the whole match and stayed calm in a high-pressure atmosphere at the Etihad. Even after Otamendi netted in the 85th minute, United remained solid in the face of a City onslaught, but thanks to some superb defending, and the odd helpful hand from David De Gea, United held out and came away with all three points.
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Marcus’s penalty in the first period means he has already equalled his best-ever goal tally for a season. The strike was his 13th of the campaign in all competitions to draw level with the goal haul he managed to net in both 2017/18 and 2018/19. So far, Rashford has managed to find the back of the net 10 times in the league this year - a figure which only Jamie Vardy and Tammy Abraham have bettered - and has bagged two in the Carabao Cup and one in the Europa League.
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Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Everton earlier on Saturday meant the derby was always going to be a huge chance to cut the gap to the top four, and that’s exactly what we did. The Reds’ win means we are now five points behind fourth-place Chelsea, who are stumbling at present and have lost three of their last four in the league. United will, of course, have the chance to reduce the deficit further when we take on Everton at Old Trafford next weekend.

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