Manchester United players celebrate the second goal against Manchester City.

Talking points from the Manchester derby

Sunday 08 March 2020 19:12

Manchester United beat neighbours City 2-0 in Sunday’s highly anticipated Premier League derby.

It truly was an afternoon to remember at Old Trafford as the Reds took a vital three points from the second-placed Blues and strengthened our Champions League ambitions in the process.

Anthony Martial got us going in the first period when he beat Ederson at his near post, before Scott McTominay wrapped things up deep into injury time, with a beautiful strike.

If you missed any of the action, we’ve rounded up some of the major talking points from an enthralling Manchester derby…


Never a man to be fazed by the big stage, Bruno Fernandes took to his first Manchester derby like a duck to water and was his usual silky self at the Theatre of Dreams. The Portugal international also provided the best moment of the first half when he chipped the ball into Martial from a free-kick, around the half-hour mark. Our no.9 then did what he does best, and volleyed the ball past Ederson, but the vision and execution from Bruno was undoubtedly the best part of that goal. We’re getting pretty used to the midfielder producing game-changing moments and registering sublime assists.

Sunday’s victory means we recorded our first league double against City since 2009/10, a season we also beat our local rivals three times in all competitions. The Reds did, of course, achieve that same feat this weekend, given that we won 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium in January, in the second leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final. That means we’ve won three of the four Manchester derbies in 2019/20, with both teams also still in the Emirates FA Cup, and United become just the second side ever to beat a team managed Pep Guardiola three times in a single season.

The previous results in the battle for Champions League slots had proved to be something of mixed bag. Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers both dropped points on Saturday, while Arsenal and Chelsea came away with vital wins. However, victory for the Reds means we remain fifth in the table, just three points behind Chelsea in fourth. Meanwhile, Wolves and Sheffield United trail United by two points and Spurs are four behind. Leicester City, who have been struggling for form of late, are in third spot ahead of their encounter with Aston Villa on Monday night.
This was a regular sight on Sunday: Daniel James running with the ball.

The right wing was a very fruitful avenue for United on Sunday, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James both putting in excellent performances. The former was deployed in a right wing-back role and excellently shut the dangerous Raheem Sterling out of the game. He also demonstrated his ability on the front foot and regularly bombed down the flank, before swinging the ball into the box. As for James, he was magnificent out wide and in a central striking position at times. Direct and dynamic, City struggled to deal with the Welshman, so much so that opposition left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko was replaced by Benjamin Mendy in the second half.
Seconds before the ball crashed into the back of the net from Scott's right boot.


It was a nervous ending to proceedings and, when play ran into the sixth minute of added time (due to additional stoppages, despite five being indicated) the fans were, understandably, growing frustrated. Then up stepped McTominay. There seemed to be nothing on in the final seconds as the ball rolled harmlessly back to Ederson, but the goalkeeper’s sloppy throw-out presented Scott with the ball around 35 yards from goal. The midfielder had an incredibly small target to hit, but his curling shot, glided into the back of the net to the delight of the vast majority inside Old Trafford. What an ending!

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