Talking points from the Manchester derby

Sunday 03 March 2024 17:51

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Premier League clash swung one way and another, as Marcus Rashford's stunning opener was wiped out by Phil Foden's second-half brace, and then Erling Haaland added a third in stoppage time.

While the result is no doubt disappointing for Erik ten Hag and his team, the Reds were spirited from start to finish and certain elements of our performance can be picked out as real positives.

Read the key talking points from the 192nd Manchester derby below...

Report: City 3 United 1


The Reds are beaten in the derby, despite Marcus Rashford's spectacular early strike.


Our captain, Bruno Fernandes, made his 150th Premier League appearance in our clash with City.

The Portuguese started the game in the false-nine position, with Marcus Rashford on the left and Alejandro Garnacho on the right. Bruno held up the ball supremely well to create Rashford's sublime opener and then was even helping out at left-back on occasion.

Throughout the game he was pointing to his team-mates to ensure we kept discipline and was always willing to get on the ball and make runs in behind to try and stretch their backline.

Bruno worked tirelessly from start to finish and his effort on Sunday cannot be criticised. To hit the landmark of 150 Premier League matches is no mean feat for any player, especially within four years of joining, and we look forward to seeing our skipper hit many more key numbers in a United shirt.


Our no.10 came into the match against City with a point to prove, following his emotive interview with the Players' Tribune during the week.

As Marcus will know, words can only do so much, but the Wythenshawe-born attacker let his football do the talking to fire us into a first-half lead with a strike that no goalkeeper on the planet would have been able to stop.

He continued to stretch the hosts' defence throughout the match and, had the ball fallen more kindly for him on a couple of occasions, he could have had more. The winger was substituted during the second half and his effort was appreciated by the United fans in the away end, with him reciprocating that love with applause in their direction.


Ten Hag's tactics were particularly effective in the first half.

On many occasions in the opening 45 minutes, the Reds would receive the ball deep and look to get in behind the hosts' defence with pinpoint, driven balls over the top.

Rashford's opener came from this exact tactic and other chances presented themselves via this method too, as Andre Onana displayed his passing range.

While City ultimately found a way through our defence, the Reds were certainly not short of spirit or desire. You just have to look at Kobbie Mainoo's block - with his face - to see that. It will be a tough one to take at the moment, but the boss will surely be able to take some positives from the way the Reds battled.

Marcus Rashford was a threat to the City backline throughout the encounter.


Our goalkeeper displayed his fast reflexes to deny Foden in the first half, as well as demonstrating his quality on the ball too, and looked to continue that in the second half.

The Cameroon international couldn't really have done anything about any of the hosts' goals, and also made some further blocks and claims that ensured the deficit ended at just two goals.

Onana is starting to prove why Ten Hag brought him to the club in the summer.

Andre Onana made some crucial stops at the Etihad Stadium.


Our fans are amazing. This result will hurt, but from the first whistle to the last, the Red contingent in the corner were absolutely superb.

Rashford's opener sent them into a state of pandemonium and, even after City had levelled and taken the lead, the United faithful did not stop singing.

Outnumbered vastly by the home crowd but still the loudest in the ground, your support knows no bounds, Reds.