Manchester Derby Talking Points

Sunday 07 March 2021 18:52

Manchester United produced an excellent showing to overcome rivals Manchester City 2-0 on Sunday.

The Reds went ahead almost immediately against Manchester City after Anthony Martial was fouled in the first minute, and Bruno Fernandes dispatched the resulting penalty.

Soaking up the inevitable City pressure as the game went on, a rare Luke Shaw strike doubled our tally early in the second half to help wrap up a memorable victory.

Below are all the essential discussions points from our fantastic triumph at the Etihad Stadium…

Just 34 seconds into the derby United had a spot-kick. Martial picked the ball up from Marcus Rashford and made a charge along the edge of the area, before Gabriel Jesus’s clumsy effort to regain possession resulted in him tripping Martial and Anthony Taylor wasted no time in pointing for a penalty. Stepping up to take it, Fernandes produced a shot with far too much power for Ederson to do anything about, despite getting a hand to it. By finding the net after just 101 seconds, it is the earliest goal that City have ever conceded at the Etihad.

It was another fast start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in the second half as Shaw found the net five minutes after the break, for just his third-ever goal for United. Receiving the ball from Rashford in the box, Shaw set himself perfectly to strike low into the bottom right corner. A man in form, Shaw has been involved in five goals in his last seven league games and his total of six involvements (one goal and five assists) is his most-ever in a single season.

Standing in for a second successive game as David De Gea spends time with his family following the birth of his first child in midweek, Dean Henderson put in another impressive showing to shut out City. The keeper made numerous saves in his first Premier League derby, denying the likes of Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Dean has now kept nine clean sheets this season from 15 appearances in all competitions.

Victory means we regain second place in the Premier League, a point clear of Leicester City, and reduce the gap to City at the top to 11 points. As far as the Champions League picture is concerned, we’re eight points clear of Everton in fifth place, although the Toffees do have two games in hand on us.

We remain the only side in Europe’s top-five leagues yet to lose an away league match this term, and are unbeaten in 21 Premier League away games (W13, D8). That run is just five short of the top-flight record set by Arsenal between 2003 and 2004. Meanwhile, the Reds denied City a new club record run of matches without defeat in all competitions after inflicting their first loss in 21 matches.

We are now unbeaten in our last 103 Premier League games when we’ve been in front at half-time, winning 91 and drawing 12. You have to go all the way back to September 2014 when we last lost after leading at the break, when we were beaten 5-3 at the King Power Stadium by Leicester.

Marcus was forced off with a problem in the second period.

The only aspect of Sunday's win that may slightly dampen our magnificent day was an injury sustained to Marcus Rashford. The attacker was forced off with a problem in the 73rd minute, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told us afterwards he hoped it wasn't anything to serious.

Solskjaer has become the first manager in the club’s history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with City. It’s the first time the Reds have won three consecutive matches away to City since a run of four victories between 1993 and 2000 and not since April 2010 have City lost consecutive home league matches against United.