Manchester United defeated Manchester City 2-0 in a highly anticipated Premier League derby on Sunday. Anthony Martial scored the first goal in the first half. City saw more ball but created few opportunities, while the Red Devils comfortably restrained their attacks. Scott McTominay added a late second goal.
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The victory places United in fifth place, three points behind Chelsea. City remains far behind the leaders of Liverpool. City predictably took control of the ball early, but United seemed to be dangerous every time he jumped forward and had the best streak in the first half.
The first opportunity was presented to Raheem Sterling, who tested David de Gea, before Daniel James put Ederson to work after a bad gift in defense. Nicolas Otamendi made a late block to refuse Martial a path through the goal, and the active Frenchman again threatened a few minutes later, testing the traffic jam.
Even though they didn’t have a ton of possession, the pressure from the United States continued to build throughout the half, and a well-established routine provided the breakthrough. Bruno Fernandes created Martial, who beat Ederson at his close post with a first effort. The Blues have not behaved well against the former AS Monaco player this season. They were upset by referee Mike Dean and VAR for giving the free kick in the first place, according to Jonathan Smith of Goal.
However, the city had little reason to complain about VAR later in the middle of the semester. Otamendi in trouble knocked Fred inside the box, but Dean inexplicably produced a yellow card for a dive and the incident was not given a deeper look. VAR came back into play a few minutes after the second half started, when Sergio Aguero saw his goal offside. De Gea had stopped playing as soon as the flag was raised, but the reruns showed that the decision was incredibly tight.
On the other side of the field, Ederson almost made a mistake for the ages, allowing a ball to slip under his foot. He almost beat Martial to divert him from the goal. The challenge also hit Martial, but he was able to continue. Phil Foden tested De Gea after a smart corner before Pep Guardiola saw enough, bringing Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez. The Blues began to increase the pressure and Otamendi almost found the target with a powerful head.
United also threatened James, who should perhaps have played Fernandes rather than glorifying himself. But no one has missed worse than Sterling, who failed to equalize after a superb cross from Mahrez. United became more and more comfortable as the final whistle approached, as City’s passing game went nowhere. The Red Devils struggled to find a second goal on the counter, which means the game stayed in the balance until almost the final whistle.
Sterling barely tested De Gea with a weak shot in overtime, before McTominay finally got the win after another Ederson error. The goalkeeper tried to raise the ball quickly, but he threw it directly at the man who did not miss from a distance. United will travel to Austria’s LASK squad in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. On Wednesday, the city will host Arsenal in the Premier League.
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