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Manchester United aimed to do the league double over rivals Manchester City for the first time in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. With Chelsea moving back to six-points above them, a win is quintessential to keep their top-four hopes alive & well. They managed to grind through to a compelling 2-0 win, moving back to 5th place and three-points away from the fourth place.
United started the game with confidence and after a few half-chances went ahead in the 30th-minute when Anthony Martial clobbered a ball through Ederson to erupt Old Trafford. After that, United parked the bus and frustrated City throughout the game.
David De Gea made some excellent saves and a desperate City conceded in the 97th-minute when Ederson passed the ball straight to Scott McTominay, who dinked the ball into the goal from over 40 yards out to win the tie. That’s now 10 unbeaten for United, who for tonight prove that Manchester is indeed Red.
Here are the Manchester United Player Ratings vs Man City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (8.0) –
Ole works his magic again in a big-game. He set-up his side superbly, ensuring City got no space to really threaten with and were bombastic on the counter. His game-plan was executed to perfection as Pep Guardiola & co were left scratching their heads. His substitutions looked questionable, but McTominay scored towards the end and the others helped get the job done.
Gets his 3rd(!) win over Pep this season. Only Klopp has managed that feat since the Spaniard arrived at City. He can afford to enjoy himself today after that!
David de Gea (8.0) –
De Gea has lots to make up for after his horror-show against Everton. Makes a fine reflex save off Sterling in the 10th. Tested again in the 56th and pips over Foden’s attempt really well. Then denied Jesus with a super save in the 75th. Deservedly earned his clean-sheet and with today’s sensational performance proves the goalkeeper’s slot isn’t going away from him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (8.0)-
AWB schooled Sterling in the last PL derby. Getting the better of him once again, making some superb tackles in the first-half. Dug his heels in when things got tough in the second, making excellent challenges to stop City’s supply through that side.
Attacking-wise he was promising on occasions, making some fizzy forward runs. But it’s his defensive performance which shines. 8 tackles and 3 interceptions for him today. Schooled Sterling & Co again today.
Harry Maguire (6.5) –
Harry’s passed a late fitness test to make the derby. Getting trifled by Aguero’s movement early on. Gained his composure afterwards, marshalling over his impenetrable backline like a leader. Didn’t get too involved today, making clearances here & there, but got the job done towards the end to earn another Derby win for United.
Victor Lindelof (7.5) –
Lindelof’s covering Maguire pretty well in the first half, making necessary clearances to keep things composed. Maintained his excellent game-reading when the pressure turned up in the 2nd, making terrific tackles and necessary challenges to thwart danger. Moved into a left centre-back role seamlessly, doing everything possible to ruin their quickly-stitched chances. Better than Maguire today.
Luke Shaw (6.5)–
Back in a back-three once again. Sliding into the right areas very cleverly to thwart City’s supply. Covered for the defensively vulnerable Williams superbly and dealt with Mahrez’s threat superbly in the second-half. Made 5 clearances & 6 recoveries in another impressive display as a make-shift centre-half.
Brandon Williams (6.0) –
The youngster comes up against fellow Mancunian Phil Foden today. Maintaining a spirited figure down the left. Put in a high work-load and even created some chances when blazing into attack. But his defensive ineptitude was targetted by City forcing a late change.
Fred (7.0) –
Fred looks game for another hyper-active shift. Makes a terrific interception off Bernardo in the 5th-minute to resound authority. Booked for diving in the 42nd when it should’ve been a penalty as he was illegally brought down inside the area!
But that didn’t diminish his roar. Trifled City with his relentless pressing, moved the ball forward well and showcased urgency with quick-transitions. Puts in another tireless performance in a big game.
Nemanja Matic (7.5)-
Matic needs to protect his backline strongly today. Makes a heroic interception in the 13th to deny Aguero a huge scoring chance. Shielded his backline like a boss, not allowing any holes to open nor giving City’s midfielders any space. Made 7 recoveries and moved the ball forward much better with some impressive forward runs. Deserves the new contract United have handed him recently.
Bruno Fernandes (7.5) –
The man of the moment plays his first derby. A proactive figure in attack early on. Plays a clever pass for James in the 16th. Won a smart free-kick before producing an exquisite assist by catching City off guard and looping a delightful ball to Martial. Opening up all the gaps with his sweet flicks. Maintained his authority as a vocal player, barking orders to his team-mates throughout.
Could’ve had a goal if found properly by his team-mates, but bonus points for riling up Pep towards the end!
Daniel James (6.0) –
James has been experiencing poor form as of late. Has the chance to redeem himself today. Troubling City with his pace and strikes a strong attempt straight at Ederson in the 16th. Blazed United forward on counter-attacks. Stung Ederson’s hands with a powerful shot in the 71st, but should’ve found Bruno who was open beside him.
He got into some prime areas throughout but his indecisiveness cost him. Needs to get his head up and seek out chances than just running at defences.
Anthony Martial (7.5) –
Martial’s been sloppy in the early exchanges, not being able to make most off some City’s miss-passes right at him. But he shoved off his early cobwebs quickly, testing Ederson with a rather weak shot in the 27th. However, he didn’t miss in the 30th when he cleverly controlled Bruno’s ball and shoved it into the net.
Playing with refined vigour today, getting into the danger areas and demanding more from team-mates. Showcased the hunger and motivation which many have been craving from him all season long.
Eric Bailly (6.5) –
Bailly filled in for Williams superbly, adding that extra layer of protection in defence. Won some important duels, made wild clearances and helped get the job done.
Scott McTominay (7.0) –
McTominay must’ve been gutted to not start and added refined spirit into the team since coming on. Won the ball multiple times, physically ousted City’s midfielders. Then provided the cherry on the cake with a stunning finish to win it for his side.
Odion Ighalo (N/R) –
Ighalo came on very late on, but his hold-up play and link-up play was superb. Looked surprisingly calm in an intense situation.
Well, David de Gea had a real zero-to-hero turn today. Made some excellent saves to keep his side in the lead & effectively won them the game. He’s my MOTM for today.