Manchester United have not won a game against a traditional Premier League ‘top-6’ side this season and go into the Manchester Derby against Man City having drawn their last 3 consecutive games. Against all odds, they broke their big game curse with an emphatic 2-0 win to go back into the second spot & paint Manchester Red – at least for today!
The Red Devils, however, started the game in fiery fashion and earned a penalty in the 2nd minute which Bruno Fernandes finished without any mistakes to put United in the lead!
Just like the first half, United also began the second half in blistering fashion and doubled their lead thanks to an improbable scorer in Luke Shaw, who slotted a shot past a shocked Ederson in the 50th minute. City dominated 66% of the possession and nearly had all of the ball, but it was United who took their chances and went back laughing with the win.
Of course, perhaps this game doesn’t have an impact of the title race eventually. But it still feels awesome to break City’s 21-game winning run. United’s own incredible away winning record in PL stretches to 22 games and if we’re to go by that kind of a performance, that run might not be ending anytime soon.
Manchester United player ratings vs Manchester City
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (8.5)–
Solskjaer seems to have the lads extremely motivated for this one with United bamboozling City early on. Some of the same great motivation in the second half, ensuring United get the much-needed second goal early in the second half. While he would’ve liked his side to be more ruthless in counter-attacks, that was a tactically perfect performance for his side.
They choked out City in midfield, forced them to try stuff they generally don’t and restricted them to half-chances. Defensively, they were amazing and Ole ensured they didn’t let City score at any time. Ole loves playing against City and outwits Pep Guardiola once again! Will be a tad bit worried about Rashford’s injury, though.
Dean Henderson (8.0) –
The United academy graduate makes his first Manchester Derby appearance in the PL. Makes a nice save off Gundogan’s attempt in the 9th. Then an even better one to deny Zinchenko’s piledriver in the 24th. Brilliant pass to kick off the move for Shaw’s goal. Saved whatever City threw at him and played a crucial pass leading to the second. A big clean sheet for him which proves Deano needs to be played more often.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (8.0) –
Spider-Wan loves playing against Sterling and kept him quiet in the first half with some stout defending. Did more of the same in the second half, pocketing Sterling once again in the derby. Made 5(!) interceptions, 3 tackles and 3 clearances in another superb defensive display in a big game. He really loves pocketing Sterling in Manchester Derbies!
Harry Maguire (8.5) –
The United captain has helped keep a lot of clean sheets in ‘big games’ this season and seems determined to do so today as well. Made some great clearances and kept Jesus quiet in a great first 45 minutes. Absolute monster in the second half, thriving under the pressure and not allowing City room inside the box.
Big Harry made 9 (!) clearances, 3 interceptions in a brilliant defensive display. Acted as a real leader at the back also by maintaining a near-flawless defensive shape to frustrate the hosts. Another clean-sheet in a big game for him and the boys!
Victor Lindelof (7.5) –
Lindelof is back after sitting out the Palace draw. Very comfortable with his defending in the first half. Closed down Foden really well to block a scoring chance in the 75th. Then again made his presence felt to make Sterling miss an open goal minutes later. Really solid at the back like every other defender and kept a good check on Jesus, frustrating him all through the game.
Luke Shaw (9.0) –
The best left-back in the league almost got a goal in the 3rd minute but his weak footed shot went straight at Ederson. But doesn’t miss 4 minutes into the second half, slotting in a smart finish past multiple bodies to get United’s second! Defensively, he was brilliant as well and apart from one reckless challenge (which got him booked), he kept Mahrez on check with some great positioning.
Fantastic performance on both sides on the pitch which proves that he IS THE BEST LEFT-BACK IN THE LEAGUE!
Scott McTominay (8.5) –
McTominay’s seems to have tapped into his ‘big game master’ form and working extremely hard to stop City’s moves in midfield with key interceptions & tackles. Maintained 100% concentration all game long, tapping into the right areas all the time to neutralize City’s attacks. Shielded his defence perfectly and made some great challenges to make City’s midfielders look average on the day.
Fred (7.0) –
The Brazilian workhorse seems extra energized for this one, moving all around the pitch and making some great interceptions in the early minutes to set stuff up. Moved all around the pitch through the game, winning the ball multiple times. But his attacking output remained average, as he gave away possession too many times. Still a pretty solid shift in midfield.
Bruno Fernandes (8.0) –
Fernandes gets his much-needed goal against a big side, somehow slotting home the penalty past Ederson. Probably needs to stop being fancy with his passing, which still isn’t as accurate as what he’d want. But he maintained calm in the moves, improving his passing as the game moved on.
Worked extremely hard defensively too, covering A LOT OF ground to add that extra body in defence and neutralize CIty’s attacks. Gets the better off KDB, even if it was a penalty that needed to do it. Big performance in a big game.
Daniel James (6.5) –
Bit invisible in the first half until late on when he popped up and went ahead on a great run only to see the chance wasted. Wastes a good chance to score with a bloated shot in the 55th. But showcased great spirit through the game, running City’s defenders ragged on a few occasions and moving the ball forward well towards the end.
Anthony Martial (7.0) –
Great start from the under-pressure #9, winning the penalty by forcing the foul from Jesus. Moving forward with the ball much more smoothly and helping link-up moves with good centre-forward play. Goes on a brilliant run past multiple City players in the 55th but sees the chance wasted.
But then scuffs a good scoring chance three minutes later, with his weak header getting saved easily from close range. Then again gets a glorious chance in the 68th, with his shot saved by Ederson. Apart from those disappointing missing, a pretty good overall showing. Held up and moved the ball forward brilliantly and troubled City’s defenders with his movement.
Marcus Rashford (7.0) –
Looking much more venomous already than he did against Palace. Takes a whipped attempt at goal in the 16th, but saw it saved. Smart move from him to pass it to Shaw for his goal rather than take a shot from a difficult area. Could’ve made a few decisions with his final third passes, but worked his butt off. Ended up overworking himself, picking up an injury that forced him to go off.
Mason Greenwood (6.0) –
Great tracking back to deny Foden a scoring chance in the 81st. Still lacking his accuracy in the attack, wasting a slight chance late in the second half.
Nemanja Matic (N/R) –
The Serbian helped United see off the game and get the win.
Brandon Williams (N/R) –
Energetic in his cameo.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Shaw scored his first PL goal in over 2 seasons, pocketed Riyad Mahrez and just dominated the left side. A lot of big performers for United today, but Luke was truly amazing for me. He gets my MOTM.