Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City
Goals: Fernandes (78e) and Rashford (82e) for the Red Devils // Grealish (60e) for Citizens
Three months ago, Manchester United sank at the Etihad, torpedoed by the hat-tricks of Erling Haaland and Phil Foden (6-3). The Red Devils have not experienced such a shipwreck this Saturday. Better than that: they chained a twelfth meeting without losing at Old Trafford and returned to victory in the derby, after three painful defeats. Crucial, in more ways than one.
In the trap
Erik ten Hag’s plan worked perfectly in the first half. Tortured in the first leg, Tyrell Malacia this time set the tone by winning his duel with Riyad Mahrez, who was wanted by a cross from Bernardo Silva (4e). Not helped by an unusual waste in the transmissions, like Ederson’s right passes into touch (17e), Rodri (18e) or Akanji (33e), City had the greatest difficulty in creating the imbalance. Fred played his part perfectly by muzzling Kevin De Bruyne (16e18e). Difficult to hit by his teammates (eight balls in 45 minutes), Erling Haaland saw his only shot blocked by Casemiro (24e).
Taken twice in an offside position, Phil Foden did not experience more success, to the chagrin of Pep Guardiola. Kyle Walker at least had the imagination to try from afar, and his floating shot flirted with the amount (45e+1). Conversely, United were sharp on the counterattack. Following a loss of ball from Bernardo Silva, Christian Eriksen found Bruno Fernandes in the interval, but the Portuguese crossed his shot too much (11e). Marcus Rashford then stumbled on Akanji from a tight angle (34e), then on Ederson after having pushed his ball a little too much (37e).
Returning with Antony, but without Martial, MU endeavored to maintain the same tactical discipline. City raised the cursor, and Raphaël Varane had to intervene to return Bernardo’s discounts (53e) and Akanji (57e). Guardiola nevertheless unblocked the situation by shooting down the Jack Grealish card. Three minutes after coming on for Foden, the former Aston Villa captain slotted a winning header from a Kevin De Bruyne cross (0-1, 60e). His second goal of the season. But Bruno Fernandes equalized following a hard work from Wan-Bissaka, and the goal was validated to the general amazement of the SkybluesMarcus Rashford having clearly weighed in on the action by being clearly offside (1-1, 78e).
– CANAL+ Foot (@CanalplusFoot) January 14, 2023
Stunned, City were definitely knocked out in the process: a bright pass from Fernandes, a cross from Alejandro Garnacho, the flat foot from Rashford, forgotten by Akanji, and Old Trafford erupted for good (2-1, 82e). The eighth goal of the England international in his last seven games. On the bench, world champion Julián Álvarez desperately waited his turn, in vain… Beaten for the third time in the league, City remain five points behind Arsenal, who could escape on Sunday. Impeccable since the recovery, the Red Devils meanwhile seized third place and came within a small point of their neighbour. MU may have found a new King. Chance or coincidence, his name is still Erik.
Manchester United (4-3-1-2): De Gea – Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Shaw, Malacia (Martinez, 90e+3) – Fred, Casemiro (McTominay, 90e+3), Eriksen (Garnacho, 72e) – Fernandes – Rashford (Maguire, 90e+2), Martial (Antony, 46e). Coach : Erik ten Hag.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson-Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo-Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo-Mahrez, Foden (Grealish, 57e), Haaland. Coach : Pep Guardiola.