Man United in the title race after the controversial City win

MANCHESTER — Marcus Rashford scored in a seventh consecutive recreation as Manchester United overturned a 1-0 deficit to beat champions Manchester City 2-1, but it surely was a controversial turnaround in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.

After a cagey first half, Jack Grealish’s opener appeared to have set City heading in the right direction for a Premier League win towards United.

But Bruno Fernandes’ equalizer — tucking residence with Rashford clearly offside subsequent to him — leveled the scores and Rashford’s winner 4 minutes later then sealed an enormous win for the residence facet. But the mud is not going to decide on this one for a while.

JUMP TO: Best/worst performers | Highlights and notable moments Postmatch quotes | Key stats | Upcoming fixtures

Rapid response

1. United in the title race after the controversial win over City

Man United are actually in the Premier League title race after combating again from a objective down towards City to maneuver inside six factors of leaders Arsenal — who they play per week on Sunday at the Emirates.

In certainly one of the most dramatic Manchester derbies in latest instances, United’s failure to capitalize on numerous first-half probabilities appeared to have value them dearly when substitute Grealish headed City into the lead from a Kevin De Bruyne cross on 60 minutes.

But a controversial equalizer by Fernandes on 78 minutes put United again in the recreation and sparked anger inside the City ranks. With Rashford clearly offside when the ball was performed down the center, the United ahead charged by way of however left the ball for Fernandes to attain from 20 yards and the offside flag was raised. But referee Stuart Attwell overruled his assistant as a result of Rashford, whereas showing to intrude with play subsequent to his teammate, didn’t really contact the ball.

Four minutes later, Rashford then added insult to harm as he took his post-World Cup tally to eight targets in seven video games by scoring the winner from shut vary.

It was an unbelievable end and, after holding out to win the recreation, United now transfer to inside some extent of champions City, whereas Erik ten Hag’s workforce is aware of {that a} win at the Emirates subsequent week will put them firmly in the title race. United are the solely workforce to beat Arsenal this season, successful 3-2 at Old Trafford earlier in the marketing campaign.

Having misplaced 6-3 at City in October, United bounced again impressively beneath Ten Hag and this efficiency was an indication of their unbelievable progress beneath the former Ajax coach.

In flip, City’s defeat highlighted considerations for Pep Guardiola’s workforce. This was their second straight loss following a shock Carabao Cup defeat at Southampton in midweek and so they now face a battle to keep away from ending beneath United in the league for the first time since 2013.

2. Guardiola wants to repair away-day bluntness

Manchester City have an unbelievable array of attacking expertise, however Guardiola will likely be involved about their lack of a leading edge away from residence. It value them the factors in this recreation.

Grealish’s header towards United was solely City’s sixth objective in their final eight video games in all competitions and half of these got here in a 3-1 win at Leeds final month.

One concept in the recreation about City’s comparative bluntness away from house is that groups have labored out that almost all of the menace comes from Erling Haaland, so the goal turns into all about stopping the Norway worldwide and chopping off his provide line. And that strategy has labored. Haaland scored twice towards Leeds at Elland Road, however these targets had been his first away from residence since September.

The former Borussia Dortmund ahead was quiet towards United to the level of being nameless. And though United had been all the time cautious of the menace he posed, they knew that City do not assault in the similar wave-after-wave trend that they as soon as did beneath Guardiola.

The breakthrough solely got here when Kevin De Bruyne burst into the penalty space and crossed to the far publish for Grealish to attain on 60 minutes.

If City are to catch Arsenal at the high of the desk, they should sharpen up and rating extra targets away from residence as a result of they’re in hazard of dropping contact at the high.

3. Martial working out of probabilities at United

Anthony Martial lasted simply 45 minutes of this recreation and it is truthful to say that the United ahead is not going to have an excessive amount of to look again on when he remembers this derby.

The 27-year-old began as a lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation and contributed nothing past straying offside too typically and angering the residence supporters when he did not press City goalkeeper Ederson when the Brazil worldwide was allowed time and area to clear the ball.

Martial has been certainly one of the nice survivors at United since arriving from Monaco in August 2015, however many would recommend he’s nonetheless dwelling off the reminiscences of a shocking debut objective towards Liverpool a month later.

Since then, he has been a irritating performer, persistently failing to dwell as much as his potential and each Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tried and failed to dump him throughout their spells as United supervisor.

Martial is now in his eighth season at Old Trafford, however his efficiency towards City underlined the perception that his days are actually numbered beneath Erik ten Hag.

The mortgage signing of Wout Weghorst will put stress on Martial for his place in the workforce, whereas in the long-term, United are already planning to signal a world-class center-forward in the summer time. But with simply three league targets up to now this season, it’s clear that Martial is not as much as the necessities at United and his woeful efficiency towards City proved it.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Tyrell Malacia — The United left-back confirmed tenacity all recreation and he stood up nicely to the problem of marking Riyad Mahrez.

BEST: Bruno Fernandes — The United captain confirmed actual management qualities and impressed the fightback with the opening objective. How lengthy earlier than he will get the captaincy full-time?

BEST: Kevin De Bruyne — A cagey recreation wanted a second of high quality and De Bruyne delivered with a fantastic run and pinpoint cross for Grealish to go in the opener for City.

WORST: Anthony Martial — Was off the tempo, offside, or each. Not adequate for a workforce in the high 4.

WORST: Phil Foden — The City ahead scored a hat trick towards United at the Etihad earlier this season, however he barely touched the ball at Old Trafford.

WORST: Erling Haaland — No targets and no influence from the City striker. Now three video games with out a objective, which is his worst run of the season.

Highlights and notable moments

Grealish got here off the bench in the 56th minute and scored in the 59th.

Man United scored a controversial equalizer.

Then Rashford scored the winner simply three minutes later.

After the match: What the gamers/managers stated

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag about Bruno Fernandes’ controversial objective to BT Sport: “I can see it from the different facet as nicely. The guidelines, it is a complicated second for the again line of the opponent. The guidelines say Marcus did not contact the ball and he wasn’t interfering. Bruno got here from the again – – however I can see it from the different facet.”

On Rashford recovering from harm: “Players should be resilient. You get kicked in a recreation. It occurred and it hurts however you must preserve going. You should do it to get the proper outcome and efficiency. Deal with the painful second and the recreation will go on. In high soccer you must undergo and sacrifice to get the proper outcome. The perception is again and we’re in a very good course. You should work out of possession [against teams like City]. They have qualities in break up moments to attain targets. We noticed that immediately. One mistake and so they scored.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to BBC Match of the Day: “Marcus Rashford is offside, Bruno Fernandes is just not. Rashford distracted our keeper and middle defenders. It is what it’s. We know the place we play. It is tough for the referees in these stadiums.”

On the recreation: “Congratulations to United. People will perceive how good Manchester City is. It was a incredible recreation. We managed the transitions higher in the second half towards Rashford and their quick gamers. We had the proper spirit to do it. We had been shut and we’ve got to enhance once we concede the objective, be extra steady, the hole between the first and second objective is simply too shut. In basic I’ve no regrets. I do not care if we do not win the Carabao Cup or the Premier League , we’ll attempt. I do not care when a workforce performs how we play. It was fairly just like the many, a few years we have been right here. There are loads of factors to play for and we’ve got to play there. In each recreation we’ve got to carry out. We all the time play in these form of video games and in others we wrestle a little bit bit.”

Key stats (offered by ESPN Stats & Information analysis)

– This was the 189th version of the Manchester Derby in all competitions: Manchester United lead the sequence 78-58-53 (WLD) now.

– Grealish scored his second profession objective in a Premier League recreation towards Manchester United. His first was on Dec. 1, 2019 when he performed for Aston Villa.

– Kevin De Bruyne registered his tenth help this season in the Premier League. He joins Lionel Messi and Neymar (PSG) as the solely gamers from Europe’s high 5 Leagues with 10+ assists this season (solely league play).

– Marcus Rashford tied Manchester United’s membership report for many consecutive residence scoring video games with Dennis Viollet, who achieved the feat from August to December in 1959.

– Manchester United have two targets each coming after the seventy fifth minute. They now lead the Premier League in most targets scored between the 76th-Ninetieth minute.

Up subsequent

Manchester United: An away journey to Crystal Palace comes on Jan. 18, earlier than they journey to league leaders Arsenal on Jan. 22.

Man City: Three residence video games in a row comply with, with Tottenham Hotspur (Jan. 19) and Wolves (Jan. 22) in the Premier League, then Arsenal in the FA Cup on Jan. 27.

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