Man UTD vs Man City: The Most Awaited Match of Premier League
Manchester City, with their wealth of world-class talent, is once again challenging for the top spot in the Premier League, currently sitting in third place. A win here would narrow the gap to league leaders Tottenham to just two points. However, recent back-to-back defeats against Wolves and Arsenal raised concerns in Pep Guardiola's camp. The mood has improved with a 2-1 win over Brighton and a 3-1 victory against Young Boys in the Champions League. City aims for a third consecutive win as they visit Old Trafford for the noisy derby against Manchester United.
Manchester United, long overshadowed by City in recent years, has had a modest start to the season, with four wins and as many draws before the international break. This performance falls short of a top-four challenge, let alone a Premier League title, which has eluded them since 2012. Under Erik ten Hag, United has shown some improvement, including a 2-1 win over struggling Sheffield United and a late comeback against Brentford before the October internationals. United, last season's unexpected winners in this derby, desperately seek a victory to kickstart their campaign.
Let’s take a look at the match highlights:
- In the 1st minute, the match kicks off at Old Trafford following a touching tribute to Manchester United legend Bobby Charlton, who passed away at the age of 86 last weekend. Referee Paul Tierney blows the whistle, and the game is officially underway!
- In the 3rd minute, a chance for Manchester United! Fernandes puts pressure on Gvardiol, regains possession inside City's half, and then sets up McTominay. The Scottish midfielder has Hojlund making a run outside him, but he chooses to take a left-footed shot, which he scuffs straight at Ederson, the Manchester City goalkeeper.
- In the 8th minute, a golden opportunity for Manchester City goes begging! Rodri delivers an exquisite pass into Walker, who heads the ball back towards the near post. Foden then attempts a first-time header aimed at the top-left corner of the goal. Onana, the Manchester United goalkeeper, makes an unconvincing save, parrying the ball away. Haaland is positioned to follow up but inexplicably fails to convert from point-blank range. Maguire comes to the rescue for Manchester United, clearing the ball off the line to prevent a certain goal for City.
- In the 15th minute, Dias commits a needless foul by climbing over the back of Hojlund, conceding a free-kick near the halfway line. The Manchester United forward is proving to be a handful for City's three-man defense, with his pace and physicality causing all sorts of problems for the opposition in the early stages of the match.
- In the 20th minute, Manchester City earns their first corner of the game on the left-hand side after Grealish embarks on a fluid run forward. Alvarez takes the corner short and passes to Grealish, whose right-footed shot is deflected. Onana, the Manchester United goalkeeper, responds with a sharp save, parrying the ball behind for another corner.
- In the 24th minute, Penalty for Manchester City! Referee Paul Tierney pauses the game as Onana clears the ball long, and VAR instructs the match official to check the touchline monitor. After reviewing the footage, the referee observes Hojlund wrapping his arm around Rodri, and deems the tug to be sufficient for awarding a penalty to City. Hojlund's unnecessary action results in a justifiable punishment.
- In the 26th minute, before the penalty can be taken, Onana receives a yellow card for time-wasting and delaying Haaland's spot-kick. It’s a goal! Manchester City takes the lead! Following Hojlund's unnecessary foul on Rodri, Haaland steps up to take the penalty in front of the Stretford End. The Norwegian international calmly slots his spot-kick into the bottom-right corner, while Onana dives in the opposite direction. Manchester City goes 1-0 up, courtesy of Haaland's clinical penalty.
- In the 31st minute, a flurry of chances for Manchester United! Foden's pass inadvertently sends Hojlund through on goal, but the Manchester United forward is unable to beat Ederson, with Stones providing close defensive cover. However, Hojlund manages to recover and find Fernandes, who fires well over the crossbar from close range at the near post.
- In the 38th minute, Alvarez and Foden set up for a wide free-kick, with Alvarez ultimately taking the shot aimed towards the near post. Onana is alert and tracks the trajectory of the ball, making a save to parry over the right-footed strike from the Argentina forward.
- In the 42nd minute, Amrabat and Foden get involved in a scuffle in the midfield, and tensions escalate between the two players. Referee Tierney intervenes and calls both players over to address the situation. Foden is shown a yellow card, which he clearly does not appreciate, as tensions run high during the match.
- In the 43rd minute, Amrabat, who reacted with unnecessary aggression to Foden's foul earlier, is also booked by referee Tierney. This incident showcases perhaps the most determination Manchester United has displayed throughout the first half.
- In the 45+2 minute, what an incredible save by Ederson! Just before halftime, Ederson preserves Manchester City's lead with a spectacular stop. Rashford sends McTominay through on goal, and the Scotland international unleashes a powerful right-footed half-volley aimed at the top of the net. Ederson displays lightning-fast reflexes, making a superb save to tip the ball over the crossbar, ensuring City's advantage remains intact.
- In the 45+4 minute, another fantastic save! Silva makes a stealthy run down the left wing and connects with Grealish's well-placed chipped pass. He then delivers an enticing cross towards the far post. Haaland appears to have a straightforward chance to score with a header, but Onana makes an incredible flying save to deny him. The Manchester United goalkeeper covers a significant distance to thwart the City forward, showcasing his impressive reflexes and agility.
- In the 46th minute, at half-time, Ten Hag makes an attacking change for Manchester United as Mount comes on to replace Amrabat. This substitution indicates an offensive adjustment as United seeks to improve their performance in the second half.
- In the 47th minute, a close chance for Manchester United! Eriksen takes a short free-kick from the left wing and passes it to Rashford, who manages to win a corner off Foden. Rashford takes a quick corner towards the edge of the penalty area, where Fernandes is waiting. Fernandes unleashes a swerving right-footed strike that is well saved by Ederson, the Manchester City goalkeeper.
- In the 49th minute, goal for Manchester City! It's 2-0! Manchester City slices through Manchester United's defense at Old Trafford. Alvarez sends a diagonal pass to Grealish, who then passes it to Silva on the overlap. Silva, the Portugal international, reaches the byline and delivers a left-footed cross towards Haaland. Haaland heads the ball into an empty net at the back post. Manchester City, the Premier League champions, are now in complete control with a two-goal lead!
- In the 54th minute, Old Trafford has fallen into a period of silence, reflecting the one-sided nature of this Manchester derby, which has proven to be another frustrating affair for Manchester United. Ten Hag, the United manager, stands motionless on the touchline, while Guardiola, the Manchester City manager, passionately gestures towards his team, who are firmly in control of the match on their rivals' home turf.
- In the 60th minute, Stones takes a significant amount of time over a free-kick, with City expressing doubt that Fernandes is positioned at the required distance. This moment highlights how Manchester United seems to focus more on their interactions with the referee rather than their performance on the pitch. Ten Hag's team might find themselves in a better position if they redirected their efforts toward improving their gameplay.
- In the 67th minute, Manchester City momentarily loses possession, but McTominay is unable to take advantage as Stones intervenes to regain control. However, Eriksen recovers the ball and attempts a right-sided cross, which is deflected behind for a corner. Eriksen then delivers the corner towards the near post, but Alvarez clears it behind for another corner.
- In the 71st minute, a fantastic save by Onana! Gvardiol passes to Grealish, who skillfully navigates through the middle and then plays a through ball for Haaland. Haaland takes a touch and tries to chip a left-footed lob over Onana, but the Manchester United goalkeeper does brilliantly to make a save, parrying the ball behind for a corner.
- In the 73rd minute, regular full-back Reguilon enters the match, replacing makeshift left-back Lindelof for Manchester United. This substitution is aimed at strengthening the left side of the defense.
- In the 80th minute, goal for Manchester City! It's 3-0, and the game is effectively over! Grealish patiently draws Dalot out of position before passing to Rodri, who charges forward and takes a left-footed shot. Onana, the Manchester United goalkeeper, makes a save, parrying the ball away. Haaland is quick to react to the rebound, sliding the ball across the face of the goal for Foden to tap into an empty net. Manchester United has been thoroughly outclassed and embarrassed by their noisy neighbors, Manchester City!
- In the 85th minute, Fernandes delivers a left-sided corner towards the edge of the penalty area, where Walker blocks Eriksen's acrobatic right-footed volley. The Stretford End tries to provide encouragement to Ten Hag's team, but it seems that even a minor miracle would not be enough to save the Red Devils at this point. Manchester City has been dominant in this match.
- In the 90+2 minute, Antony displays petulant behavior by kicking at Doku's ankles and then squaring up to the Belgium international. As a result of his child-like behavior, the Manchester United forward is shown a yellow card. This conduct is deemed embarrassing, particularly for a player with Antony's caliber.
- In the 90+3 minute, Doku continues to pose a threat, gliding down the left-hand side, and Antony, the Manchester United winger, concedes a corner while attempting to defend. In the build-up to this play, Fernandes lunges in with a tackle on the City forward and is rightly shown a yellow card for his challenge.
- In the 90+6 minute, Haaland takes a poor free-kick that goes straight into the wall, but it doesn't matter for Manchester City. The game is effectively over, and Guardiola's team has asserted their dominance as the kings of Manchester once again with a comprehensive victory over Manchester United.
Manchester City secures a convincing 3-0 victory over their lackluster neighbors, Manchester United, keeping Manchester blue. Ten Hag's side failed to excite the frustrated Old Trafford crowd, while their fierce rivals dominated on the opposition's turf.
Haaland scored a first-half penalty after a VAR check for a Hojlund foul on Rodri, setting Guardiola's visitors on the path to victory. Haaland added a second goal after halftime to double the away side's lead and then set up an easy finish for Foden to complete a dominant performance. This victory brings City level on points with second-placed Arsenal and two points behind Tottenham after 10 games.