A brave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer masterminded a fine derby win for his club today. United were fierce and intense from the very first minute and bullied City in the first half to take a 0-2 lead. Manchester City tried to make up for their first half lull in the second half and were the better team in that half but United held strong and took all the three points home in an exhilarating 1-2 win.
Even though City had most of the possession in the first half, United managed to carve six goal scoring chances, finishing only two of those. This was due to Solskjaer’s courageous approach of fielding four offensive players against arguably one of the best teams in the World away from home. No matter where the ball was won, United’s “Fab Four” sprinted forward like their life depended on it. It was not just the pace but also the quality of the interplay between the United players that caused so much damage to Manchester City.
After a fine win in midweek against Mourinho’s Spurs, United once again down a top six rival, moving into fifth place, five points behind Chelsea, who lost 3-1 at Everton. Suddenly, the top four does not seem so unreachable. An easier run of fixtures is now coming for United. If they can take the “grinta” of the last two games into those, they might be in a Champions League place in 2020.
United today showed that they can be fearless against even the best oppositions in the World. When their whole team shows up, they can beat anybody. It’s been a long time since United last came to the Etihad with so much confidence.
As for Manchester City, they are now 14 points behind Liverpool, a seemingly insurmountable deficit. However, not all is lost for Guardiola’s team. Their second half performance was brilliant. If it were not for some fantastic moments of defending from De Gea, Wan-Bissaka and Lindelof, City might well have won this game.
With a squad of their caliber, there’s no reason why City cannot win the Champions League, League Cup and FA Cup. If anything, the points gap in the EPL might allow to them to focus on the Champions League.
It has been a long time since we saw such an exhilarating derby in Manchester. Solskjaer wins the day on his 50th game managing his club.
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