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Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United: Manchester is Red again

Rashford and Martial put City to the sword


Manchester United completed its second rousing upset in four days after the Reds took a 2-1 result against the back-to-back defending Premier League Champions, Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Saturday. White-hot, in-form forward, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring with another converted penalty before his strike partner, Anthony Martial delivered the game winner.

United were clearly at a disadvantage in quality in the midfield. The Reds worked well to play the ball out wide on the break as Rashford and Daniel James were able to find space and find cutbacks to Jesse Lingard and Martial.

After flashing dangerous runs in the early part of the half, Rashford dribbled through the backline into the box when Bernardo Silva came flying in with a reckless hip check that sent Rashford to the ground. After a VAR check, the penalty was awarded to United. Like against Tottenham at the midweek, Rashford walked straight to the penalty spot and sent Ederson flying the wrong direction before confidently placing the ball in the opposite corner in the 23rd minute.

United would double its lead six minutes later thanks to the return of Martial, who missed the midweek match because of an injury. Martial combined with James around the center of the pitch before Martial found himself with a lot of space between him and the City defense. He turned on the ball and put a slicing shot low past Ederson to make it 2-0 against the defending Premier League champions.

City again showed the disadvantage it gave itself after not seeking out a replacement for Vincent Kompany at centerback. Lingard found himself with acres of space to operate at the top of the midfield, and City were desperate to have Fernandinho at his natural position where, surely, he would have more successfully disrupted the United counter-attack.

While United cloaked itself in glory during the first half with marauding counter-attacks that broke the match open, the second half proved to be an unnerving affair as United had half chances whilst conceding a huge amount of possession to the hosts. When United found itself to create a chance off a set piece in the 67th minute, Fred was pelted by City fans who threw lighters and water bottles at the midfielder. Play was stopped until the barrage could be quelled by security; the Manchester United press officers would later confirm that the United players were subjected to racist abuse from the City fans as well.

Finally, Nicolas Otamendi, who was a substitute after John Stones left with a knock, delivered the goal that puckered up every person wearing Red in the Etihad. In the 85th minute, Riyad Mahrez delivered a cross into the center of the box where the waiting head of Otamendi guided the ball past De Gea and into the net.

Solskjaer would substitute Axel Tuanzebe and Ashley Young into the match to run a five-man backline, and the Reds dug in for the final efforts from its noisy neighbors. Ultimately, City would fail to find the equalizer despite getting five minutes of stoppage time, and all eyes were on Solskjaer for successfully beating the two of the premier managers of the decade in Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho.

Manchester United moved up to fifth in the Premier League table and sit only five points off the top four. However, the win more than likely secured the title for their most hated rivals, Liverpool, with City now sitting 14 points off the lead.