Manchester City vs Manchester United Match Analysis and Player Ratings

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Picture courtesy of www.bing.com

This has been quite a week for Manchester United as fans and players alike have experienced the full gambit of emotions starting with despair at a lack luster draw 2-2 at Old Trafford against newly promoted Aston Villa last Sunday. To the jubilant heights of beating the current Premier League Champions at the Etihad on Saturday 07 December. Having painted Manchester Red and grabbing the bragging rights over the old enemy in the 179th meeting between the biggest clubs dividing the city of Manchester. In between the two fixtures one needs to also commend the Red Devils and their manager for beating a high flying Spurs team midweek with a home victory 2-1. Spurs had begun to turn their season and fortune around with impressive wins under new manager Mourinho.The Humble One was surely looking to remind the Old Trafford faithful of his ability to inspire an in form Spurs team to yet another victory at his former club. Having being perilously close to the wrong end of the table, Solskjaer and his men can genuinely celebrate fantastic back to back victories and feel they have shown what this Manchester United team are truly capable of.   

The Manchester Derby is one of the oldest rivalries in the Premier League and began in 1891 with Manchester United winning in the FA Cup tie 5-1 since then the teams have met 178 times prior to the latest derby. Manchester United's record over their City rivals is now reflecting as 75 games won 52 drawn and 53 losses. Considering recent history and the fact that Man City have definitely been the more successful club with regards to bragging rights as far as being current Premiership Champions this victory would be even more satisfying for Solskjaer and the Red Devils. Effectively placing Man City a massive 14 points behind league run away leaders Liverpool. Both teams had a massive point t0 prove to their respective fans, on paper Manchester United were definitely the under dogs going into the match.

Marcus Rashford celebrates after putting Manchester United 1-0 up at the Etihad Stadium
Marcus Rashford celebrates after scoring opening goal at Etihad Stadium
. Picture courtesy of www.skysports.com

The Red Devils came completely dominated the first 30 minutes of the game Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Martial all forced smart saves out of Ederson with shots from in and around the edge of the box from quick breaks. The breakthrough came when  Marcus Rashford converted  a penalty after being hauled down by a clumsy challenge by Bernado Silva in the 23rd minute, The challenge was sent for review via VAR and was awarded. Marcus Rashford calmly converted his penalty now taking his season tally to 13 goals for club and country. He almost added a second goal but saw his attempt smash against the bar. The Red Devils next attack saw Daniel James linking with Anthony Martial who had time to turn and squeeze his shot past Ederson's near post to double the advantage in the 29th minute. This stunned the home fans into silence and slowly Man City tried to drag themselves back into the derby. A few half chances fell their way with  penalty appeal for United handballs turned down by referee Anthony Taylor and VAR before the break, while Gabriel Jesus wastefully headed a Kevin de Bruyne cross wide. After the half time break the Red Devils defended deep and continued to frustrate the Man City attack.  Riyad Mahrez corner met by substitute  Nicolas Otamendi header in the 85th minute led to a tense final few minutes but Manchester United held their nerve and secured a famous victory.

Player Ratings

David De Gea - (7) - Looked like he was back to his very best form with a fine save from Rodri. Very little he could do about the goal conceded at the set piece.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (9)  - Rose to the occasion of the derby . Extremely tough in the tackle and absolutely resolute in defence. He completed five tackles  which was the most of any player during the match.

Victor Lindelöf (8) - Possibly one of his best outings in The Red Devils shirt. Was a standout performance and was key in denying De Bruyne an  opportunity to score with an amazing block.

Harry Maguire  Captain (8.5) - Set the tone as captain his team-mates followed. For all City's dominance of possession, Gabriel Jesus was restricted to just one clear-cut chance before half-time.

Luke Shaw (7) - Had a solid game still getting  back to his best was able to keep Bernado Silva at bay but struggled against Riyad Mahrez.

Scott McTominay (7.5) - His influence is being felt weekly and yet again his  presence in the game was felt  as United out-ran and overpowered their opponents in the moments that matter.

Fred (8.5) - Was highly impressed with his past two performances, this however may be his best performance  to date for the Red Devils, high energy  and hoping he can continue building with McTominay both outshone their City opposition.

Jesse Lingard (8) - Best performance by far  for Jesse he was critical in launching attacks and creating opportunities to  release the three attacking players. Central in attacks and kept pressure on City defence.

Daniel James (8.5) - His pace is a major factor in launching attacks and terrorising City defence. Was key influencer and had a great game again linking with Martial to set up the second and decisive goal.

Anthony Martial (7.5) - Scored a fantastic goal and is really beginning to add a lot more clinical finishing to his game. Adds to the potency of Red Devils attack alongside James and Rashford. Not fully match fit replaced by Pereira in 74th minute.

Marcus Rashford (9) - My Man of the match . He seems to be revelling in the responsibility of being at  the heart of all of United's many good moments in attack - won and converted his first-half penalty Almost bagged a brace  with his shot hitting the crossbar with a lovely 25-yard effort which Ederson could only watch. Ten goals in his 16 Premier League appearances matches  his joint-highest career tally.

Subs:

Andreas Pereira  (6) -  No real time to influence the game came on in 74th minute for Anthony Martial

Ashely Young  N/A - Came on for Luke Shaw 89th minute managed to win free kick deep into injury time. 

Axel Tuanzebe N/A - Came on for Jesse Lingard 89th minute.

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