Match Report: Manchester Utd 2-0 Manchester City

This article first featured in Edition #13 of the RMD magazine (March 9, 2020)

Manchester has long been home to one of the Premier League’s biggest rivalries, with the blue half of the city having had the lion share of success in the most recent seasons. As such, seeing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer guide his team to their first league double over their rivals in a decade will have represented a rare cause for celebration for the currently disgruntled Manchester United supporters.

Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson was culpable for both of the goals his side conceded to their rivals, though in vastly different circumstances.

The opening goal came from nothing more than a routine shot from French forward Anthony Martial, who was likely as surprised as the rest of the Old Trafford crowd to see his effort squirm underneath the body of the usually reliable Brazilian goalkeeper.

Once again, building on his recent, vital role in Manchester United’s up-tick in form, Bruno Fernandes was involved in the opening goal. It was the Portuguese midfielder’s quick thinking to take a set piece sharply which provided the opportunity for Martial’s lucky effort on goal.

As the two sides battled out a dramatic Manchester derby between the fierce rivals, it took until the 96th minute of the contest for the second goal to come, securing the result for Manchester United.

Ederson threw the ball out of his box straight into the path of Scott McTominay, who still had to show incredible technique and composure to strike a long-range effort first time back at goal, rippling the back of the net in front of a delirious Stretford End.

The victory moved Manchester United to just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, after their first derby league double since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

The dramatic atmosphere created inside Old Trafford continued long after the final whistle, though there wasn’t all positives to come out of the final result, as Manchester City’s defeat did allow Liverpool to move into a 25-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, meaning they need only two more victories to secure their first league title in 30 years.

The game wasn’t without its controversy, either. Manchester City supporters were left feeling aggrieved after the decision to award Fernandes’ free kick from which Martial scored was hotly contested by City players, who didn’t agree with referee Mike Dean’s view that Ilkay Gundogan had fouled his man.

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero also had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR, and despite having a greater amount of possession in the match, the visitors couldn’t make the difference on the ball count.

Manchester United weren’t without controversy in decisions, either. Their own supporters were left feeling frustrated when Fred was booked for diving after tangling in the box with Manchester City defender Nicolas Otamendi.

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