Manchester United ended Manchester City’s 21-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Manchester derby was decided by goals at the start of each half, with Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scoring the decisive goals.
The Reds had a few nervous moments, as you’d imagine in these types of games, but they defended brilliantly as a unit and kept on to earn a huge three points.
The victory lifts Liverpool back into second place, one point ahead of Leicester City, as we close the gap on City at the top of the table and extend our Premier League unbeaten streak.
FIRST HALF – FLYING START FOR UNITED
United couldn’t have started any better on a grey, but mild afternoon in Manchester and we were awarded a penalty within a minute of kick-off.
When Anthony Martial was tripped by Gabriel Jesus just inside the field, the spot-kick was awarded to him. He had been back in the side since the midweek trip to Crystal Palace.
In just 101 seconds, Fernandes stood up and confidently powered the ball to Ederson’s right, and against the Brazilian’s best efforts, he couldn’t keep the strike out of the net, as the Reds went one up.
It should have been two minutes later if Luke Shaw’s right-footed attempt inside the box had connected properly.
City were unable to cope with United’s relentless pressing, and although the hosts did manage to get their first shot on target after nine minutes, Ilkay Gundogan struggled to put Dean Henderson to the test. Marcus Rashford then pressured Ederson to crawl across his goalline in an attempt to stop the attacker’s long-range shot.
City started to exert more pressure after the Reds’ quick start around the 20-minute mark. Before Gundogan fired, Victor Lindelof was called into action to block Jesus’ arrow.
Although Pep Guardiola’s team was on top, they were unable to get behind United’s defense and were forced to take some long shots. Riyad Mahrez and Joao Cancelo both hit risky shots, but Oleksandr Zinchenko was the pick of the bunch, forcing Henderson into a clever save to deny his blasted effort.
On 38 minutes, the United goalkeeper had to be on his toes again as he stopped Gundogan and tipped over Kevin De Bruyne’s free-kick as the game approached half-time.
Mahrez fizzed a right-footed shot just inches past the far post for City’s last, and maybe best, chance of the first half, with Jesus also coming close to scoring as he slid in at the back post, with Jesus also close to converting as he slid in at the back post although replays showed he would have been offside.
SECOND HALF – SHAW-FOOTED REDS
Within three minutes of the start of the half, Rodri clipped the top of the crossbar, putting United on the back foot almost immediately.
It turned out to be a costly error for the hosts, as United quickly doubled our lead. It was a goal that began with Henderson’s pass to Shaw near the half-way line, where the defender pressed forward before knocking the ball to Rashford. The ball was then laid back into Luke’s direction by our no.10, who teed up the left-back to smash the ball past Ederson and into the far corner.
Luke’s third goal for the Reds, and at what a crucial moment!There were certainly plenty of smiles on the United bench, as everyone sprang in unison to their feet to celebrate.
United appeared threatening on the counterattack after that, with Daniel James’ shot deflecting wide and Anthony Martial going close with a header in the net.
The second cycle followed the same trend as the first, with City firing in a slew of long-range shots, despite hits from Sterling and De Bruyne failing to trouble Henderson.
As United started to challenge with our fast escapes, Jesus flashed a shot across goal on 65 minutes. As Martial was one-on-one with Ederson, one of these attacks should have resulted in a goal, but our no.9 hit his shot straight at the keeper.
City pressed for a comeback as the game neared its end, and came close through Foden’s turn and shot in the net, and Sterling struggled to get a final contact on a wicked cross to the back post on 78 minutes. City’s no.7 was not having the best of days in front of goal, heading just wide from inside the six-yard box just minutes before John Stones just struggled to get a touch on an in-swinging corner that fell in the area.
Despite City’s ownership, clear-cut chances were few and far between – De Bruyne had two late goals, none of which bothered Henderson. Anthony Taylor’s full-time whistle signaled the culmination of City’s winning streak.
It wasn’t long until Anthony Taylor’s full-time whistle was sounded to end City’s winning run and means we win a third consecutive game at the Etihad.