Manchester United surged back to beat Manchester City in controversial fashion in a dramatic Manchester derby.
It is clear that Manchester United are, very unexpectedly, in the Premier League title race.
Jack Grealish had put City ahead after jumping off the bench but late goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford grabbed the win for United. The equalizer from Fernandes was very controversial as Rashford was stood in an offside position and although he didn’t touch the ball he looked to be clearly impacting play.
The Red Devils have now won nine-straight games in all competitions and five-straight in the Premier League. They have 38 points and are just one point behind second-place Manchester City and six points behind leaders Arsenal.
Erik ten Hag’s side are in this title race, while Pep Guardiola’s reigning champs have lost two games on the bounce to be dumped out of the League Cup and now beaten in the Manchester Derby. They just don’t look like themselves.
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Offside drama as Red Devils stick to gameplan, surge back
Look, by the letter of the law Marcus Rashford may have technically been onside but there is no way he didn’t impact the positioning of Manuel Akanji and City goalkeeper Ederson. The fact Rashford ran towards goal with the ball basically under his feet is surely interference with play and impacted the positions of others. Still, United’s gameplan was excellent against City and totally bamboozled the reigning champs. Fred was superb as the extra man in midfield as he and Casemiro shut down De Bruyne and Bruno clipped long balls over the top to Rashford to run on to. United’s entire team stuck with the plan and Erik ten Hag got his subs right with Antony and Garnacho adding extra trickery on the counter in the second half. United are solid defensively and are in incredible form. Surely they are in this title race now.
Erik ten Hag hails ‘huge’ spirit of Manchester United
Speaking to BT Sport, Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag hailed the spirit of his team in their comeback win.
“The first half we played very well. We defended very well and broke in good opportunities. We were really happy at half-time. After half-time we had to sub Martial, he had some complaints, and the game changed. City came in, we were not proactive. They scored. The spirit of the team is so huge, the belief is there that the game is 90 minutes and we can fight back. I’m really happy with the performance of the team… The belief is back and we’re in a good direction. You have to work out of possession [against teams like City]. They have qualities in split-moments to score goals. We saw that today. One mistake and they scored.”
Bruno Fernandes: ‘We used to be individuals… but now we are a team’
United’s Portuguese playmaker also spoke to BT Sport and hailed the collective unit as he said they are now a ‘proper team’ who is working together. This feels a bit different to even the big wins and displays under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. United still have so much left in the tank and Erik ten Hag has got everyone pulling in the right direction.
Stars of the show
Marcus Rashford: Got in-behind so often and scored once again. Such a threat and in the form of his life.
Casemiro: Dominant in central midfield as he and Fred shut down Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva. He is the heartbeat of this team. Great block on Haaland in the first half.
Rodri: Did so well to help City grab control of the game early in the second half. Somehow he’s still underrated.
Manchester United travel to Crystal Palace on Wednesday, Jan. 18, while Manchester City host Tottenham on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Manchester United vs Manchester City live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright
Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
FULL TIME – Huge win for Manchester United, as they fight back to beat Manchester City 2-1. But everyone will be talking about that equalizing goal. Here is the official ruling from the FA.
Late on United are holding on and some brilliant defending from Lisandro Martinez and others.
GOALLL! Marcus Rashford taps home after superb work from Garnacho down the left.
GOALLL! And huge controversy. Marcus Rashford was flagged for offside and the goal from Bruno Fernandes didn’t stand, but VAR was used and it now stands. That is controversial. Rashford was clearly offside and impacted play, but he didn’t touch the ball.
United haven’t really responded to going behind. City clicking through the gears now and playing keep ball. They are in their element.
Just sublime from Kevin de Bruyne and look at the hunger of Grealish to rise highest and head home. Can United respond?
Phil Foden is off and Jack Grealish is on. A frustrating outing for the former. Felt like he was offside most of the time he tried to get involved in attacks.
Chance! Varane is found at the back post but prods his effort just wide. Big chance for United. At the other end Phil Foden then goes down in the box under pressure from Casemiro but that is not a penalty kick.
Antony is on at half time but for Anthony Martial, not Rashford. The latter has shaken off that hip issue. Antony is playing up front centrally.
Half time: Man United 0-0 Man City – United have looked good on the counter and City haven’t had too many clear cut chances. A tense, but intriguing, first half in the Manchester Derby.
Rashford is back on for now but Antony is warming up and has a quiet word with Erik ten Hag. Would not be surprised to see him come on at half time.
Chance! Rashford is in again but Ederson comes out and smothers his shot. United getting in-behind Walker a lot.
Chance! A ball over the top sees Ederson rush out but Rashford beats him to it and goes around him. His cross is blocked and then a cross is swung in but Ederson saves the header. Incisive, direct attack from United.
Lot of the ball for City but they aren’t doing much with it. Looks like De Bruyne and Haaland have switched positions for a little bit.
Chance! After some patient build-up play City find Haaland in the box but Casemiro lunges in with a fine block. Better from City. Much more like it from them.
Cancelo clears after United play a long ball over the top and get a cross into the box. Their plan is working.
Wide! Bruno Fernandes drags an effort wide of the far post after some slick passing. United settling into the game.
No big chances yet but City are dominating possession with United happy to sit back and play direct. Intriguing tactical battle. Both Pep and ETH have their eyes wide open and look concerned on the sidelines. This is going to be a tight, tense game.
Kick off! We are underway and City are allowed to have plenty of the ball early on.
For United Luke Shaw starts at center back with Tyrell Malacia at left back, while Fred starts alongside Casemiro and Christian Eriksen in midfield.
As for City, they make eight changes to the team which lost at Southampton in midweek as Haaland and De Bruyne are tasked with unlocking this suddenly very stingy United defense. Akanji and Ake at center back have a huge task to stop Rashford and Martial.
Hello and welcome! It is Manchester Derby day and Old Trafford is rocking. The team news is intriguing so let’s break it all down.
United are building momentum and Marcus Rashford is leading the charge. He’s scored seven goals in his last six games for the Red Devils and looks pretty unstoppable at this point. Elsewhere, Casemiro is dominating midfield and Lisandro Martinez is back in defense after winning the World Cup. All over the pitch Untied are full of confidence and they look tough to beat.
Pep Guardiola and Man City just haven’t looked like themselves before and after the World Cup break and they will be a little concerned heading into this clash. They have struggled against United in derby games in recent years but that wasn’t the case earlier this season when they won 6-3. Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne tore United apart in October and City will hope that duo can connect and that they can control the tempo of this game, especially in midfield.
In-form players to keep an eye on
Marcus Rashford is the obvious choice for United, while Casemiro and Luke Shaw have also been excellent. Antony is also getting back to his best after a bit of a dip in form. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been superb after coming back in at right back, while Bruno Fernandes is also in fine form.
Man City’s Rodri is such a key player, while Riyad Mahrez has also been excellent in recent outings and is expected to start.
Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options
Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek remain out as the latter has revealed he is out for the season after suffering a knee injury. This game comes too soon for Diogo Dalot, while Luke Shaw starts at center back and Christian Eriksen, Fred and Casemiro start in midfield with a slightly more defensive look. Wout Weghorst has arrived on loan but isn’t available for this game.
Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options
Center backs Ruben Dias and John Stones are out. Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Erling Haaland, Nathan Ake, Manuel Akanji, Ederson, Rodri and Bernardo Silva all start after being on the bench for the loss at Southampton.
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Manchester United defeats Manchester City in controversial, dramatic derby originally appeared on NBCSports.com