Sunday, April 18, 2021

Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United: Three Things We Learned

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Manchester City’s winning run was halted at 21 matches as Manchester United secured a surprise 2-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

The Red Devils enjoyed a lightning start to the match as Anthony Martial won a penalty that was converted by Bruno Fernandes. Rodri went extremely close to scoring a spectacular equaliser right at the start of the second-half but smacked a powerful effort off of the angle of post and bar.

United doubled their advantage shortly after as Luke Shaw steered home to secure a second Premier League away win to City in as many seasons.

Here are three things we learned from the match:

Fast out of the blocks

Considering City’s imperious form, it was somewhat of a surprise to see them caught so badly off guard in the opening few minutes. A rash challenge from Gabriel Jesus saw Anthony Martial fouled, with the penalty being emphatically converted.

It did not end there though as the current league leaders continued to be swarmed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, regularly conceding possession and putting themselves under threat. This was then repeated in the second-half as Shaw doubled the lead.

For a side that has seemed so composed en route to yet another Premier League crown, their slow starts to both halves were shocking.

Sumptuous Shaw

Speaking of the Manchester United left-back, he put in another stellar performance at the Etihad. He played a key role in the second goal, not only scoring it with a cool finish into the far corner, but driving right at the Manchester City defence before playing a great one-two with Marcus Rashford.

Away from the goal, the former Southampton man was also supremely impressive in keeping the ball away from his own goal. Faced up against the ever-tricky Riyad Mahrez, Shaw kept him under lock and key throughout the 90 minutes. During the game, he was able to accumulate some seriously impressive defensive numbers. According to WhoScored, he contributed one tackles, one interception and one block. The only slight blot on his copy book was a booking picked up for blocking off Mahrez.

Much like England teammate John Stones, who has enjoyed an eye-catching renaissance at the Etihad Stadium, Shaw’s resurgence with the Red Devils has been a sight to behold. Solskjaer will hope he can keep up this level of performance for the foreseeable future.

Lost the battle but not the war

Whilst a defeat in any derby game will always hurt players and supporters, understandably so, there is however crumbs of comfort for Pep Guardiola’s troops. With the defeat, they are still 11 points clear of their great rivals at the top of the Premier League table.

From that position, it’s going to take an almighty swing in fortunes from both sides from now on to deny City of the title. After all, United have to find a lot more consistency in order to close that gap, something that they have not had for a considerable amount of time.

As it stands, Solskjaer’s men have to earn at least 1.1 points per game more than City in order to overturn their deficit, an achievement that is going to be extremely difficult. At the time of writing, City are still overwhelming favourites to win the title at odds of 1/200 with Betfair, whilst United are huge underdogs at a price of 60/1 despite the result at the Etihad on Sunday.

Match Report

Manchester City: Ederson (6); Zinchenko (5), Dias (6), Stones (6), Cancelo (5) (Walker (6), 65′); Rodri (6), Gundogan (6), De Bruyne (6); Mahrez (6), Sterling (5), Jesus (5) (Foden (6), 70′).

Manchester United: Henderson (7); Shaw (8), Maguire (7), Lindelof (7), Wan-Bissaka (7); McTominay (6), Fred (6); James (6), Fernandes (7) (Williams (N/A), 90+3′), Martial (7) (Matic (N/A), 87′); Rashford (7) (Greenwood (6), 73′).

Goals: Fernandes (PEN 2′), Shaw (50′)

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Yellow Cards: Maguire (32′), Shaw (58′), Henderson (60′)

Red Cards: N/A

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Orme


Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.

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