Thursday, May 23, 2024

Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: What Were The Key Talking Points As Phil Foden Inspires City To A Crucial Derby Victory?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, English Premier League 4 Mar 2024

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With all eyes falling on the Etihad on Sunday afternoon, Manchester City claimed local bragging rights as they secured a thrilling 3-1 comeback victory against Manchester United.

With Marcus Rashford silencing the home support as the England international produced a thunderous strike after just eight minutes, Erik ten Hag’s men were desperate to pull off a heavyweight upset here.

However, while the Red Devils might have put in a rugged first-half performance away from Old Trafford, it was another English ace who stole all of Sunday’s headlines.

Watching Phil Foden produce his own stunner just 11 minutes after returning from the interval, the wheels quickly came off for United as the Sky Blues produced a rampant second-half display.

With Foden eventually notching his second of the afternoon before Erling Haaland wrapped up all three points in injury-time, Pep Guardiola’s side moved within just a single point of climbing back to the top of the Premier League table.

Overcoming what could have been a potential public banana skin and producing a far more polished performance after returning from the half-time break, City also pilled more pressure onto ten Hag’s shoulders.

On an afternoon when City snatched local bragging rights and extended on their title charge, we have taken a look at the key talking points from the Etihad.

City show their resolve on home soil

While Manchester City might still have a real battle on their hands in their bid to make more Premier League history in 2024, Guardiola’s men are certainly in the midst of a real purple patch.

Mounting what was a crucial second-half comeback here and eventually claiming Manchester bragging rights with a late flurry, the former Barcelona boss should find the mood in his camp at a real high.

Becoming the first English club since 1999 to be crowned treble champions last season, Sunday’s hosts have managed to find top gear since opening up the New Year.

Getting their Champions League knockout stage adventure underway with a routine 3-1 victory away at Copenhagen on February 13th, the defending champions are unbeaten in all of their previous 19 straight appearances across all competitions.

Extending on their FA Cup run earlier in the week as they stormed their way to an action-packed 6-2 victory against Luton, City have also found a major clinical edge in the final third.

Guardiola bills Foden as the best in the Premier League

While the record-breaking Haaland might have once again stolen most of Manchester City’s headlines this season, Guardiola has billed another one of his first-team superstars as the best current player in the Premier League.

Dragging City over the finish line here and putting in what was a stunning individual performance at the Etihad, Foden is enjoying a record-breaking domestic campaign at the Etihad this season.

Now bagging 11 Premier League strikes this year and continuing to receive a string of plaudits, only four other English players have notched more top-flight goals so far this season.

Expected to play a leading role in Gareth Southgate’s EURO 24 squad this summer, Foden has also received some monumental praise from Guardiola following City’s derby comeback here.

With Guardiola billing his homegrown talisman as currently the best player in the Premier League, the 23-year-old has also recorded nine goals across all competitions since opening up the New Year.

Pressure remains on ten Hag

Although Manchester United might have opened up 2024 at the heart of a much-welcomed domestic boost, it is no secret that ten Hag still has a huge amount of pressure on his shoulders at Old Trafford.

With continued speculation that the new United hierarchy are eyeing a potential managerial change ahead of the 2024/25 campaign, Sunday’s collapse at the Etihad could prove to be a critical blow for the former Ajax boss.

Now suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats and already accepting that they need a real miracle in their bid to punch another crucial top-four finish, the Reds have continued to struggle with their consistency this season.

Once again unable to call upon leading marksman Rasmus Hojlund here, many fans around Old Trafford have become frustrated by ten Hag’s perceived negative philosophy.

Crashing out of the Champions League back in December and breaking a string of unwanted European records, it appears that United now have all of their eggs firmly in the FA Cup basket.

Match Report

Manchester City: Emerson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Silva, Foden, De Bruyne, Doku, Haaland

Subs: Bobb, Alvarez

Manchester United: Onana, Dalot, Varane, Evans, Lindelof, McTominay, Casemiro, Mainoo, Fernandes, Garnacho, Rashford

Subs: Kambwala, Fordon, Antony, Amrabat

Goals: Manchester City: Foden (56’, 80), Haaland (90+1’) – Manchester United: Rashford (8’)

Yellow Cards: Varane

Red Cards: N/A

Referee: Andrew Madley

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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