Sunday, April 21, 2024

Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City: City put on first-half show at Old Trafford

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Manchester City put one foot in the Carabao Cup final as they beat near-neighbours Manchester United 3-1 at Old Trafford in the semi-final first-leg at Old Trafford.

Bernardo Silva wrote his name all over the derby just after the 15-minute mark as he powered in an absolutely blitzing long-range strike. Riyad Mahrez then got the second of the game as he latched onto a fantastic through-ball and rounded David De Gea to finish before an unfortunate Andreas Pereira own-goal made it three before the break.

United did eventually give their fans something to shout about as Marcus Rashford reduced the deficit with his 13th goal of the season to at least reduce the arears heading back to the Etihad Stadium in a few weeks’ time.

Bernardo blast gives City advantage

It was a low-key beginning to proceedings at Old Trafford, with the hosts initially looking the more threatening down the wings. However, a blockbuster from Silva livened the game up considerably. Picking up Kyle Walker’s pass just outside of the penalty area, the Portuguese drilled a stunning shot into the top corner that left De Gea with absolutely no chance.

Raheem Sterling could have doubled the lead with his first career goal against Manchester United but twice had close range efforts blocked away.

Quickfire strikes see City cruise

City doubled their lead mid-way through the first-period and it was once again a wonderfully crafted goal. A stunning ball from the unplayable Bernardo saw Mahrez slice through the United defence, with the Algerian staying cool to skip around De Gea and finish into the unguarded net.

Pep Guardiola’s men then showed ruthless efficiency to make it an unsurmountable scoreline before the break. A wicked counter-attack saw the ball fall to De Bruyne and he showed breathtaking skill to get one-on-one with De Gea but the Spaniard saved well. The ball only served to deflect to Pereira, who was unfortunate to tap it into his own net.

Rashford gives United a lifeline

Midway through the second-half, the ole’s started to come out as City controlled possession. However, some sloppy play finally saw United get on the scoresheet. The ball was gifted to substitute Mason Greenwood and he did excellently to play through Rashford, who showed great composure to slot into the far corner.

The England forward then tested Claudio Bravo with a fantastic dipping effort in the closing stages that the Chilean struggled to hold but that was how the scores remained ahead of the second leg at the Etihad Stadium in a few weeks’ time.

Final Thoughts

During the first-half of the game, Manchester City were by far and away the better side. Every time the cup holders went forwards, they looked like they were going to score, with United incapable of formulating an answer. The Citizens weren’t quite impressive after the restart but fully deserved their victory. However, Rashford’s strike does at least make the second-leg of the semi-final that little bit more intriguing.

Match Report

Manchester United: De Gea (7); Williams (6), Jones (5), Lindelöf (5), Wan-Bissaka (6); Fred (5), Pereira (5); Rashford (7), Lingard (4) (Matic (6), 45′), James (6) (Gomes (6), 64′); Greenwood (6) (Martial (N/A), 81′).

Manchester City: Bravo (6); Otamendi (6), Fernandinho (7), Rodri (6); Mendy (6), Gundogan (6), De Bruyne (7) (Jesus (N/A), 80′), Walker (6); B. Silva (8); Mahrez (7) (Foden (N/A), 87′), Sterling (6).

Goals: Silva (17′), Mahrez (33′), Pereira OG (39′), Rashford (70′)

Referee: Mike Dean

Yellow Cards: Lingard (35′), Fred (52′), Williams (73′), Walker (82′)

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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