City Trash United In Manchester Derby To Go Six Points Clear.
Manchester City won a ding-dong duel with Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, defeating their city rivals 4-1.
Kevin de Bruyne’s brace was sandwiched between a Jadon Sancho equalizer and a magnificent brace from Riyad Mahrez as Pep Guardiola handed Ralf Rangnick his first taste of a Manchester derby.
Both sides displayed attacking intensity when it mattered to let the match ebb and flow with remarkable ferocity in a game where both teams had crucial absentees – Ruben Dias for the hosts and Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Raphael Varane, and Luke Shaw for the Red Devils.
‘Captain Fantastic’ De Bruyne scored following fantastic work down the left by Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish, only five minutes into the game, in what would become a continuous thorn in United’s side. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Victor Lindelof, in particular.
After a brilliant break from the visitors, Sancho brought United level against his former side, manipulating the ball through Anthony Elanga, Paul Pogba, and Bruno Fernandes before finishing with great flair beyond Ederson.
Two minutes later, De Bruyne doubled his money, finishing off a melee in the box that started yet again from the left-hand side, as Foden’s flick and volley was brilliantly saved by David de Gea in the interim, Grealish’s follow-up was blocked, and the Belgian was on hand to slide home a sumptuous second.
On 68 minutes, the Sky Blues’ right-hand man Mahrez scored a stunning goal, with De Bruyne providing the assist, clipping to the edge of the box for the Algerian to almost send it home by a deflection off Harry Maguire.
As VAR confirmed, Mahrez got his second of the day, adding to De Gea’s anguish after the Spaniard injured himself while clearing his lines, and after the goal was first disallowed for a flag, the Algerian had reason to celebrate once more as he made it four.
United took a risky strategy in the first half, with Pogba playing as a center striker at times, as his and Fernandes’ “deep runs,” as Guardiola calls it, gave the league leaders something to ponder about, but they were far the lesser team after the interval. With Grealish and De Bruyne at the helm, City looked revitalized.
Another triumph for the shrewd Catalan, and United’s second-half collapse will be a big source of concern for Rangnick as the Red Devils lose position in the race for the top four.