(CNN)Manchester United stretched its unbeaten streak in all competitions to 10 games on Sunday with a tight 2-0 victory over fierce rivals Manchester City.
An ingenious free kick from new playmaker Bruno Fernandes allowed Anthony Martial to fire home the game’s opening goal in the first half.Second-half substitute Scott McTominay pounced on some poor distribution from City goalkeeper Ederson in the game’s final seconds to ensure the bragging rights stayed in the red half of Manchester.
Defeat means City falls even further behind Liverpool at the top of table, with the Premier League trophy almost inevitably on its way to Anfield for the first time in 30 years. City are now 25 points behind Liverpool.Meanwhile, United moves up to fifth, just three points off Chelsea and the automatic Champions League places. Read MoreREAD: Confusion as sports minister calls for Serie A suspension amid coronavirus outbreak
Striker Anthony Martial scores the opening goal for Manchester United.
Clever free kick
As has often been the case since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January, Fernandes was in great form and looked a constant threat throughout the match.It was his quick thinking that released Martial for the first goal, clipping a free kick to the Frenchman whilst the rest of the stadium expected a cross into the box. “I’ve seen him to do it before,” United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told Sky Sports after the match.As the rain poured down at Old Trafford, United fans were busy celebrating their third win over their city rivals this season. It was the first time in a decade that Manchester United had completed a league double over the blue half of Manchester. The result is yet another sign that things are beginning to look brighter at Old Trafford, with the side now without a loss in 10 matches — winning seven and drawing three. In truth, Pep Guardiola’s side were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession and were too often second best to their hungry hosts. Guardiola, who had praised his rivals for their aggression ahead of the highly anticipated derby, cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines. In stark comparison, his opposite number was beaming when the referee blew the final whistle, having watched his side execute his counterattacking plan to a tee. “The desire, attitude, commitment, connection between fans and players pleased me most,” Solskjaer said.”It is a privilege to be a manager of a squad with this attitude. You can’t ask for more. They are going to improve as players as well.”READ: Soccer clash in Germany draws full stadium, despite nearby coronavirus outbreak
City manager Pep Guardiola displays his frustration during the Manchester derby on Sunday.
Ederson certainly could have done better with the opening goal, letting Martial’s effort squeeze under his body.The keeper was then at fault for the second, throwing the ball straight out to the feet of McTominay, who duly obliged in passing his effort into the open goal. City striker Sergio Aguero did have a goal rightly ruled out for offside but with nothing really left to play for in the league, City looked a pale shadow of themselves. The absence of star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was certainly felt from a City perspective, with the midfield crying out for a bit of quality on a number of occasions. “We played good, we missed a little in the final third, but the second half was better, and it was a good performance,” a spiky Guardiola told Sky Sports. “We play the same way, tried the press and defend well and we did well.”
City won’t have long to lick their wounds with a Premier League match against Arsenal on Wednesday before hosting Burnley on Saturday. Meanwhile, United travel to Austria for its Europa League round of 16 tie against LASK on Thursday.