City Wins Manchester Derby


Bernado Silva scored to help Manchester City beat Manchester United with a 2-0 scoreline (courtesy of Twitter).

Coming into Saturday’s Manchester Derby, both Manchester United and Manchester City were in need of a win. United, who mustered a 2-2 draw against Atalanta in the Champions League last Tuesday thanks to the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo, had won just three out of their previous ten matches dating back to September. This poor form, along with the humiliating 5-0 defeat against Liverpool two weeks ago, caused many United supporters to call for the sacking of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. 

For City, a rare loss in the Premier League at home to Crystal Palace last weekend left them in third place, 5 points behind league leaders, Chelsea. A win would reaffirm City’s title ambitions and keep them on pace at the top of the league. 

With a point to prove, Man City wasted no time asserting its dominance against United in the first half on Saturday. An own goal from Eric Bailly gave the Sky Blues a 1-0 lead after seven minutes. City’s midfield trio of Rodri, İlkay Gündoğan and Kevin De Bruyne ran circles around United, creating chance after chance for forwards Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva. Manchester United keeper David De Gea made countless first-half saves, keeping the score at 1-0 approaching half-time despite City’s impressive play.

Then, just before the break, Silva tapped in a João Cancelo cross that somehow found its way past United defenders Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to double City’s advantage. Silva’s tight-angled effort seemed to catch De Gea off guard, as the ball spilled off his gloves and into the net. United exited Old Trafford at half-time to a chorus of boos, the Red Devils thoroughly outclassed by their cross town rivals. 

Despite a flurry of substitutions and a system change, Manchester United was unable to grab a foothold in the second half. Man City more or less played keep-away in the second 45 minutes, limiting United to just one shot on target with 33% possession. The match finished 2-0 to City, although the final scoreline suggests that the contest was closer than it actually was. 

After another poor performance at home against a fierce rival, the cries to sack Solskjaer are louder than ever from United supporters. The Red Devils currently sit sixth in the Premier League, nine points behind Chelsea in first and five points outside of the top four. Even with this historically bad run of form, United’s upper management has not made any indication that it plans to get rid of Solskjaer, at least not until the end of the season. The international break could not have come at a better time for United, who needs to regroup as the team heads into the busy holiday season. United will travel to Watford on the other side of this upcoming slate of international matches.

On the other hand, Man City leapfrogged Liverpool into second place in the league, just three points behind Chelsea who dropped points against Burnley. Although the team has hit a few roadbumps this season, this performance at Old Trafford showed that a Manchester City team in first gear is still a force to be reckoned with. The Sky Blues will host Everton after the international break.