The game burst into life after 34 seconds when Martial was brought down in the City box by Gabriel Jesus. Anthony Taylor had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Fernandes stepped up and fired the ball past Ederson to give United the lead. What a start by Solskjaer’s side!
Moments after United took the lead Luke Shaw had a great chance to double his sides advantage but his right foot strike was right at Ederson. United’s relentless pressing was causing City problems and it had forced them to give the ball away on more than once occasion. De Bruyne especially had been careless with his passing.
City grew into the game and started to dominate possession but couldn’t find a way through a well organized United back line. Once again Wan-Bissaka was keeping Sterling quiet and the likes of Gundogan and De Bruyne were struggling to find space to operate in.
Dean Henderson was playing in his first Manchester Derby and in truth he’d had little to do. The United number 2 had saved comfortably from Zinchenko before helping a De Bruyne free kick over the bar. He certainly hadn’t been over worked. City were frustrated and at the break they went in a goal down.
The second half started just like the first with the game coming to life right away. First Rodri struck the bar before Henderson claimed a Zinchenko free kick. After claiming the free kick Henderson set Shaw on his way with some excellent distribution. Shaw raced forward and after exchanging passes with Rashford he fired the ball past Ederson to double United’s lead. City were shell shocked!
City really had their work cut out now! Their unbeaten run was under serious threat. Solskjaer’s side were comfortable on the ball and looked a real threat going forward. Stones and Dias were getting pulled all over the place by United’s front 3 and the away side were now controlling the game. City couldn’t get near them and with twenty minutes left Martial had a golden chance to make it 3 but Ederson denied him. Rashford had been a thorn in City’s side all game but his evening was up. After going down injured he was replaced by Mason Greenwood for the remaining 16 minutes.
City rode the storm and now they were the ones coming forward. They were throwing everything at United, they desperately needed a goal. Mahrez came close when his right foot shot went just wide and sub Phil Foden wasted a good chance inside the United box. Moments later Stones met a dangerous cross but he couldn’t get his header on target.
The fourth official indicated that there would be 5 minutes of added on time. United were nearly there! City forced a late corner but it was cleared and the final whistle went. City’s 21 game unbeaten run was over and once again Solskjaer had got the better of Pep Guardiola. United are now unbeaten in their last 3 games at the Etihad.