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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 20 March, 2018


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The additional time board goes up and it’s… SIX minutes to play.

Seconds later, Aguero chests down a Silva pass brilliantly but screws a shot wide. Big chance.


Five minutes to play…


SUBSTITUTION – Darmian is struggling with cramp, so is withdrawn for Dutch teenager Timothy Fosu-Mensah.


BOOKING – Mangala catches Lingard late and deservedly picks up a yellow.

Smalling then commits a foul and is lucky to avoid a second booking.


CLOSE! Aguero can’t direct Silva’s cross goalward with his head before Carrick makes a last-gasp challenge on Bony.


Two wayward efforts from City – First from Clichy, then Aguero.

And here comes Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German is United’s final substitution and comes on for Mata.


WOODWORK! Toure runs into the right channel and whips a ball to the front post. Aguero’s header is a good one but it comes off the upright.


Navas tees up Sagna out wide, Bony makes a burst to the front post but Smalling is on-hand to block the Ivorian striker’s attempt.


ANOTHER CHANGE – Rojo makes way with Valencia coming on and Darmian switching to left full-back.


Martial’s deflected strike saved by Caballero, then Rashford messes up his finish from a Darmian cross. United have looked the better side so far in this second half.


SUBSTITUTION – Demichelis has had a bit of a shocker this afternoon and Pellegrini is taking the Argentine defender off and replacing him with Wilfried Bony. Fernandinho is going to play centre-half.


That was a decent attack by United. Lingard and Martial combine to play in Rojo. His cross on the end-line is smothered by Caballero, however.


They’ve got the stretcher out for Hart so we’re about to see Capital One Cup final hero Willy Caballero make a second half cameo.

Hart injury


Demichelis plays a hospital pass back to Hart and Matial goes full sprint to try nick it off the City goalkeeper. Hart just about gets there first but appears to have hurt himself in the process.


We’re back from the break and ready to get going once again. No changes on either side.

Flag 45Mins

Half-time: Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United

Manchester City v Manchester United - Barclays Premier League - Etihad Stadium Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton at the Etihad Stadium. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


PENALTY SHOUT! Rashford goes by Demichelis and is bundled over in the box. Referee Michael Oliver doesn’t point to the spot but it looked a penalty.


From the free-kick, Sagna helps the ball on with his head and Toure arrives at the back post but can’t make decent contact.


Blind goes down in pain after kicking the sole of Aguero’s high boot. Van Gaal jumps up out of his seat to protest, but his fellow Dutchman will be fine.

Moments later, Blind looks to get some revenge by shoving Aguero to the ground. He takes a talking to but avoids a yellow card.


Aguero nearly gets free in the United box but the ball is recycled and a Navas shot is blocked by Rojo. City can’t take advantage from the corner and Mangala fouls Rashford out on the touchline.


City work the ball down the right-hand side and Navas drills the ball towards the front post, where Smalling has to make a timely interception. The Spaniard appears to have the beating of Rojo.


SUBSTITUTION – Sterling has a problem after a late challenge from Mata and he’s making way for Fernando. That will see Toure pushed further forward.


BAD MISS – Silva sends in a beautifully-flighted free-kick and Demichelis heads well wide after getting away from marker Rojo.


What a start the youngster has had to his professional career….


SAVE! Hart stands strong to save from Martial’s 25-yard effort.

Flag 16Mins

GOAL! Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United (Marcus Rashford) 

The away team go in front! Rashford ghosts past Demeichelis after receiving a pass from Mata, before coolly slotting past Hart.


SAVE! United give possession away to Toure in their own half, which allows City to break in numbers. Aguero and Silva are involved before De Gea saves from Navas.


Positive play from Rashford and he wins a corner off Clichy. It’s Blind with the set-piece… but he fails to beat the first man.

He gets a second chance to take it and this time forces Hart to punch strongly away.


BOOKING – Chris Smalling picks up the first yellow card of the day after taking several pulls of Sergio Aguero’s shirt.

The defender was sent off in this fixture last season so he will have to be careful from here on in.


CHANCE! Sterling goes running at the United defence then clips the ball back to a central area. It’s only half-cleared by the head of Darmian, and Navas chests then volleys wide with his left foot.


An early attack from Man City wins them a corner straight away as Darmian heads Navas’ cross behind but United deal with Silva’s delivery.

The teams are heading out of the tunnel, which means we’re about to get underway.

When these two met last back in October, it ended in a 0-0 stalemate at Old Trafford.

So, what do the good readers of the The42 predict the result will be here?

Poll Results:

When Van Gaal was asked by reporters this week if this fixture was a ‘do or die’ affair, he replied:

I think so, yes. The gap is four points already. And there is also West Ham United, because they are ahead also.

“So it is not just City, it is also West Ham United. Seven points is too much, I think.”

Liverpool v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League - Round of Sixteen - First Leg - Manchester United Press Conference and Training Session - Aon Training Complex Source: Nick Potts

We’ve got team news. No Vincent Kompany or Nicolas Otamendi for the home side so it’s a central defensive pairing of Martin Demichelis and Eliquim Mangala. Raheem Sterling and Bakary Sagna also return to the side.

For the visitors, Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin are in for Guillermo Varela and Marouane Fellaini while Marcus Rashford keeps his place up front.

MAN CITY: Hart, Sagna, Demichelis, Mangala, Clichy, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Sterling, Silva, Aguero.


MAN UNITED: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Martial, Rashford.


THE 171ST MANCHESTER Derby takes place this afternoon with the blue side and the red both aiming to ensure their place in next season’s Champions League.

City, currently fourth on 51 points, hold a four-point advantage over their city rivals, which would be cut down to one with an away win this afternoon.

That said, United’s form hasn’t been great of late and they’ve suffered defeats to West Brom and Liverpool (in the Europa League) in recent weeks.

And while Manuel Pellegrini’s men progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals, they’ve also lost to Liverpool in March and were held 0-0 by Norwich in their last league outing.

It’s a difficult one to call and kick off is 4pm.

About the author:

Ben Blake