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Dublin: 19 °C Thursday 6 August, 2020


40,386 Views 52 Comments

Right, that’s all from me.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and we’ll have more reaction to follow.


So that’s that, and City probably deserved their win overall.

The visitors showed little fear at Old Trafford, as they dominated proceedings, and took a 2-0 first-half lead.

A Claudio Bravo mistake got United back in the game, but for all their pressing thereafter, the hosts couldn’t find an equaliser, and City were unlucky a few times not to extend their advantage on the counter-attack.


Fernandinho is booked for a late challenge.

From the free kick, Bravo is unconvincing again, as Pogba tries to get to the ball, but City clear eventually.


A heart-in-mouth moment for City, as an Ibrahimovic attempt is deflected just wide.

From the ensuing corner, Pogba fouls Bravo, and City can relax again.


Late change for City, as Zabaleta comes on for De Bruyne, who has been excellent today.

There will be five minutes of time added on.


Both sides look shattered at this stage.

De Bruyne runs through on goal, but slices his finish wide.


A mistake by Stones gives Rooney a sight at goal, before Sagna makes a brilliant block.

Down the other end, Fernandinho runs through on goal, before Blind makes a last-ditch challenge to prevent the midfielder having a shot.


Rooney gets booked for a late challenge on Bravo.

He promptly tells Mark Clattenburg to “f**k off,” after the referee issues the card.


Nolito curls an attempt just wide. It’s been a good spell for City in these last few minutes.

Meanwhile, United make a final change, as Martial replaces Shaw.


Rooney concedes a free kick after a lazy challenge on Fernandinho.

It hasn’t been the best of days for the England international, who has looked off the pace at times.


Silva curls an attempt just over from the edge of the box, after being set up by De Bruyne.

United are really living on the edge at the moment.


So close!

Sane plays a perfectly weighted through pass to De Bruyne, and the Belgian international’s attempt hits the inside of the post and deflects away from goal.


Chance for City. De Gea can only parry Fernandinho’s volley from a corner, and he then has to make another intervention from Otamendi’s attempt from close range.

Moments later, another corner sees De Gea save from a Fernandinho header.


Almost a moment to remember for Marcus Rashford.

The youngster’s strike from the edge of the box deflects into the net via Ibrahimovic, but the Swede was standing in an offside position, and the linesman correctly raises his flag.


United are increasingly going long in their search for a goal.

Fellaini, with his height and physicality, could be a key player in these dying stages.


Fellaini heads on to Ibrahimovic, but Stones just does enough to put the Swedish striker off, as his finish goes well over.

United have just under 25 minutes to rescue something from this game.


Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring his side's first goal. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images


Danger for United. De Bruyne finds space down the left, but then scuffs his cross.

Both sides are starting to look quite tired now, unsurprisingly given the immense intensity of the first half.


Leroy Sané is on to make his debut for City.

He replaces Sterling, who was excellent in the first half, but has been less influential since the break.


This game continues to be end to end.

It’s a stark contrast from the first half though, as United now look the far more threatening team going forward.


Another nervy moment from Bravo. He takes the ball past Herrera before sliding into Rooney and winning it with a clean tackle, at least, according to the referee.

The goalkeeper is very lucky to get away with that.


Kolarov goes down rather easily after Fellaini’s swinging arm catches him. The Belgian international gets booked as a result.

Meanwhile, Fernando replaces Iheanacho, as City look to play with a bit more caution.


Ibrahimovic has just been booked for a cynical challenge on Otamendi.

United have been better and much more positive since half-time.


Since the break, United have changed to a 4-3-3.

Rashford is on the left, Rooney is on the right and Ibrahimovic is in the centre, so the hosts are really going for this now.


Rashford makes an immediate impact.

The youngster turns Sagna and crosses for Ibrahimovic, who blasts a volley well over.


The second half has begun…


Rashford and Herrera have replaced Lingard and Mkhitaryan for the second half.


Half-time, and it’s been an absolute thriller so far.

City have largely controlled the game, with Sterling, Nolito and De Bruyne all especially influential in attack.

However, Guardiola’s side look shaky at the back, and they were ultimately the orchestrators of their own downfall for the United goal, as Bravo dropped a routine cross.

If that first half was anything to go by, we’re in for a very entertaining season.


There was more drama just before the half-time whistle.

A defensive mix-up led to Ibrahimovic getting the ball on the edge of the box, but the Swede’s shot is then cleared off the line.


United have a lifeline, and it’s thanks in part to an absolute howler from Claudio Bravo.

The new goalkeeper comes for a free-kick and drops it, allowing Ibrahimovic to finish masterfully.

Somewhere right now, Joe Hart is probably smiling wryly.


Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United's Wayne Rooney shakes hands with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (right) on the touchline. Source: Martin Rickett


“Rooney, Lingard and Fellaini” are among the prime candidates to come off, says Sky’s Gary Neville.

The former defender does not sound one bit impressed with his old side.


Brilliant from City. De Bruyne’s shot from the edge of the box hits the post, but Iheanacho is in the right place for a simple tap-in.

It looked offside initially, but replays show that Blind was playing the young striker on.


Nolito is not happy. The attacker is complaining that Fellaini had a hold of his shirt while he had possession in the box.

Over 40% of City’s attacks have been down United’s right-hand side, with Nolito and De Bruyne particularly influential.

Valencia, on the other hand, is not looking too comfortable right now.


Big Premier League games seldom live up to the hype, but this has been a genuine cracker so far.

The pace has been so intense and surely the players won’t be able to keep this up for the 90 minutes.


City have been hugely impressive so far. They’ve totally controlled this game, and look the more likely side to score next.

As I type, Nolito plays through Sterling. The England winger goes down under a heavy challenge, but the ref waves play on.

Down the other end, Mkhitaryan finds himself in a promising position, but Fernandinho blocks his cross.


Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gestures on the touchline. Source: Martin Rickett


Jamie Carragher calls De Bruyne “the best player on the pitch” so far.

Not many people would argue with that.


Iheanacho heads on to De Bruyne. The Belgian international beats Blind to the ball before finishing coolly past De Gea.

It’s more than City have deserved, given how positive they’ve been in these opening stages.


This game has started well.

It’s been played at a frenetic pace, with City in particular more than comfortable attacking their opponents.



64% possession so far for Manchester City.

They’ve yet to carve out a clear-cut chance, however.


Danger early on for United as De Bruyne’s cross goes across the face of goal.

Iheanacho was in the box and not far off connecting with that.

City have started this game strongly. They’ve had the majority of possession and territory, and United’s defence have had a lot of work to do.

Sterling, in particular, is giving Luke Shaw plenty of problems early on.

As I type though, United break, and Pogba curls an attempt from distance just over.

It was the first derby in the new stadium and it was my first because I was injured for the previous ones. I didn’t get nervous. I was excited for it. You can feel the build-up days before. You could smell it on game-day. When you’d go to the shop or drive into town, you could just smell the atmosphere. You could feel it. The buzz around the city.”

We caught up with former Man City and Ireland striker Jonathan Macken yesterday. Read the full interview here.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United fans take a selfie outside Old Trafford before the match . Source: EMPICS Sport

Manchester United v Manchester City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United fans take a selfie outside Old Trafford before the match. Source: EMPICS Sport

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford Mounted police on duty outside Old Trafford. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Manchester United v Manchester City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford A scarf bearing the faces of Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Source: EMPICS Sport

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford Referee Mark Clattenburg walks on the pitch before the Premier League match at Old Trafford. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Manchester United v Manchester City - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford Manchester United v Manchester City scarves on sale outside Old Trafford. Source: EMPICS Sport

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League - Old Trafford A Manchester United fan eats ice cream outside Old Trafford. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

“When they’re 13/14, then an academy is useful because their bodies have developed. But when you’re six or seven, kids don’t even know how to run properly. Just let them have the freedom to go and play. And when their brains have developed, they (coaches) can teach them what they want. You’ve got kids in academies four days a week for two hours. They’ll come out on a Friday and someone will say ‘Show us something new’ and they’ll all do the same trick because that’s what they’ve learned that week. It’s just a lot of robots.”

We spoke to former Man City captain Richard Dunne during the week. Read the full interview here.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy