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Dublin: -1°C Thursday 6 May 2021
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14Mins

WELCOME TO OUR slightly delayed coverage of the Manchester Derby. Some tech gremlins means we’re late to start, sorry! 

You haven’t missed much in the first 12 minutes – it’s still 0-0 but Man City are entirely dominant. 

This game is freighted with more meaning for United than City.

The champions won’t finish first but won’t drop to third either, but United have a Champions League spot within their sights. They are finally finding some rhythm under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and are unbeaten across their last 10 games..

Chelsea’s thumping of Everton leaves United six points from fourth place, but they are a point from Wolves in fifth, which is presently good enough to qualify for the Champions League thanks to the indiscretions of today’s opponents.

Team News 

Bruno Fernandes continues in midfield for United, with Harry Maguire returning.

Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, misses out with injury. Phil Foden gets a rare start!

16Mins

United get their first sight of goal, but Daniel James fires right at Ederson. 

19Mins

Just the 70% possession for City thus far, but bar a Sterling effort in the early stages, they’ve yet to overly-extend David De Gea. United are playing as you’d expect: deep and coiled, waiting to spring on the counter attack. 

21Mins

Lovely Williams loft over the top is trapped by Martial, but his shot in the area is blocked by Otamendi. 

United do look threatening on the break…

23Mins

United break up another City attack and Daniel James takes off. He drives at the City defence, with Otamendi backing off…and backing off…and backing off…and then rushes at him and clatters him on the edge of the box. 

Free-kick United. 

24Mins

Fernandes’ effort hits the wall, but United retain possession. Fred (!) skips by a challenge on the right and whips in a low cross that’s brilliantly read by Fernandinho. He clears for a throw in. 

28Mins

Ooohh, chance for Martial! The striker wins a 50-50 on the touchline with Fernandinho, cuts inside but fires a tame shot right at Ederson! He should have pulled the ball back for Fernandes, who was mightily unimpressed. 

28Mins

United win another free-kick, and Fernandinho is booked for protesting too much. 

They are in total control at the moment: can they make a breakthrough? 

31Mins

GOAL! Man United 1-0 Man City (Martial)

That’s an emphatic yes! 

Clever free-kick routine sees Fernandes chip the ball in front of him, and Martial fires a first time effort that squirms beneath Ederson and into the net! 

It’s feeble goalkeeping, but a deserved lead for United! 

31Mins

Untied are rampant, and Fernandes arrives into the box to head a Williams cross wide. City are rattled too, and now Rodri has been booked for dissent. 

35Mins

Wan-Bissaka has won three challenges on Sterling in the space of a minute, each to loud roars at Old Trafford. 

38Mins

James’ cross into the box is headed away by Fernandinho, but City are being ripped apart here. Wan-Bissaka saunters into the penalty area untouched, and his cross is put behind for a corner. 

39Mins

The corner came to nowt, but this is terrific from United. While they’ve sucker-punched City in previous victories, they’ve been totally dominant for the last 20 minutes, and have hogged the ball. Bruno Fernandes has added a lot. 

42Mins

Man City get very lucky! 

Daniel James has the freedom of the right flank here, and he is picked out again and drives at the City defence. He shifts it right to Fred, who weaves into the box and falls following a challenge by Otamendi. 

Mike Dean books Fred for diving, but replays show that Otamendi clearly kicked him in the shin. There is no VAR review, and City get lucky. 

45Mins

Fernandes ain’t just a dainty playmaker: his pressing is excellent, and he hunts Otamendi into the corrner and forces a throw-in. It comes to nothing, but City haven’t been able to play through the United press so far. 

Okay City are missing Kevin De Bruyne, but this is a great day for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so far. 

47Mins

HT: Man United 1-0 Man City 

They started slowly, but from minute 18 onwards United have been the dominant side in this game. They’ve had the only goal and almost all of the chances, and are troubling City in ways they haven’t even in their past wins over Guardiola’s side. 

We’re back in a few! 

45Mins

Peeeeeep! 

We’re back underway! 

45Mins

No changes for either side at the break. To temper United satisfaction with that half just a tad: if they do go on to win this, Liverpool need just two more wins to secure the title. 

49Mins

Aguero has the ball in the net, but it’s flagged for offside! He was slipped through by Sterling but flagged early, so De Gea didn’t dive. The VAR review showed the decision was verrrrryyy tight, but the on-field decision stands. 

48Mins

Ederson almost drops another clanger! 

Good lord, he’s almost done a Peter Enckelman. A ball gently dribbles back to him that he inexplicably allows roll under his foot, but he lunges and clears at the last moment as Martial pressured him! 

52Mins

Fernandes winds up a shot on the edge of the area that’s blocked, and just as it looked as City might break, Aguero and Sterling dithered and the chance was lost. Then Sterling miscontrols the ball out of play: City have gone totally off the boil. 

53Mins

Wan-Bissaka stands a cross into the six-yard box that Martial doesn’t get enough contact on. Again City break, but Sterling slides a pass to the wrong side of Aguero and another chance is gone. 

56Mins

Phil Foden sparks into life. He runs by Brandon Williams, and his low cross is put behind for a corner by Maguire. The corner is worked short, and a long-ranger from Foden is tipped over the bar by De Gea. 

That second corner comes to nowt, but it’s much better from City. 

58Mins

Cancelo arrives late on Williams and gets a booking for Mike Dean for his troubles. 

58Mins

Change for City – fare the well Sergio Aguero: Gabriel Jesus comes on. 

59Mins

It’s actually a double change – Riyad Mahrez replaces Bernardo Silva. 

59Mins

City are beginning to slip into their groove now. Zinchenko flights a cross into the box that Maguire heads behind. 

60Mins

Otamendi glances a front-post header over the crossbar. City are creeping ever closer…

63Mins

Wan-Bisaaka takes a heavy touch and is dispossessed by Sterling, but United eventually crowd out Mahrez on the edge of the box. 

They break from there: James accelerates down the right, and his cross is just too high for Martial in the penalty area. 

64Mins

Foden – growing ever-more influential – is upended by Matic and City have a free-kick about 30 yards from goal. 

65Mins

United deal with the set-piece routine, but they hacked the ball clear and are now falling quite deep. You wonder for how much longer they can hang on here…City win another corner. 

68Mins

Mahrez twists Williams this way and that, but his cross is whipped across the six-yard box to nobody at all. Jesus, at least, should have been attacking that. It’s all City now. 

70Mins

Sterling tip-toes into the area, and Lindelof challenges to concede another corner. The cross punched clear by De Gea, but United make a total hames of their counter, as James plays the ball off Martial’s heel. 

71Mins

Much better by Jamews this time, as he mugs off Otaemendi in the area. Rather than pull the ball back for Fernandes, however, he elects to shoot at Ederson and the ‘keeper turns the ball over! Solskajer is seen roaring “pass it, pass it!” on the bench. 

The corner is headed wide by Maguire, and while it’s a moment of relief for United, had James got his head up they may well be two goals up. 

72Mins

Stirring memories of Steve Staunton’s declaration that “we’re better in March” – Sky tell us that City have never lost a league game in March under Pep. 

They have 20-odd minutes to remedy that. 

76Mins

What a miss by Sterling! 

City carve United open: Cancelo plays the ball behidn Williams for Mahrez, whose first-time cross is met by Sterling in the six-yard box but he doesn’t make enough contact! 

The ball skids on to Jesus, whose low effort is terrifically saved by De Gea, and United survive! 

76Mins

City’s last change: Mendy is on for Zinchenko. 

77Mins

United make a double change, in a sign they are going to declare with what they have. Martial and Williams make way for Eric Bailly and Scott McTominay. 

79Mins

Harry Maguire stretches out as leg and just intercepts a Mahrez ball into the box for Foden. City have had 86% of the ball in the last 10 minutes! 

78Mins

United have another break foiled, this time by a clumsy James touch. He then fouls Fernandinho in trying to recover the ball, and City get on with things quickly. They are jabbing away at United: can they land a blow? 

82Mins

Mendy cross to the back post is headed behind by Shaw. The rain begins to fall at Old Trafford; can United hold back the tide? 

82Mins

Fantastic work by Shaw. A raking pass by Mendy finds Mahrez at the edge of the box, but Shaw bides his time and then nicks it off his toe. 

83Mins

Wow, Wan-Bissaka executes an inch-perfect slide tackle in the box on Jesus, and the ball runs out for a corner that United clear. The margin for error there was tiny…but Wan-Bissaka stuck within it. 

85Mins

Mendy gets in behind Wan-Bissaka, but his cross is hacked clear by Maguire. United are getting closer and closer…

86Mins

Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes has pressed his fingers to his lips in Guardiola’s direction, we’re not quite sure what his complaint was. 

87Mins

Change for United: Bruno Fernandes – who was a bundle of energy – makes way for Odion Ighalo. 

88Mins

Mendy booms a cross from the left wing over the right touchline. Dreadful stuff. 

89Mins

James is sent through one-on-one by Ederson storms out to cut out the danger. 

89Mins

Cancelo picks out Raheem Sterling on the edge of the box, but he curls a really tame effort right at De Gea. 

We have five added minutes here, as United edge ever closer. 

92Mins

Howls of derision at Old Trafford, as Mike Dean awards Mahrez a free-kick for a foul by Matic. City take it quickly despite the fact Daniel James is on the ground injured. 

United nonetheless deal with the attack once again. 

90Mins

GOAL! Man United 2-0 Man City (McTominay)

It’s all over! It’s another clanger from Ederson, he rolls the ball right to Scott McTominay, who fires home first time from 35 yards into an empty net!

What a finish, and Old Trafford goes berserk! 

90Mins

FT: Man United 2-0 Man City 

It’s a first derby double for United in a decade, and they are right in the mix for Champions League football now. Something is finally stirring under Solskjaer, and this was a big, big win. 

City were fine, but blunted somewhat by the fact that this game didn’t mean as much to them. That’s not to take from United’s performance, a hugely deserved win. 

It also leaves Liverpool just six points from the title…but this was United’s day! 

Thanks for following, bye!

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About the author:

Gavin Cooney

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