What happened to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United – and few bet on extended stays – at least he would always have Paris, the dizzying March night, where an extraordinary run of victories culminated in an excellent performance at Paris St Germain, which ensured the job of the manager.
Well, now he has something like Paris; something to overcome it; something, he hopes, to be more substantive. He has a night to enjoy Etihad, a performance that has improved everything his team has produced so far under his reign and a derby victory that will live long in memory. More importantly, playing like this, he has a future as a Manchester United coach.
This was the United the club imagined when Solskjaer was named: bold, thrilling, fearless. It was a setback, even if it was a conceived victory on the counterattack, with Sir Alex Ferguson beaming in the stands. "We look like a Manchester United team," Solskjaer said later.
Marcus Rashford gave Manchester United a deserved 1-0 lead with a poorly scored first-half penalty at The Etihad
Minutes later, Anthony Martial spun around and kicked his left foot into the near post to double United's lead.
City dominated the second half but failed to return despite Nicolas Otamendi's header
Rashford and De Gea hugged each other full-time, while United resisted a late attack from Premier League champions.
GAME FACTS AND LIVE TABLE
Man City (4-3-3) Ederson 7; Walker, 6 Fernandinho, 5 Stones 5 (Otamendi 59 6,5), Angelino 4; De Buryne, 6 Rodri 5, D Silva 7; B Silva, 5 (Mahrez 65, 6.5) Jesus, 5 Sterling 5
Subscribers: Bravo, Gundogan, Mendy Cancelo, Foden
Man Utd (4-3-3) From Gea 7; Wan-Bissaka 8.5, Lindelof 8, Maguire 8.5, Shaw 7.5 (Young 88); McTominay, 7.5 Lingard, 8 (Tuanzebe, 88) Fred 8; James, 9 martial 8 (Pereira 74, 6.5), Rashford 8.5
Subs: Romero, Mata, Greenwood, Williams
Ref: Anthony Taylor 6
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A simple sentence, but it conveyed a lot. Only sporadically in the last six years have they done that. The fact that it came out of a 2-1 win over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham suggested something more significant than we saw earlier.
Two games have no coaching reputation yet. The opening thirty minutes were Solskjaer's best tactical moment. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool eviscerated City and Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid did the same with Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich. Solkskjaer has not yet been able to prove that he exists in such a company, but here was a perfectly designed and superbly implemented game plan.
Marcus Rashford, Daniel James, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard can all be raw. They may not be the largest attacking force in the world. But they are fast. How they showed it here. The scoreboard made it look close. In fact, with a sparkling football display as we saw it this season, United took City apart in the first 30 minutes. They should have won 4-0.
"This is Manchester United," said Solskjaer. ‘You can call it a counter attack. To me, it's fast, offensive and fluent football with the right intention. I would not like James. Lingard, Rashford and Martial running towards me! & # 39; In preparation, Solskjaer had checked the videos of last season's meetings with City. "It wasn't nice to see that City is so much better than us," he said. "But today we go out with some dignity." And the points.
Pep Guardiola's team was undone by a perfectly executed game plan designed by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Scott McTominay was instrumental for Manchester United once again after a super display in the Tottenham win
Fred, who has fought so many times this season, impressed by attacking and tormenting City midfielders in the first 30 minutes
Jesse Lingard came close with an early effort as the pace and movement of United's four front teams slowed City's opening time
There are times when Manchester City, for all its consistent excellence, simply crumbles. Pep Guardiola is so convinced of his tactical plan that he may forget to play Fernandinho, 34, and an unstable John Stones as central halves. So asking Angelino for a position on the left wing, with Kyle Walker also advancing, may seem unnecessarily brave.
Guardiola stated that it wasn't so bad – we conceded four counterattacks. he supposed, "but for a period of thirty minutes it was cut into pieces." And being fourteen points behind Liverpool is a surprising gap that no one imagined at the start of the season.
"We have to go on," said Guardiola. & # 39; We will try. And if we can't, we'll try next season. It was not a concession. But it was close.
At the heart of this victory were Scot McTominay and Fred, midfield water carriers, sitting deep, picking up scraps and then immediately handing the ball to Lingard, Rashford, Martial and James. Several and many times they exposed Angelino on the left rear and the back of City in general. It was a direct steal from Klopp's handbook, but that will not greatly concern United.
United were penalized 23 minutes after a VAR overhaul after Rashford was beaten by Benardo Silva
Rashford showed wonderful composure by sending Ederson the wrong way at the end of a stuttered race.
Rashford has scored 16 goals in 27 games in all competitions this season and four in his last four games
From James in the second minute. Lingard on eight minutes and Martial on 16 minutes United exposed City from the start. So it was no surprise when Rashford, dribbling his pace within the area, earned a penalty after being pushed aside by Bernardo Silva. Unperturbed by the cacophony of boos, Rashford stuttered in his run and passed Ederson in the right corner.
More was coming. Rashford had another excellent chance on 25 minutes, with Fred playing with him. However, on that occasion, he lost his mind, putting the kick far away rather than adding the second. He did better on 27 minutes, rolling a ball toward the top corner only to see it bounce at the bar. The city was disconcerted.
United's second on 29 minutes emphasized the point. At first it seemed that the moment had passed when Martial did not touch James. However, the pair took stock, weighed their options and simply threw a series of passes around Fernandinho, Rodri and Angelino at the end of which Martial kicked into the bottom corner.
Six minutes after Rashford's opening game, Martial made it 2-0 when he tricked Ederson with a brilliant finish
Minutes after Martial's goal, Gabriel Jesus missed the chance to pull a goal back as he headed away from goal
City also saw a strong call for a penalty rejected by the VAR after Fred held Kyle Walker's cross from the right wing.
There had to be a reaction. After 38 minutes, Kevin De Bruyne made a cross for Gabriel Jesus, but the Brazilian headed well. Everything was turning against City. In addition to the break, it looked like his moment had come when Walker made a cross and Fred slipped and held, but no penalty was given. Guardiola looked apoplectic. However, the laws state that if a player is falling, a hand pushed to balance should not be punished.
The second half would, of course, be a very different tactical beast. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were excellent, but Aaron Wan Bissaka stood out against Raheem Sterling, imposing physical and personality on the English extreme.
When it looked like De Bruyne scored after 56 minutes, it was Lindelof who slid desperately and swerved it away, a small punch in the air indicating his satisfaction and the importance of the moment. A few minutes later, when Lindelof lost the ball to Sterling and the wing crossed the penalty area looking for a shot, it was Wan-Bissaka who had a crucial foot to deflect. And when Rodri attacked from afar, David De Gea flew to the right to topple over.
They held firm until the 85th minute, when a corner from De Bruyne met with Nicolas Otamendi's boss to mark an exciting ending. In a minute, De Gea was having to dive to his right to save Riyad Mahrez. However, for City, this would prove the last note incision. And in the end, in a small corner of Etihad, a group of United fans hoarsely acknowledged their team and their leader. He had scored a remarkable victory; maybe even a definition.
Aaron Wan Bissaka stood out against Raheem Sterling, imposing extreme English physique and personality
City pressed in the second half and recovered a goal when Otamendi passed David De Gea
Victory gives Solskjaer more credibility after an impressive 2-1 win over Tottenham on Wednesday night
Rashford climbed the billboards to give his playing shirt to a United fan after the final whistle.
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) sport (t) football (t) Manchester United (t) Manchester City (t) Premier League (t) Ederson Moraes (t) Anthony Martial (t) Marcus Rashford