When Marcus Rashford scored Manchester United’s second goal from Alejandro Garnacho’s pass, the television cameras panned to an old man sitting in the VIP gallery. Gentleman chewing gum with a smile on his face. Sir Alex Ferguson.
The former Scottish coach of United may have left the field with that smile at the end of the match. Maybe he went to the dressing room and encouraged the United players. Talks of winning a duel against city rivals, that too fell behind. United won the match 2-1 with two goals in four minutes – 78 to 82 – Manchester City leading 1-0. Bruno Fernandes equalized for United before Rashford. Earlier, Jack Grealish gave City the lead in the 60th minute.
United’s win has sealed the battle for the top four in the points table in the Premier League. Who knows, maybe the memory of that miserable loss to this city in October last year has been tarnished.
The two teams last met in the league on October 2 last year. Manchester United can survive only if they can forget that Etihad match. A 6-3 loss no team wants to remember! But there is a big difference between that United and this United.
Erik ten Haag has reorganized the team so far, under him Rashford-Eriksen-Casemiro has returned to a familiar rhythm. As a result, United’s 8 wins, 2 draws and only one defeat in 11 matches after that loss to City! With 38 points in 18 matches, Ten Haag’s team is currently number 3 in the points list in the Premier League. City are two with 39 points in the match. Arsenal, who are at the top, have 44 points in 17 matches.
City coach Pep Guardiola laughingly called himself a genius at a press conference after the Premier League match against Chelsea on January 6. There were reasons. The match was going to be a draw, just then Guardiola substituted Jack Grealish and Real Mahrez. City took the lead two minutes later with Mahrez’s goal from Grealish’s pass and that goal eventually won the match.
The same thing happened at Old Trafford today. None of his players could penetrate United’s defense. City could not take any shots on goal in the first half. Whether he saw it or not, Guardiola replaced Phil Foden in the 57th minute with Grealish. Two minutes after that, Kevin de Bruyne entered the right side and raised the ball into United’s box. Grealish was all set for Head. The ball also fell on his head. This opportunity can be wasted!
Before that goal, however, City could not attack any more than possession of the ball. Instead, City’s defense had to find speed to deal with Marcus Rashford in every attack. The English forward had two very good chances, once saved by centre-back Manuel Akanji, another time by goalkeeper Eilson. Meanwhile, just before the break, Kyle Walker’s shot from 35 yards went wide of David De Gea’s right.
But after conceding a goal in the 60th minute, United became desperate. However, you have to wait up to 78 minutes to get the result. However, Rashford was first caught offside by the assistant referee when Fernandez’s goal was scored by Casemiro. But since Rashford did not catch the ball, the referee canceled the offside, the goal was saved. Four minutes later, Rashford scored an own goal to make the difference between the two teams.
Pep Guardiola had to get the bitter taste of defeat in the 500th league match of his career as a coach.