Widely labelled as the ‘most expensive football-game ever’, Manchester City faced Manchester United at Old Trafford on December 10th 2017. Broadcasted in over 190 countries, the Manchester Derby was poised to be the most watched game in premier league history. The total worth of both teams was an estimated £650 million! Accounting for players like Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly, Benjamin Mendy and John Stones.
The game had its fair share of controversy, from penalty claims to huge defensive errors made by both sides. Manchester City took an aggressive attacking approach; Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus having a plentiful amount of shots at David De Gea’s goal. Most of City’s attacks were being orchestrated by both David Silva and in-form Kevin De Bruyne. City went in front via a set-piece, as they took advantage of a defensive error made by Romelu Lukaku, who failed to clear his lines enabling Silva to score from 6 yards out.
Above: Silva scores the game’s opening goal in the 43rd minute. (Source: Getty Images)
However, City’s lead didn’t last long. The young United star Marcus Rashford managed to grab the equaliser in the 47th minute. This was Rashford’s first goal in a derby since scoring the winning goal at the Etihad 2 years ago. Rashford’s goal came from another defensive error, this time made by Fabian Delph who was playing as a left back, a position he is not familiar with.
Rashford celebrates with team-mate Lingard after scoring the equaliser. ( Source: Man Utd via Getty Images)
At halftime, the game was at a stalemate. The second half saw Manchester City attack with the same intensity displayed in the first half, with United attempting to counter-attack City. Rashford saw his second chance at goal but it was saved by the strong grasp of Ederson. Both teams attempted to break down each other’s defence until Manchester City got a free-kick which led to their second goal. This was the result of another defensive error by Lukaku after his clearance hit off the back of his teammate and into the path of Nicolas Otamendi. He fired it home to grab the game-winning goal.
Nicolas Otamendi celebrates as he takes City into the lead. (source: Getty Images)
This game ended Manchester United’s 40-game unbeaten run at home. It also created a new Premier League record for Manchester City , who have won their last 14 games. This victory puts Manchester City 11 points clear of United in the league table, giving them an extremely strong chance of becoming the new champions. In the post-match interview, Mourinho criticized the referee’s decisions. Conversely, Pep Guardiola felt proud due to the fact that he proved himself to be tactically superior. The attacking strategies he implemented at Barcelona have been transferred to this Man City team. Thus far, it has proven to be a success.
Interestingly there have been reports of a spat between the two teams in the tunnel after the game. This led to Manchester City staff Mikel Arteta, suffering a cut on his head. The City players were viewed to be excessive in their celebration of the victory, supposedly triggering the United players into a brawl.
Both teams are back in action midweek. Man City are set to take-on Swansea and hope to continue their winning form, while United try to return to winning ways, as they look to host Bournemouth.