Premier League: City Thrashes United In Manchester Derby
Manchester City thrashed neighbours Manchester United 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium courtesy of doubles from Algerian Riyad Mahrez and Belgian Kevin De Bruyne, restoring its six-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.
The hosts started with Phil Foden in attack, supported by Mahrez and Jack Grealish. Manchester United had Bruno Fernandez up front in the absence of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, with Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanaga on the flanks.
De Bruyne got City off to the perfect start five minutes into the match after beating defender Alex Telles and slotting past goalkeeper David de Gea.
United fired back in the 22nd minute as Sancho’s placed finish found the bottom corner of the net, silencing the City fans.
Six minutes later, Phil Foden’s flick over Victor Lindelof and low shot forced a save from De Gea. However, the ball fell to De Bruyne and the Belgian fired the ball into the net for his second in the match.
In the second half, City continued to dominate and were determined to extend its lead against an out-of-form United side desperate for an unlikely result at the Etihad.
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De Bruyne’s corner accurately found Mahrez on the edge of the box, and the Algerian beautifully finessed in City’s third in brilliant fashion.
City defender Joao Cancelo nearly added to City’s advantage in spectacular fashion, but De Gea kept his late bicycle kick brilliantly.
However, the hosts scored its fourth deep in stoppage time when Mahrez fired in a goal off De Gea. The goal was checked for offside in the build-up, and after a slight VAR check delay, the referee awarded the goal to Manchester City.
“It was a good one, especially the second half. It was one of the highest levels we have played in years,” Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said after the match.
“In the first half they had more energy than the second half. In the second half they struggled to press us as a consequence of the first half.”
“They played a 4-2-4 and were very aggressive for Ralf and without Cristiano Ronaldo they can do that. They were incredibly impressive. We struggled without build up.”
Manchester City will host Sporting Lisbon in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday, while Manchester United host Tottenham on Saturday.
Chidi Nwoke/Premier League.