In what seemed to be a game of class and sheer rivalry, the two top teams in Manchester would not settle for less in this derby. Mourinho and Guardiola picked up from where they ended it last season. Remember the facade that always ensues in Classico during the Portuguese and Spaniard’s spell at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
The trio of Lingard, Martial and Rashford started, with Lingard hoping to count on his brace against Arsenal last weekend which saw them secure maximum points. That would be the reward for the Englishman. David Silva started despite being ruled out by Guardiola during the week; a move which Mourinho saw as a tactic of mind game. One could only imagine why the originator of mind games should take offence in Guardiola’s tactic.
Guardiola’s men started the game taking charge of the possession as usual while United had to feed on loose balls and those that came from goal kicks. The citizens will have their reward through a corner kick floated in by Leroy Sane. The ball fell in for an unmarked David Silva as the impressive Spanish finished from inside the six yard area, cheaply.
City dominated the midfield as Matic and Herrera were really struggling to catch up with the class of De Bruyne and David Silva. Manchester City’s lead would be cut short when a cross from Marcos Rojo found Rashford, after city’s men failed to clear their lines. Rashford put the ball past Ederson as his goal scoring form in derbies went up in as many games. The goal came in handy as it was already the stroke of half-time.
The second half started speedily with a lot being at stake. City would not wait long as they got back in front courtesy of a game from Otamendi. The Argentine got gifted by Lukaku when the big Belgian cleared the ball onto Otamendi’s body, just for him to go past De Gea.
Manchester United were in a desperation to equal ties but little could be done. Ederson forced double saves from Lukaku and Mata towards the end of the game. This made sure the citizens left Old Trafford with three points to push their lead further atop the summit of the league.
Manchester City now holds the lead for highest number of consecutive wins in a sesason (14). United on the other hand would see their unbeaten run at home come to a halt. The last time they lost there was against Manchester City in 2016 in a situation of unquestioned nemesis.
The evening would not end controversially as there were reports of scuffle down the tunnel by both teams’ players and their officials. City players were jubilating for the victory while Mourinho made his way for post-match press conference. Mourinho really took an offence from it and spoke out. That move fuelled anger and there was a heavy fight. The Mourinho and Guardiola drama would live on forever.
This article was written by Alex Ndace; he tweets via @AlexNdace