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MANCHESTER CITY DEFEATS UNITED AT OLD TRAFFORD


Manchester City move 11 points clear of United after a commanding performance at Old Trafford with their 1:2 Win. While their two goals did owe something to good fortune, nobody can argue they were undeserving following a superb performance at Old Trafford.

They led when David Silva capitalised on a Romelu Lukaku mistake at the back to turn the ball home from close range late in the first-half, only for Marcus Rashford to pounce on City defensive errors to equalise in stoppage time.

But Nicolas Otamendi scored City's winner nine minutes after the break after another inadequate clearance by Lukaku in his own box. It was a well-taken close range finish and ensured a huge victory for Pep Guardiola's team.

The crowd here still like to sing about “football taught by Matt Busby” but, as City’s players worked their elaborate passing patterns, there was a different soundtrack to this match. The first chants of “park the bus, Man United” could be heard from the away end before the 15-minute mark. The next song, expletive removed, queried whether the team in red might be “scared”. Soon afterwards, there were “olés” from the away end. OK, possession statistics don’t mean bonus points but, for a club with United’s ambitions, it must have been startling for the home crowd to see how one team took care of the ball, and the other did not. By half-time, City had played more than four time the number of passes, 334 to 78, than the home side.

Guardiola finished the match with Silva operating as a centre-forward. He lost his captain, Vincent Kompany, at half-time and had a spell with Fernandinho experimenting as a centre-half. Sergio Agüero, one of the best strikers of the Premier League era, was not required for a single minute. And yet City still found a way to outplay, out-pass and outscore their opponents.

The only possible criticism, if we were nitpicking, was that Gabriel Jesus gave Mourinho the opportunity afterwards to refer back to his pre-match assertion that City’s players (not that his ever would, of course) dive. Jesus, chosen ahead of Agüero, should also have been booked for one of those tactical fouls that Mourinho had also flagged up. Yet City, for the most part, did not need to resort to underhand tactics to signal their superiority and must have felt aggrieved, to say the least, that they were only drawing at half-time.
City took away the 3 points giving them 11 points ahead of united.

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