Manchester United secured a memorable 2-1 win over their neighbours Manchester City in a game that now leaves league leaders Arsenal five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
Jack Grealish headed City in front via a pretty cross from Kevin De Bruyne just before the hour mark, but the game changed in the 78th minute when Bruno Fernandes put United level. Marcus Rashford continued his fine scoring form and put the home team ahead with a smart finish.
Ultimately City were sloppy and failed to stamp their usual death-by-a-thousand-cuts authority on this match.
On Football Saturday, journalist Johnny Ward was asked whether if this was one of the biggest wins for United in a long time.
‘The contrast in the games between the last time they met is immense, and the contrast between when Manchester City last played at Old Trafford is incredible,’ said Ward. ‘When City went ahead, the old Manchester United would have crumbled. I still felt United should have been ahead at halftime as they had the better chances. There is an element of when your luck is in, and things are going your way, that first goal should have been given. He didn’t interfere with the defender or the goalkeeper.’
‘But it is the second goal to come out of nothing and for Rashford to score a goal that is akin to late goals scored at Old Trafford. I thought this was a great result for football. I am not a fan of the Manchester City project, and to see them taken down a notch today while also seeing the Old Trafford of old revitalised is amazing.’
‘But maybe one of the major talking points is that Erling Haaland did nothing in the game. He had a penalty shout that was not a penalty. Casemiro played a big role in the game, but Haaland did not play well at all.’
‘With the North London derby coming tomorrow, it will be key for the battle for the title. If Arsenal do win that match, you may begin to wonder if they are going to do it. City are really showing frailties I did not think they had.’
Ward’s LOI Central co-host and the Irish Independent’s Dan McDonnell added his two cents to the question posed by host John Duggan.
‘I know what you are saying about this being the biggest win for United in a while, and it certainly feels that way, and it’s because you believe it due to the way things are going under the manager,’ said McDonnell. ‘To be fair to Ole, they did have some big wins, and maybe that is just the nature of it.’
‘It feels much more believable because there is a sequence behind it.’
United will look to continue their stellar run of form away to Crystal Palace on the 18th of January, while City will return to The Etihad to face off against Tottenham Hotspur.
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