We learnt three things as Manchester United overcame Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford, thanks to a late goal from Marcus Rashford.
After a cagey first half, Jack Grealish scored the opener to set City on course for a win. But a Bruno Fernandes equaliser and a goal for Marcus Rashford in his seventh consecutive game sealed the turnaround for the hosts.
City had a very good record at Old Trafford under Pep Guardiola, winning on six of their last nine visits, and this shows the good work that Erik ten Hag has done at United since the 6-3 demolition at Etihad Stadium earlier this season.
1. Ten Hag Has Turned Old Trafford Into A Fortress
Manchester United have won 12 of their last 13 games in all competitions and are on a run of nine consecutive wins. This has overshadowed their poor start to the season where United were at one point at the bottom of the table.
Manchester United are a legacy team of the English league and have ruled it between 1992 and 2013, when the club collected 13 Premier League trophies. But since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Old Trafford hadn’t looked like a fortress until this season.
Manchester United have won 9 consecutive games in all competitions:
✅ vs. Aston Villa
✅ vs. Fulham
✅ vs. Burnley
✅ vs. Forest
✅ vs. Wolves
✅ vs. Bournemouth
✅ vs. Everton
✅ vs. Charlton
✅ vs. Man City
Keeping the ball rolling. ⚽ pic.twitter.com/EUdeUgc3X3
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 14, 2023
2. United In The Title Race After Controversial Win Over City
Manchester United are officially in a three-horse race for the league title after moving within nine points of Arsenal whom they play in a week’s time.
United looked like they were in trouble after failing to capitalise on opportunities in the first half and then Grealish putting Man City 1-0 up in the second half.
But a controversial equaliser by Fernandes put United back in the game, which sparked anger among the City fans.
Rashford was clearly offside and the United forward charged for the ball but left it at the last moment for Fernandes to score. The offside flag was raised initially but the decision was overruled because the officials adjudged that Rashford didn’t touch or interfere with the ball in the buildup.
Did Marcus Rashford interfere with play during Bruno Fernandes' goal? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/jnKQCiJZ5R
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 14, 2023
3. Guardiola Needs To Go Back To Pre-World Cup Tactics
Manchester City have a squad packed with talent but their lack of cutting edge in the final third this season is a worry for the team who are capable enough to win the Premier League and Champions League.
The main issue is that the teams have figured out that Erling Haaland is the focal point of the attack and their objective is to cut his supply. The former Borussia Dortmund player was non-existent against United and the breakthrough only came when chief creator Kevin De Bruyne burst into the penalty box to set up Grealish. If City want to challenge for the title this season, they will need to start scoring more goals.
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The Red Devils have started winning consistently under the guidance of Erik ten Hag and this game was a sign of the better things to come at the end of the season. They have progressed in all the competitions that they are part of.
United now move within a point of current champions City and 9 points of league leaders Arsenal. United are the only team to beat Arsenal this season, winning 3-1 at Old Trafford earlier in the campaign.
On the other hand, this defeat is a cause of concern for Pep and they will need to bounce back from their consecutive defeats if they want to finish above United.
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