Sports Football 09 Mar 2020 Solskjaer feels fans ...

Solskjaer feels fans' love as Manchester United complete derby double over Man City

AFP
Published Mar 9, 2020, 11:12 am IST
Updated Mar 9, 2020, 1:23 pm IST
Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay put Red Devils hot on the heels of Chelsea for top four finish
Manchester United;s Spainish goalkeeper David de Gea makes a save during their Premier League derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday. AFP Photo
 Manchester United;s Spainish goalkeeper David de Gea makes a save during their Premier League derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday. AFP Photo

Manchester: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the bond between Manchester United players and fans is returning after completing a first Premier League derby double over Manchester City for 10 years at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay took advantage of errors from City goalkeeper Ederson to keep United hot on the heels of Chelsea for a top-four finish, just three points behind the Blues.

 

United have lived in City's shadow in recent years, but have beaten their city rivals three times this season and are now unbeaten in 10 games in all competitions.

United move up to fifth in the table, which could be good enough to qualify for the Champions League next season if City's appeal against a ban from European football for the next two years is not successful at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

And on this display, City seem to already be concentrating on completing a treble of cup competitions this season. A seventh league defeat of the campaign for Pep Guardiola's men means Liverpool are now just a maximum of two wins away from claiming a first league title in 30 years.

 

City dominated possession early on, but badly missed the presence of the injured Kevin De Bruyne. The visitors' defensive deficiencies that have allowed Liverpool to streak 25 points clear were also obvious as Daniel James and Martial fired too close to Ederson with big chances on the counter-attack.

But it was an uncharacteristic error from the Brazilian that gifted United the lead. Bruno Fernandes was the creator with a scooped free-kick to pick out Martial and his shot squeezed under Ederson's right hand at the near post.

Fred was then controversially booked for diving when he appeared to have been taken down inside the area by Nicolas Otamendi. United fans were frustrated VAR did not intervene on that occasion and when it did early in the second half, City were nearly the beneficiaries.

 

Sergio Aguero was flagged offside long before he fired past David de Gea, but the Argentine was only fractionally off when the move was reviewed.

Moments later Ederson escaped gifting another goal as a routine backpass rolled under his foot and the former Benfica stopper needed to produce a last-ditch tackle on Martial to deny United breathing space.

However, where United may have buckled earlier in the season, Solskjaer's men held firm as De Gea denied Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus.

McTominay then sealed the three points deep into stoppage time when he strode onto a wayward throw by Ederson to steer the ball into an unguarded net.

 

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