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Report: Manchester United were shambolic in attack and defence as they were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City

Manchester United were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. David Silva opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the game, Sergio Aguero doubling City’s lead in the 48th minute. United won a penalty in the 58th minute with Anthony Martial firing from the spot. United could have been back in the game but Ilkay Gundogan scored the third goal for City in the 86th minute, meaning United were now 12 points from the summit.

United started well, pressing their noisy neighbours from the start of the game. However, City did the same. The first blood nearly came for City after Bernardo Silva picked up the ball on the edge of the United box, firing his shot hist wide of the target. Two minutes later, City had another opportunity after Fernandinho threaded the ball into David Silva, whose cutback fell superbly for Sergio Aguero but the Argentinian fluffed his shot.

City were working well in the opening six minutes, David Silva the player that United needed to mark in the early stages of the match after he released Raheem Sterling, breaking between Ashley Young and Chris Smalling, only able to win a corner for his club, which came to nothing. The writing was starting to appear on the wall for United, who had a lot to do in order to stop the Manchester City juggernaut at the Etihad, where the local fans had all come out to see United.

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City took the lead in the game in the 12th minute through David Silva which came from a brilliant cross from Sterling on the left, which was kept in the game by Bernardo Silva, who hooked the ball back across the face of the goal, presumably searching for Aguero, who was seemingly hauled to the group by Smalling. The Spanish playmaker then fired through United’s defence, beating his compatriot from close range. United now had a lot to do to get back into the match.

United looked for an immediate response from City’s opener after a free-kick was launched into the City area but Ederson punched the ball clear, which incidentally was United’s first attack in the City area during the game. United then started to struggle again after Ander Herrera was dispossessed in midfield by Sterling with the former Liverpool winger running into United’s area with Herrera regaining possession after a lung-busting run.

City were dominating United, which was not great to see. United were chasing mere shadows as the hosts were knitting their passes together superbly. United lost possession in their own half in the 24th minute with Aguero breaking towards goal but he was challenged by four United players in the box and he lost his footing with the attack nipped in the bud. United then tried to hit City on the counter through Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford but Fernandinho halted the attack.

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In the 26th minute, United registered their first shot on goal after Anthony Martial cut off on the left, saw his shot blocked with Smalling rising to meet a cross to the back post, his resulting header landing on the roof of the goal. In the 29th minute, United were back on the attack with Young launching a long diagonal ball up to Rashford but the United striker was penalised for a challenge on John Stones.

Aymeric Laporte tried his luck in the 31st minute of the match, from 25-yards, but his wayward effort flew over the crossbar. Bernardo Silva was the first player to be booked in the 33rd minute of the match after a lunge on Rashford as he tried to start a United counter-attack. In the 34th minute, Luke Shaw carried the ball forward on the left and fired a pass to Martial. The Frenchman, who has scored five goals recently took a heavy touch and the ball raced towards Ederson, nullifying United’s attack.

David Silva was back to his best in the 37th minute as he whipped a corner into the United area but Martial half-cleared the danger then United’s defensive line moved forward forcing City to resume their attack on the halfway line. A minute later, Rashford ran through on the counter, finding himself isolated on the right by the time he looked up. The 20-year-old used his skill to get something, failing to do so.

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Martial then got another chance to get something from the game after having a glimpse of the City goal. Fernandinho then closed down the angle, resulting in the ball rolling to Ederson. David Silva then shimmied into the United area, trying to nutmeg Marouane Fellaini with the Belgian sparing his blushes, closing his legs and deflecting the ball out for a corner. In the 42nd minute, Shaw was booked for a challenge on Riyad Mahrez, his fifth of the season, meaning he misses the next match against Crystal Palace.

City were close to scoring against in the 44th minute of the match after Herrera’s pass in midfield was intercepted and Bernardo Silva gained some ground on the counter, slipping the ball in behind Smalling and Victor Lindelof for Aguero, who smashed the ball into the side netting. One minute of time was added at the end of the first half with United needing something short of a miracle to get themselves back into the game. It was positive to say being only 1-0 down was a good result.

There were no changes at the start of the second half for either team. It was not long before City were banging on the door. Sergio Aguero put City 2-0 up three minutes into the second half after United lost the ball in midfield with City breaking through. The Argentinian played a neat one-two with Mahrez to get away from Lindelof then thundered his effort past De Gea at the near post with the Spanish number one seemingly able to do something to try and avoid it.

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City may have been smelling blood at 2-0 up as they lay siege on United’s goal. However, United cleared the line with last-gasp interventions, keeping City from making the gap much bigger than it already was. Jose Mourinho had seemingly seen enough from this toothless display come the 51st minute after sending both Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku to warm up. In the 55th minute, City had another chance after Fernandinho floated a ball into the box, which came to nothing for the home side.

Mourinho made his first change in the 56th minute with Lukaku replacing Lingard. A minute later, United won a penalty after the Belgian was grounded by Ederson inside the City box. Martial, as cool as you like, took the penalty, sending the Brazilian goalkeeper the wrong way, scoring his sixth goal in seven games for United. United were back in the game but City still seemed streets ahead.

Pep Guardiola made his first substitution in the 62nd minute of the match with Mahrez making way for Leroy Sane. City looked to get back on track with David Silva floating a free-kick into the United box. United then stood firm and cleared their lines then City seemed to find their feet again after a short set back. In the 65th minute, Sterling raced clear of Nemanja Matic, Fellaini and Herrera, then being dispossessed once he reached the edge of the United box.

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Sane drove in off the left in the 67th minute, offloading the ball for Fernandinho, whose drive on goal forced a save from De Gea. City were still baying for blood in the Manchester derby, seemingly keeping the memory of what happened in this fixture last season in their minds. Mourinho made a double substitution in the 73rd minute with Juan Mata and Alexis Sanchez replacing Herrera and Rashford. After the change, Sterling was through on goal, passing to Sane, whose shot was still rising as it went over the crossbar.

City made a second substitution in the 75th minute as Ilkay Gundogan replaced Aguero. United had 15 minutes, plus stoppage time in order to try and get something from this game. Sterling carried the ball to the edge of the United box in the 76th minute, slipping a through ball to Sane, resulting in De Gea having to hack the ball to safety. Three minutes later, City turned the screw again, penning United into their area, close to finding a third goal as Sane ran into a congested area with Lindelof scrambling to safety.

In the 81st minute, City had a half-chance after Sterling held up the ball on the edge of the United area, bringing Gundogan into play with the German shooting horribly wide of the target. The number of chances City have had since United scored the penalty will be something Guardiola may be unhappy about. His side just cannot finish United off in this game, keeping United dangerously close to getting something from the game, if they could string something together, which was unlikely.

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In the 84th minute, United had their best spell of possession, camping in the final third. City prevented them from getting crosses into the box with Bernardo Silva showing determination to stop the ball going behind for a corner. United then saw themselves behind again after Gundogan scored in the 86th minute, surely winning the game for the noisy neighbours. De Gea and United’s defence could have done more to prevent that goal.

There were three added minutes at the end of the second half with City already winning the match with their third goal. City made their third substitution a minute into added time with Phil Foden replacing David Silva. The great Pep Guardiola continuing his flawless blooding of youth record, said nobody, ever. The match ended with City taking all the plaudits and a shake of hands between Mourinho and Guardiola. That was it for the best part of a fortnight with United welcoming Crystal Palace on the 24 November 2018.

Goals: David Silva 12′, Sergio Aguero 48′, Ilkay Gundogan 86′; Anthony Martial 58′

Assists: Bernardo Silva 12′, 86′, Riyad Mahrez 48′

Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Smalling Lindelof, Shaw; Herrera (Mata 73′), Matic, Fellaini; Lingard (Lukaku 56′), Rashford (Sanchez 73′), Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Jones, Darmian; Fred

Bookings: Bernardo Silva 33′; Luke Shaw 42′

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