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Preview: Manchester United -v- Manchester City – Carabao Cup – United to push City aside to earn place in the final?

Manchester United -v- Manchester City

Carabao Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 6 January 2021, KO 19:45 GMT

Referee: Martin Atkinson  Assistants: Harry Lennard, Nick Hopton

Fourth Official: David Coote

VAR: Jonathan Moss Assistant VAR: Lee Betts

Manchester United will go head to head with Manchester City once again in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to push his team into their first final. On Wednesday evening, it will be the second Manchester derby of the season at the Theatre of Dreams with United reaching the same stage of the competition that they did last season, seeking to get further this season – it being the fourth semi-final Solskjaer has managed the club, losing the previous three. Last season, this was a two-legged match but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it will be a one off tie this season.

The final this season has been delayed until April, giving supporters a chance to be at Wembley instead of the match being played behind closed doors, as is the case in the country at this time. The match will kick of at 19:45 GMT and will be broadcast live in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports. United have seemingly turned a corner this season with an uptick in form and results, being that Solskjaer’s side are undefeated in their last six matches, winning five and drawing once, which was against Leicester City on Boxing Day. United and City drew 0-0 at Old Trafford some weeks ago too.

Manchester United: WWDWWW

Aston Villa 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Leicester City 2-2 D, Everton 2-0 W, Leeds United 6-2 W, Sheffield United 3-2 W

Manchester City: WWWWDD

Chelsea 3-1 W, Newcastle United 2-0 W, Arsenal 4-1 W, Southampton 1-0 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-1 D, Manchester United 0-0 D

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford have score 29 goals between them this season with 55 goals scored in all competitions. City have scored just 45 with Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres scoring seven goals each.

Manchester United Goals: 15 – Bruno Fernandes, 14 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 4 – Edinson Cavani, 3 – Mason Greenwood, Scott McTominay, 2 – Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, 1 – Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United have scored 16 goals, conceded seven, kept two clean sheets, winning five and drawing one of their last six matches. United have seen themselves rise to second in the Premier League, which is a good example of the way things have chanced over the course of the season so far. United exited the UEFA Champions League in December, falling into the UEFA Europa League but this seems to have made the players more determined of achieving something this season. There is positivity to be seen in this squad of players but some seem to ignore that, concentrating on the negativity and their agendas. Sad really.

Manchester City Goals: 7 – Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres, 6 – Phil Foden, 5 – Ilkay Gündogan, Riyad Mahrez, 4 – Gabriel Jesus, 3 – Kevin De Bruyne, 2 – Sergio Agüero, 1 – Nathan Aké, João Cancelo, Liam Delap, Aymeric Laporte, Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker

With have scored 11 goals, conceding three, keeping three clean sheets, winning four and drawing twice in their last six matches. City sit fifth in the league and will have two games in hand over both Leicester City and Liverpool before they kick a ball against United in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. It has not been the best season for City, who were unstoppable over the past few years but seem to be easy to stop this season, unless you are Chelsea or Arsenal, who both got destroyed by the club. This season could be different for City, who need to do well on the pitch to even challenge Liverpool for the Premier League title this season.

Team News: Six players missing for City and four players missing for United ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final. City’s coronavirus test positives could give United an advantage, not that they did Chelsea much good.

Phil Jones (knee), Victor Lindelof (lower back) and Marcos Rojo (calf) are all ruled out of the clash with City on Wednesday evening. Edinson Cavani was banned last week for three matches, sitting out the first in the 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, also missing the clash with City in the Carabao Cup and the Emirates FA Cup clash with Watford. The Uruguayan Football Association released a statement on Monday to contest the treatment of Cavani, but it is unlikely that the FA will do anything about it. Still, it is only two matches and he will be back ready for the Liverpool match, which is the important one this month.

Aymeric Laporte (thigh), Ederson Moraes, Kyle Walker, Ferran Torres, Gabriel Jesus and Eric Garcia (Covid-19) are likely to miss the clash with United on Wednesday, however, negative tests could result in the affected players being allowed to resume training, providing they are fit to do that. Ilkay Gundogan was on the sidelines with a foot injury prior to Sunday’s victory over Chelsea, him scoring the first goal of the match, so this means he should be fit to face United, after a longer period of rest because of postponed matches because of coronavirus. City have won the Carabao Cup for the last three seasons.

Predicted Starting XI: Dean Henderson to continue playing in the Carabao Cup this season? Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles to start in defence?

Solskjaer has a few options ahead fo the City clash in the Carabao Cup but will be without Edinson Cavani, who received a three-match suspension for his tweet after the victory of Everton earlier this season. It has been announced that teams in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup will be able to name nine players on the bench, using five of them throughout the match. I think the formation will chance to a 4-1-2-1-2 with Dean Henderson keeping his place in the Carabao Cup this season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles will start in defence. Fred, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba will start in midfield with Bruno Fernandes playing just behind both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

Match Prediction: 18 matches played in the domestic cups between United and City. United have won 10, drawing once and losing seven times. United have scored 29 goals, conceding 26.

United and City have met 18 times in domestic cups (FA Cup and League Cup). United have won 10 times, drawing once times and losing seven times. United have scored 29 goals against with City scoring 26 goals. United have kept five clean sheets against their noisy neighbours in cup competitions. United have faced City nine times in the FA Cup and nine times in the League Cup (now the Carabao Cup). In the League Cup, United have won four times, drawing once and losing four times, scoring 11 goals and conceding 14. In the FA Cup, United have won six times, losing three times, scoring 18 goals and conceding 12. United and City last met in a cup competition last season.

In the Carabao Cup during the 2019/20 season, United and City were drawn against each other at this same stage, the semi-final. Back then, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, this was a two-legged fixture. In the first match, which was played at Old Trafford, City won 3-1 with Bernardo Silva (17), Riyad Mahrez (33) and an Andreas Pereira own goal (39) all coming in the first half. Marcus Rashford got a consolation goal in the 70th minute. In the second leg, played at the Etihad, it was a 1-0 victory for United with the only goal of the match scored by Nemanja Matic in the 35th minute with United losing 3-2 on aggregate, which was a shame. United will be seeking to avenge that first semi-final defeat last season, aiming to win this one.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City

Written by John Walker

Ratings: United have little to show for a Manchester derby draw. Creativity stuttered with City uninspiring

Manchester United draw 0-0 with Manchester City at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday evening. It was the 183rd Manchester derby and a pretty uninspiring display of football from supposedly a team unable to string a few good performances together and another team managed by the genius of all things football. United had 11 shots on goal; two of those on target. City had nine shots; two of those on target. It was a poor result for both teams, who were seeking to propel themselves further up the table but a draw and a clean sheet will be the positives for both clubs. United will play Sheffield United on Thursday.

It was a pretty uninspiring first half for both sides in the first Manchester derby of the season. United had seven shots on goal with City having four – both teams having just one shot on target. This was not really a positive for either side, who would need to win here to put their season back on track. Neither team would benefit from a draw. Solskjaer’s side needed to get something from this match to overcome the fact that they have exited the Champions League this week, topping the group before the match with RB Leipzig and only needing a point from the match and losing 3-2, going 3-0 down before winning a penalty..

At the start of the second half, United seemed to win a penalty after Marcus Rashford was fouled in the box. Although, Rashford was offside on his run into the box. The referee gave a penalty but VAR ruled Rashford offside, so nothing was given. Solskjaer made his first substitution in the 74th minute of the match with Anthony Martial replacing Mason Greenwood. City had a good chance from a free-kick to get ahead but United’s wall dealt with the pressure and the danger from the set-piece. It seemed destined that this was going to be a 0-0 draw with neither side really getting a half decent chance to break the deadlock.

United face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane in the Premier League on Thursday evening, which starts the busy festive period where United will play every three days until the 29 December, then having a four day break before the first match of 2021. Solskjaer will be seeking to get his team ready for this bust festive period where they will hope to gain some ground in the league with all teams heading towards the half-way point of the Premier League season in January, which normally seems to show the teams that could break away in the race for the Premier League title. United have 20 points this season and could be seven points adrift of the top spot after the final matches are played on Sunday.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The goalkeeper did not really have much to do against the Noisy Neighbours. He seemed to be determined to keep his positioning and commanded his area.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

He tackled well and did his job in a game which was boring and easy to lose concentration.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Stopped City with a find last-ditch tackle, which stopped the neighbours from scoring in the second half. Did what he needed to do for the rest of the match.

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5 Harry Maguire

Led his side to an uninspiring derby which resulted in a 0-0 draw. A clean sheet and a point are the only positives from the match.

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23 Luke Shaw

Seemed injured at one point in the match, but recovered. Got forward for much of the match and did his job, which is what you would expect anyway.

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39 Scott McTominay

Broke forward in the first half and could have found the back of the net. He seemed more determined than most to get something from the match, at least in the early stages.

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17 Fred

Looked to have suffered an injury in the opening five minutes of the match but recovered and completed the game for United. Good to see him back, even if his side were uninspiring throughout the match.

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6 Paul Pogba

Did well in a very lacklustre Manchester derby. He did what he needed to do in midfield but offered little to break through for United in their pursuit of an opening goal against a City side that could have been there for the taking.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

His first Manchester derby. Uninspiring to say the least. He tried to score some long-range efforts but was wide of the target. It's not an ideal result but it is a point for United.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The teenager was not really at the top of his game against City, but that said, not one player on the pitch seemed to be on top of their game. He got forward al lot of the time but there was no real end product for United. He was replaced by Martial in the 74th minute of the match.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Had a chance at the start of the second half and won a penalty after being fouled in the City box. He was offside and the penalty was scrapped by VAR. He got forward for much of the match but the chances were few and far between.

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Substitutes

9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Greenwood 74'. Came on late in the game with United needing a goal to win the match. Granted he's not going to be fully up to speed, I thought his performance was poor and he offered little going forward.

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Goals:

Assists:

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred, Pogba; Fernandes; Greenwood (Martial 74′), Rashford

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Bailly, Telles; Mata, Matic, Van de Beek

Bookings: Harry Maguire 79′; Fernandinho 87′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Rashford, Greenwood, Fred, McTominay and Fernandes start in the 183rd Manchester derby

The 183rd Manchester derby will be played at Old Trafford this evening, in the Premier League. Manchester United beat Manchester City both home and away in the league last season and will be seeking to do the same thing this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to come back from a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening, which also saw them exit the UEFA Champions League and fall into the UEFA Europa League, of which the draw for the round of 32 stage will take place on Monday. Pep Guardiola’s side have endured a tough season which sees then below United before a ball is kicked at the Theatre of Dreams.

This season, United have been pretty inconsistent on the pitch but have somehow managed to find themselves sitting in sixth place in the Premier League, just five points from the top spot with a game in hand over all of the clubs above them. In the league, United have found the best consistency they have, winning their last four matches. In the Champions League, after a good start (winning the first two matches) a defeat followed by a win and two defeats on the bounce saw them fall from top place in the group to third placed after their final group stage match. City, on the other hand, qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

McTominay, Fred, Pogba;

Fernandes;

Greenwood, Rashford

Substitutes:

Henderson; Bailly, Telles; Mata, Matic, Van de Beek; Martial

Manchester City:

Ederson;

Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo;

Rodrigo, Fernandinho;

Mahrez, De Bruyne, Sterling;

Jesus

Substitutes:

Steffen; Laporte, Mendy; Gundogan, Silva, Torres, Foden

United and City have met a total of 46 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 23 times whereas City have won 15 times with eight draws between the two clubs. United have scored a total of 68 goals, winning and scoring three penalties. City have scored a total of 61 goals, winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 16 clean sheets against City, with the Noisy Neighbours keeping just nine clean sheets. In terms of discipline, United have been shown a total of 80 yellow cards and seven red cards with City being shown a total of 105 yellow cards and just one red card.

Last season, United did the Premier League double over City. In the Manchester derby at Old Trafford which was played on the 8 March 2020, it was a 2-0 for United. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 30th minute of the match with Scott McTominay scoring United’s second deep into injury time. It was the last time supporters were at the Theatre of Dreams because of the coronavirus pandemic. At the Etihad, it was a 2-1 victory for United with Marcus Rashford taking the lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute of the match with Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. Nicolas Otamendi scored a late consolation goal.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-3-1-2] Homegrown Rashford and Greenwood to lead the line against Manchester City? Fernandes, Van de Beek, Fred and McTominay in midfield?

The 183rd Manchester derby will be played at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, in the Premier League. Manchester United beat Manchester City both home and away in the league last season and will be seeking to do the same thing this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to come back from a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening, which also saw them exit the UEFA Champions League and fall into the UEFA Europa League, of which the draw for the round of 32 stage will take place on Monday. Pep Guardiola’s side have endured a tough season which sees then below United before a ball is kicked at the Theatre of Dreams.

This season, United have been pretty inconsistent on the pitch but have somehow managed to find themselves sitting in sixth place in the Premier League, just five points from the top spot with a game in hand over all of the clubs above them. In the league, United have found the best consistency they have, winning their last four matches. In the Champions League, after a good start (winning the first two matches) a defeat followed by a win and two defeats on the bounce saw them fall from top place in the group to third placed after their final group stage match. City, on the other hand, qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.

How United have faired against Manchester City in the Premier League.

United and City have met a total of 46 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 23 times whereas City have won 15 times with eight draws between the two clubs. United have scored a total of 68 goals, winning and scoring three penalties. City have scored a total of 61 goals, winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 16 clean sheets against City, with the Noisy Neighbours keeping just nine clean sheets. In terms of discipline, United have been shown a total of 80 yellow cards and seven red cards with City being shown a total of 105 yellow cards and just one red card.

Last season, United did the Premier League double over City. In the Manchester derby at Old Trafford which was played on the 8 March 2020, it was a 2-0 for United. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 30th minute of the match with Scott McTominay scoring United’s second deep into injury time. It was the last time supporters were at the Theatre of Dreams because of the coronavirus pandemic. At the Etihad, it was a 2-1 victory for United with Marcus Rashford taking the lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute of the match with Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. Nicolas Otamendi scored a late consolation goal.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Manchester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson

Last season, whilst at Sheffield United, Henderson played twice in the Premier League against City, conceding twice in the first meeting and once in the second. The 23-year-old is a promising player for United and could hold the keys to being the next number one at the club. David De Gea’s form has been questionable of late with 10 goals conceded in the past five matches. Henderson have played 404 minutes of football for United so far this season and will be expecting more playing time as he looks to become the number one goalkeeper for the club, which is a feat he is more than capable of completing.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence can have good days and bad days. In the past five matches, ten goals have been conceded and this needs to start changing. The players need to stand up and be counted in order for the club to prevail on and off the pitch. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw could play in the fullback positions in a back four with Axel Tuanzebe and Harry Maguire playing in the central defensive area. United are starting to get players back from injury with both Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof able to be called upon. I feel the latter would benefit from a break, keeping him fresh for the remainder of this tough month.

Midfield Three: Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Fred

United have a strong midfield, at least on paper. Solskjaer will need to find the best balance he has and a three-man midfield playing just behind Bruno Fernandes might work well to keep United in their matches. Of late, United have been dominated in midfield and that should not really be happening. Solskjaer will need to solve the defensive problem that he has with Nemanja Matic no longer able to start back to back matches. Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Fred might be the best options in this formation with Fred marking his opponents, McTominay doing the defensive-minded tasks and Van de Beek pushing forward to support Fernandes and the attacking players to open up the opposition defence, which he something he does well.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder has scored 11 goals and added seven assists so far this season, which is a great start for the player. He is obviously upset about United’s exit from the Champions League and will be looking to give his all for the club so that can overcome that defeat on Tuesday and their exit from the competition. The Europa League beckons once agains for United, which is not ideal but still a chance to win a trophy, which is what Solskjaer will be looking to do. Some problems will need to be ironed out before that happens though. Fernandes is an inspiration when in form and ready to go – hopefully that happens against City – his first Manchester derby since signing for the club in January 2020.

Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood

Two homegrown players could lead the line for United in the Manchester derby, which will be a proud moment for both of them. This season, Marcus Rashford has scored ten goals for his club, providing three more assists whereas Mason Greenwood has scored three goals with two assists so far, which shows that more could be done but this is most likely down to the fact he has not played as many minutes as his teammate. Rashford and Greenwood are all United have to tackle City this weekend with the prospect that both Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial will be missing due to injury.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Eric Bailly, Alex Telles; Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Daniel James; Odion Ighalo

Three substitutes to make a difference in the Premier League should United’s starting XI not be able to do the business on the pitch. With the expected absences of Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial, United will be light in attacking players. David De Gea could be available on the bench with Henderson my pick to start against City. In defence, Eric Bailly and Alex Telles could offer something with Victor Lindelof and Brandon Williams rested ahead of a busy period ahead. In midfield, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Daniel James could be called upon with Odion Ighalo the sole attacking player on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Manchester United -v- Manchester City – Premier League

Manchester United -v- Manchester City

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 12 December 2020, KO 17:30 GMT

Referee: Chris Kavanagh Assistants: Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis

Fourth Official: Craig Pawson

VAR: Paul Tierney Assistant VAR: Ian Hussin

The 183rd Manchester derby will be played at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, in the Premier League. Manchester United beat Manchester City both home and away in the league last season and will be seeking to do the same thing this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will be looking to come back from a 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening, which also saw them exit the UEFA Champions League and fall into the UEFA Europa League, of which the draw for the round of 32 stage will take place on Monday. Pep Guardiola’s side have endured a tough season which sees then below United before a ball is kicked at the Theatre of Dreams.

This season, United have been pretty inconsistent on the pitch but have somehow managed to find themselves sitting in sixth place in the Premier League, just five points from the top spot with a game in hand over all of the clubs above them. In the league, United have found the best consistency they have, winning their last four matches. In the Champions League, after a good start (winning the first two matches) a defeat followed by a win and two defeats on the bounce saw them fall from top place in the group to third placed after their final group stage match. City, on the other hand, qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.

Manchester United: LWLWWW

RB Leipzig 3-2 L, West Ham United 3-1 W, Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 L, Southampton 3-2 W, Istanbul Basaksehir 4-1 W, West Bromwich Albion 1-0 W

Manchester City: WWDWWL

Olympique de Marseille 3-0 W, Fulham 2-0 W, FC Porto 0-0 D, Burnley 5-0 W, Olympiacos FC 1-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 L

Top Scorers: United have scored 40 goals in all competitions with Bruno Fernandes scoring 11 goals – City have scored 35 goals in all competitions with Raheem Sterling and Ferran Torres scoring six each.

Manchester United Goals: 11 – Bruno Fernandes, 10 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, 2 – Harry Maguire, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, 1 – Own Goal, Daniel James, Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

This season has been less than consistent for United but they have been getting the desired results the majority of the time. In the Premier League alone this season, at this stage they are in good form winning four of their last six matches, losing and drawing once. Solskjaer’s side will need to find the form on the pitch to continue getting the results they have been getting but they will need to focus on the defensive issues, which are poor at this moment in time with the club conceding five goals in their last six matches in the league. After Tuesday’s poor performance, United still need to find consistency in order to continue to drive forwards.

Manchester City Goals: 6 – Raheem Sterling, Ferran Torres, 4 – Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, 3 – Gabriel Jesus, 2 – Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne, İlkay Gündoğan, 1 – Nathan Ake, João Cancelo, Liam Delap, Own Goal, Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker

This season, City have not been the team that they have been in the past few seasons. They currently sit behind United in the Premier League table, which may not be the case later on Saturday evening when this match has been played. Guardiola’s side need to find the form that saw them take Liverpool on to stop them from winning the league during the 2018/19, not the team that finished 18 points behind them last season. At this stage of the season, United are City are not all that far behind the league leaders; Tottenham Hotspur, but in the coming weeks, that could all change. Both United and City have a game in hand though.

Team News: Three players on the sidelines for United ahead of the Manchester derby this weekend. City have one player out of action for the foreseeable future.

Phil Jones (knee) has been sidelined since last season and was not named in any squad this season because of that injury. He could he added in January, if he has a future at the club and recovers from the injury. Anthony Martial (groin), Edinson Cavani (muscular) were both injured in the 3-1 victory over West Ham United last weekend and missed the Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig. It is expected that the due will miss the Manchester derby also, but Solskjaer should give an update on their injuries on Friday. United will need a big reaction from this painful week with City being a tricky team to beat, need despite their current form.

Eric Garcia (knock) is the only injury ahead of the derby for City. Sergio Agüero was on the sidelines through injury but he recovered and played in the clubs final Champions League match against Marseille on Wednesday evening. Guardiola’s side will be seeking leapfrog United with a victory at Old Trafford, which did not come for them in the league last season. The fact that United got the better of the Noisy Neighbours both times in the league last season could be a defining factor for the club to aim to prevail at the stadium that United have suffered from poor form in this season. United could also take advantage in this match.

Predicted Starting XI: Rashford and Greenwood to lead the line? Fernandes in behind? Van de Beek, Fred and McTominay in midfield? Henderson to start?

United need to find a way forward. The past few weeks have seen United win matches but concede many needless goals. David De Gea has not risen in stature, especially after that match in Leipzig on Tuesday night. A match that he needed to stand firm in goal. Granted, the conceded goals were not all his mistakes, but he should be performing a lot better. Dean Henderson should start against City. It will be a gamble, but a gamble worth taking. Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford should lead the line, with the possible absences of Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial. In midfield, Bruno Fernandes will play the advanced role with Donny van de Beek, Fred and Scott McTominay also featuring.

Match Prediction: 46 meetings in the Premier League between United and City. United have 23 victories, drawing a further eight matches. Can Solskjaer’s side to the double over City again this season?

United and City have met a total of 46 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 23 times whereas City have won 15 times with eight draws between the two clubs. United have scored a total of 68 goals, winning and scoring three penalties. City have scored a total of 61 goals, winning one penalty and failing to score it. United have kept a total of 16 clean sheets against City, with the Noisy Neighbours keeping just nine clean sheets. In terms of discipline, United have been shown a total of 80 yellow cards and seven red cards with City being shown a total of 105 yellow cards and just one red card.

Last season, United did the Premier League double over City. In the Manchester derby at Old Trafford which was played on the 8 March 2020, it was a 2-0 for United. Anthony Martial opened the scoring in the 30th minute of the match with Scott McTominay scoring United’s second deep into injury time. It was the last time supporters were at the Theatre of Dreams because of the coronavirus pandemic. At the Etihad, it was a 2-1 victory for United with Marcus Rashford taking the lead from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute of the match with Martial doubling the lead six minutes later. Nicolas Otamendi scored a late consolation goal.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City

Written by John Walker

Review & Ratings: Martial on target against City, McTominay scored a stunner; James and Fernandes impact brilliant – City in dire straits

Manchester United beat Manchester City 2-0 at Old Trafford in the second Manchester derby in the Premier League this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be so happy with the performance against Pep Guardiola’s City side. Anthony Martial, assisted by Bruno Fernandes, opened the scoring in the 30th minute with Scott McTominay doubling United’s lead at the death – both goals were scored because of errors by Ederson, who was poor at best at the Theatre of Dreams.

Both United and City started well in the game with both teams having credible chances on goal in the early stages. The breakthrough came on the half our mark though with United going 1-0 through Anthony Martial. Bruno Fernandes played a clever free-kick which was latched onto by the Frenchman which saw Ederson make an error and Martial score his 16th goal of the season, matching his 11 Premier League goal from his debut season and being well on the way to his best season at the club.

City could have equalised in the second half by Sergio Agüero was ruled offside, which was proven by VAR despite David De Gea stopping dead on the attack. At the other end of the pitch, United could have doubled their lead after another Ederson error which Martial could have capitalised from, instead colliding with the far post hitting his knee. The City team were nothing special – you can almost smell the decline of the squad and the manager, who will not be happy.

City were still seeking that elusive equaliser throughout the second half, having 72.3% of the ball throughout the match and not doing much, apart from passing, with the ball. United had less of the ball but mustered 12 shots on goal (six on target) with City having just seven shots on goal (four on target). Late in the game, Ederson got the ball after a United attack, played it out only for Scott McTominay to latch onto the ball and thunder an effort, from distance, into the net. 2-0 win and a double over City.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one made some good saves to deny City despite not having a lot to do with City having few shots on goal throughout the match. The clean sheet will mean so much after recent mistakes. De Gea was really happy to see McTominay score United's second at the death, which after all that pressure, was such a great feeling.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The iceman kept a cool head against City at Old Trafford, with United on the receiving end in the second half of the match with City seeking an equaliser, which never came. Will be happy with an important clean sheet and a decisive set of victories against City this season.

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5 Harry Maguire

The captain put in a good defensive performance against City, after missing the 3-0 victory over Derby County to injury. City were pressuring United in the second half with Maguire holding firm.

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23 Luke Shaw

At times he was like a horse bolting from the stables, which was great to see.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

After missing the last game through injury, reports suggested he was not fit enough to play against City, despite him starting. He really got himself stuck into the game, doing what he does best and helping his team take on the might of City. A good performance. If he was not fully fit, he should give himself a pat on the back. He never faltered, showing why United signed him.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The veteran midfielder did well against City and despite the criticism he has faced recently, he has played a good game, getting forward at times to help his team. Defensively, which was needed for much of the second half, he kept his cool and helped United prevail.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian midfielder was booked in the first half for s dive despite the replay showing Otamendi putting a foot out to catch him. VAR did not change anything either, which is pointless. However, Fred accepted him card and played on, although he was not an inspiration in the side today, doing his job, nothing more or less.

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33 Brandon Williams

The young left-back, or wing-back as he was today, did well against City up until Mahrez came on which added pressure to his position and his inexperience got the better of him. Despite that, he did not shame himself or his club. He was replaced by Bailly in the 78th minute.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The man is a genius. He always seems to want the ball, has his head up and wants to get the better of his opposition time and time again. He will be a bargain for United based on his eight appearances for the club so far. His assist today gives him his third, matching his goal tally so far too. A revelation.

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Review & Ratings: Martial on target against City, McTominay scored a stunner; James and Fernandes impact brilliant – City in dire straits

James did well against City, on his return from a knock. His pace its his biggest asset right now. He got himself into some good positions and could have opened the scoring himself. In the second half, he was still pushing to better his goal and assists tally this season, which was good to see. He was still pressing City late in the second half, during their onslaught to find an equaliser.

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9 Anthony Martial

The Frenchman had a good game against City, opening the scoring in the 30th minute after a decent free-kick from Fernandes set him up to get the better of Ederson, who made an error allowing him to score. He nearly got another in the second half, colliding with the post, but recovering from the knock. Martial was replaced by McTominay in the 78th minute of the match.

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Substitutes

3 Eric Bailly

Replaced Williams 78'. Came on to change the game with Williams being hounded by Mahrez. He had a few defensive involvements, as would have been expected.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced Martial 78'. It was backs against the wall for United for much of the second half and McTominay held well with few chances getting through. Not all United players need to be world class and McTominay gets what is needed and pretty much does it. In stoppage time, he capitalised from ANOTHER Ederson mistake, scoring United's second goal, at the death, from distance. Cracking stuff.

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Review & Ratings: Martial on target against City, McTominay scored a stunner; James and Fernandes impact brilliant – City in dire straits

Replaced Fernandes 88'. Came on to give United some attacking impetus in the late stages. It was nothing special for him as he never got on the scoresheet. However, he will be happy with an important win.

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Goals: Anthony Martial 30′, Scott McTominay 90+6′

Assists: Bruno Fernandes 30′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Fred, Williams (Bailly 78′); Fernandes (Ighalo 88′); James, Martial (McTominay 78′)

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Tuanzebe; Mata; Greenwood

Bookings: Fred 42′, Harry Maguire 90+5′; Fernandinho 29′, Rodri 30′, Joao Cancelo 59′, Gabriel Jesus 90+8′

Confirmed Starting XI: Martial and James lead the line against City, Fernandes behind them; McTominay, Greenwood and Ighalo on the bench – No De Bruyne for City

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action this afternoon, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford. Back in December, during a big week for United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat both City and Tottenham Hotspur in 2-1 scorelines, which was not something many expected to happen. United has faced City twice since then, losing 3-1 and winning 1-0 with both wins against City at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side will come to the Theatre of Dreams full of confidence after winning the Carabao Cup for the third time in a row last weekend, which is not really a big bragging right considering most City fans did not treat it like it was a major trophy when they did not win it. But now, it seems to be something to brag about – how strange. United need to beat City at Old Trafford, which could see them do the double over them.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Fred, Williams;

Fernandes;

James, Martial

Substitutes:

Romero; Bailly, Tuanzebe; Mata, McTominay; Ighalo, Greenwood

Manchester City:

Ederson;

Cancelo, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Zinchenko;

B. Silva, Rodri, Gündogan;

Foden, Agüero, Sterling

Substitutes:

Bravo; Walker, Mendy, Garcia; D. Silva, Mahrez; Jesus

United and City have played a total of 181 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1891. United have won 75 times, drawn 52 times and lost 54 times. This will be the fourth match between the two clubs this season; United have won twice, both at the Etihad, losing once, at Old Trafford. Solskjaer’s side could do a league double over City with a win in this match. United have lost their last three home matches against City.

In the reverse fixture which was played in December, United won 2-1 with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring the goals for United with a late consolation from Nicolás Otamendi. In the other match which United won, played in the Carabao Cup, it was a 1-0 victory with Nemanja Matić scoring the only goal of the game. The 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford, also in the Carabao Cup saw goals from Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal before Rashford’s consolation.

How United could look against City in the Manchester derby; Martial, Ighalo and Fernandes to cause the damage, McTominay, Fred and Matic to boss the midfield?

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford. Back in December, during a big week for United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat both City and Tottenham Hotspur in 2-1 scorelines, which was not something many expected to happen. United has faced City twice since then, losing 3-1 and winning 1-0 with both wins against City at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side will come to the Theatre of Dreams full of confidence after winning the Carabao Cup for the third time in a row last weekend, which is not really a big bragging right considering most City fans did not treat it like it was a major trophy when they did not win it. But now, it seems to be something to brag about – how strange. United need to beat City at Old Trafford, which could see them do the double over them.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Manchester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has been hot and cold this season. There are times when he shows that he is nearing the form he had which helped label him as one of the best goalkeepers in world football but at other times, he looks like that rookie goalkeeper that signed for the club just under a decade ago. De Gea will need to ensure his mistakes are behind him – especially when coming up against City, who have an eye for a goal or two and can make that happen against United. With both teams well out of the title race – City being 22 points behind Liverpool, pride is all that both will be playing for but United also need to break into the top four this season to earn UEFA Champions League football next season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

The defence have been playing well recently with United on a nine match unbeaten run right now, scoring 22 goals but only conceding two, keeping seven clean sheets in all competitions they have played in; the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire missed the 3-0 victory over Derby County on Thursday evening with Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly both playing. These four players could become the best four-man defence United has at the club at this current time with Bailly and Maguire forming to become a competent central defensive partnership. United will need to be at their best against City. They know what could happen but so do City, being on the end of two defeats against United already this season.

Midfield: Fred, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay

The midfield trio of Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay is the strongest midfield United can play at this moment in time. When Paul Pogba is back and performing, one of these three players could miss out, two if the formation changes with Bruno Fernandes playing further forward at this moment in time, which might just be because of injuries to the squad right now. Recently, Fred and McTominay have scored three goals between them with Matic getting much more involved from his deeper midfield position. With these three playing behind Fernandes, Martial and Ighalo, the defence will be safer and there will be plenty of work linking the defence to the midfield and attack, which has been missing for much of the season due to injury, in the most part.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder has been in top form since he arrived at the club in January. In seven appearances so far, Bruno Fernandes has three goals and two assists, which is good to see. The ability he puts into his performances shows that United were missing out when they did not buy him last summer and if that happened, this season could have been much different. However, we can only think about what could happen now he is here. He is unplayable on his day and this being the first time he will be playing in a local derby, he could be a deciding factor in the game. The creativity he offers shows just what he can do with might be something Pep Guardiola needs to structure his team for.

Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo could be the duo to carry United forward at this stage of the season with both players getting involved with the goals this season. In the past week alone, the Nigerian striker has scored three goals and Martial scoring 15 this season, which is close to his best season at the club – his first season which saw him score 17 goals with 11 in the Premier League along – he has 10 so far this season. Ighalo knows how to score a goal and hold up the ball with Martial using his trickery to get the better of his opposition. It could be a good move for Solskjaer.

Substitutes: Sergio Romero; Tim Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Daniel James; Mason Greenwood

Solskjaer will need to have capable players on the bench. With two top players on the sidelines through injury, he will have to make do with the squad he has – for now. Sergio Romero, after keeping another clean sheet on Thursday will move to the bench with Tim Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams adding to the depth of defensive players on the bench – they may be needed at some point. Juan Mata and Daniel James could be the only midfield players on the bench for this game with Mason Greenwood the only outright attacking player available, especially if both Martial and Ighalo are played from the start, which is how it should be.

Preview: Solskjaer seeking to do the league double over City; Martial, Ighalo and Fernandes to make their mark in the big game?

Manchester United -v- Manchester City

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 8 March 2020, KO 16:30 GMT

Referee: Mike Dean Assistants: Darren Cann, Dan Robathan Fourth Official: Anthony Taylor 

VAR: Andre Marriner Assistant VAR: Stephen Child

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Sunday afternoon, welcoming Manchester City to Old Trafford. Back in December, during a big week for United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat both City and Tottenham Hotspur in 2-1 scorelines, which was not something many expected to happen. United has faced City twice since then, losing 3-1 and winning 1-0 with both wins against City at the Etihad.

Pep Guardiola’s side will come to the Theatre of Dreams full of confidence after winning the Carabao Cup for the third time in a row last weekend, which is not really a big bragging right considering most City fans did not treat it like it was a major trophy when they did not win it. But now, it seems to be something to brag about – how strange. United need to beat City at Old Trafford, which could see them do the double over them.

Form: United unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions with City unbeaten in their last five; United has won four and draw twice in the last six with City winning five and losing once.

Manchester United: WDWWDW

Derby County 3-0 W, Everton 1-1 D, Club Brugge 5-0 W, Watford 3-0 W, Club Brugge 1-1 D, Chelsea 2-0 W

Manchester City: WWWWWL

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 W, Aston Villa 2-1 W, Real Madrid 2-1 W, Leicester City 1-0 W, West Ham United 2-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 L

Top Scorers: 75 goals scored in all competitions for United this season, which is not great but it is impressive considering the injuries and the lack of creativity for most of the season.

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Anthony Martial, 11 – Mason Greenwood, 4 – Scott McTominay, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United are undefeated in their last nine matches, last losing 2-0 against Burnley at the end of January. Solskjaer’s side has scored 22 goals in all competitions in these nine matches, conceding two goals and keeping seven clean sheets – which shows improvement at the right part of the season. Now United need to keep chase on Chelsea to fight for a top four place in the Premier League this season to guarantee UEFA Champions League football next season and they still have two chances to get that.

Manchester City Goals: 23 – Sergio Agüero, 20 – Raheem Sterling, 18 – Gabriel Jesus, 9 – Riyad Mahrez, 7 – Bernardo Silva, 5 – Ilkay Gündogan, 4 – Rodri, 3 – Phil Foden, Nicolás Otamendi, David Silva, 1 – João Cancelo, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Kyle Walker, Oleksandr Zinchenko

City seem to be well ahead of United, despite their own downfall this season – which was partly down to the way the club is run and has seen them banned from the Champions League for two seasons, although they will appeal. City may think they are the best thing since sliced bread but they sit 22 points behind Liverpool, albeit with a game in hand. That is not something to brag about. The big spenders have ben made to look inferior by Liverpool this season, even with the leaguer leaders spending less money – good for football?

Team News: Rashford, Pogba and Grant to miss City match, James, Maguire and Wan-Bissaka could be involved – Fosu-Mensah lacking match fitness; Laporte and Sane could miss out whereas De Bruyne could be back in time.

Solskjaer will be without Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba and Lee Grant our to injury. Daniel James has missed the last two matches, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka missed the last match – the trio could be involved in the squad to face City and the manager seemed optimistic this happening. Tim Fosu-Mensah lacks match fitness despite playing for the U23s in their victory over Stoke City at the start of the week.

When asked if Harry Maguire could be involved against City at Old Trafford on Sunday, Solskjaer said:

“Well, he’s touch and go because he rolled his ankle but, hopefully, he’ll recover quickly. I wasn’t going to rest him today, I didn’t give him a day off birthday-wise but I hope he’ll be fit.”

Solskjaer was asked whether Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be involved against City, saying:

“I hope so, yes, but none of them have been training yet since the last game, so we’ve got to look at them on Saturday probably because tomorrow is a recovery day.”

City will be without both Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane because of injury, however, Guardiola seems optimistic over the fitness of Kevin De Bruyne, who could be back for this fixture. City will be seeking to stop United from a Premier League double over them this season, winning 3-1 at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi final first leg, a competition they won for the third time in three seasons last Sunday.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial and Ighalo leading the line against City with Fernandes just behind them? Could this be the way to do the double over the noisy neighbours?

Solskjaer could have problems ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby with three players as doubts; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James. I think both Wan-Bissaka and Maguire will start with James on the bench. United should have a strong team to face City with Bruno Fernandes pulling the strings in an attacking sense with Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic fortifying the midfield. Anthony Martial and Odion Ighalo could cause the damage in front of goal to get the win.

Match Prediction: United have beaten City twice this season, both at the Etihad but in their last three matches against City at Old Trafford, United are winless and in need of a good result on Sunday.

United and City have played a total of 181 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1891. United have won 75 times, drawn 52 times and lost 54 times. This will be the fourth match between the two clubs this season; United have won twice, both at the Etihad, losing once, at Old Trafford. Solskjaer’s side could do a league double over City with a win in this match. United have lost their last three home matches against City.

In the reverse fixture which was played in December, United won 2-1 with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scoring the goals for United with a late consolation from Nicolás Otamendi. In the other match which United won, played in the Carabao Cup, it was a 1-0 victory with Nemanja Matić scoring the only goal of the game. The 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford, also in the Carabao Cup saw goals from Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez and an Andreas Pereira own goal before Rashford’s consolation.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City

Review & Ratings: Matic winner kept United's winning run, Fred Man of the Match, Maguire a class act, De Gea getting back to form

Manchester United beat Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad in the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday evening. Nemanja Matic scored the only goal of the game, was booked early in the second half then sent off 25 minutes later. United had improved from the first leg but it was not enough as they ended up losing 3-2 on aggregate. United will now concentrate on Wolverhampton Wanderers, facing them for the third time in a month on Saturday.

City started the game well, pressing United from the very start, having a few chances to open the scoring with David De Gea making a string of good saved to deny the noisy neighbours. United pressed forward at times and in the 35th minute of the match, they took the lead through Nemanja Matic. Fred took a free-kick which was cleared with Matic getting the ball beating Claudio Bravo at the near post.

Seven minutes after United’s goal, Raheem Sterling had the ball in the net after Kevin De Bruyne played the ball across the face of the goal with Sterling beating De Gea from close-range. However, despite looking onside initially, a short VAR review took place with the offside decision. It was good for United, who needed another goal to make it a 3-3 draw on aggregate. Matic was sent off in the 76th minute, a second yellow card.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one had a good game against City, making quite a few good saves to deny City from scoring. It was the De Gea of old. Perhaps shining through at the right time with United seeking to make this season much better.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Getting Bailly back in the team cannot come fast enough. Lindelof seemed too nervous at times and shaky at others. Not what any defence needs. Improvement is needed if he wants to keep his place in the starting XI.

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5 Harry Maguire

I think this was Maguire's best match for United. Sunday's victory much have shown him what United were capable of, even plagued by injuries. He was commanding, like any leader should be. Should be partnered by Bailly though to see how the duo do together.

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23 Luke Shaw

Played on the left of a back three. Not a role he has played before. His performance was alright, considering.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right-back was not at his best at the start of the game but soon found his feet. He was booked in added time for a bad tackle.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian was the engine of this team, as he has been recently. He ran his socks off and tried to do all he could to in order to get a victory in this match and reach the final at Wembley.

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31 Nemanja Matic

The Serbian midfielder scored the only goal of the game against City, was booked at the start of the second half then found himself sent off late in the second half for a second booking.

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33 Brandon Williams

Gave Walker some problems at times. A good player to have in this team. He's definitely the main left-back at the club when United play four at the back.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Poor. Seemed to be the target of shouting from the gaffer. When Fernandes is at the club and playing, Lingard will be seeing much of his football either from that stands or on the television at home.

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11 Mason Greenwood

The 18-year-old had little impact against City but went off with a slight injury at half time.

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9 Anthony Martial

Still not convinced that he's a striker. He's a winger. I don't care what Martial FC say, they are mostly clueless. He needs to do so much more otherwise, he's going to find himself occupying a position on the bench as Rashford is better than him on the left. He put plenty of work into his game though, despite the low output.

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Substitutes

Review & Ratings: Matic winner kept United's winning run, Fred Man of the Match, Maguire a class act, De Gea getting back to form

Replaced Greenwood 46'. He's not a game changer, yet. He used his pace to help take the game to City but there was no real end product. He's been relied upon too much this season and needs a break. The winter break might just do that after this weekends matches.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Lingard 65'. The Belgian-born Brazilian played his part in the game but in terms of bringing something to the table, he fell short. His mind may have been to get United another goal but his ability is still playing catchup.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Shaw 79'. Came on too late to be that decisive player in this match. City had their backs to the wall and their squad quality helped to get the better of United, despite losing.

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Goals: Nemanja Matic 35′

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw (Mata 79′); Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Matic, Williams; Lingard (Pereira 65′); Greenwood (James 46′), Martial

Substitutes Not Used: Romero; Bailly, Jones, Dalot

Bookings: Rodri 57′, Nicolas Otamendi 87′; Nemanja Matic 51′, 76′ s/o, Aaron Wan-Bissaka 90+4′

copyright: JW