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EPL: City ease past United


Manchester City restored their six-point cushion at the Premier League summit with a dominating 4-1 win against their neighbours Manchester United. 

Ralf Rangnick’s men have been unbeaten in the league since January 3, going into this tie.

But, that invincible streak did little to boost their league aspirations.

United under pressure

Following their 1-0 defeat to Wolves, Manchester United won only four of their next eight matches and shared the spoils in the other four. 

The pressure on the Red Devils piled on as Arsenal beat Watford earlier in the evening and displaced United from the fourth spot.

The Gunners have three matches in hand, which pushes United further on the back feet in the top four race. 

But, they had plenty of reasons to be hopeful about their trip to the Etihad.

It has been a lucky hunting ground for United lately, having won five of their last seven away trips in all competitions.

On top of that, City have shown some signs of fragility in recent weeks, losing to Spurs and narrowly winning against a struggling Everton side. 

City dominate from start

But, Pep Guardiola’s men didn’t take much time to set the match’s tone. It took only five minutes for City to unlock a United defence that has come under much scrutiny this season. 

Raphael Varane was unavailable for selection again as he tested positive for Covid-19.

The Frenchman has now missed 14 matches for United since signing for them this summer. Luke Shaw also couldn’t make the trip because of covid.

Victor Lindelof partnered with Harry Maguire at the heart of the United defence.

The lack of chemistry between the two seemed evident from the start, and soon United had to pay the price. 

De Bruyne draws first blood and second

Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva picked the lock with some nifty one-two between them.

Silva played the ball into the box, and Kevin de Bruyne hammered it home, shrugging off his marker Alex Telles with ease. 

United responded well as Fred forced a save out of Ederson at the other end of the pitch before Jadon Sancho marked his return to the Etihad with a goal.

Aaron Wan Bissaka initiated a swift counter-attack that sliced through the City defence like a knife through butter.

It ended with a marvellous Paul Pogba cross-field switch duly put away by Sancho. 

With the match returning to a stalemate halfway through the first half, it briefly seemed to be an affair.

But City struck back immediately as De Bruyne bagged his second of the match. 

David de Gea denied Phil Foden and the rebound fell to Bernardo Silva.

Silva could not find his way past the crowd in the box, but De Bruyne picked up the scraps and fired home his second. 

United fall away in second half

City went to the interval with a deserving lead. De Bruyne, Foden, and Riyad Mahrez all had a sniff around the United goal after going 2-1 up.

Manchester United also had a chance at equalising after Sancho found himself in the same spot he scored his first goal from. But, this time, the 21-year–old could not keep his shot on target. 

The second half was utterly one-sided as Man United players seemed drained out.

Riyad Mahrez bagged a brace to add more to United’s woes and condemn the visitors to a humiliating 4-1 defeat. 

Tough road ahead

The run of fixtures doesn’t get any easy for Manchester United as they face fellow top-four contenders Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Manchester City will not be in Premier League action until next Tuesday, when they visit Selhurst Park to face an in-form Crystal Palace side. 

 

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