Manchester United have won for the second time against Manchester City this season, but in the end this one did not matter much, as the Devils got out of the League Cup semifinals due to a heavy loss in the first leg. In the end, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side earned a 1-0 victory through Nemanja Matic’s lovely strike, but the horrific first half at Old Trafford few weeks back was enough for Pep Guardiola’s side to reach the final against Aston Villa.
Here are the things we learned from this one.
Ole Does Something No One Did
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been heavily criticized this season and for a good reason too, but he needs to be credited where credit is due. He managed to do something no one did before and that is beat Pep Guardiola’s Man City twice at the Etihad. This was his second such win, as the first one came in early December, but in the end that will not mean much.
Man United crashed out of the competition two steps away from winning silverware and also the first win in the league will not matter much either if in the end the Devils do not reach the Champions League qualification.
Nemanja Matic Shines Before Getting Sent Off
This was Nemanja Matic’s night, in every sense. The Serbian has been one of the best Man United players in the past month, if not the best, as he shined since returning from injury. Tonight he shined again, this time with a wonderful strike after 35 minutes to score the only goal of the night. That was good in itself, but he was also good in midfield, until that 76th minute when he earned his second yellow card.
He made a foul on Ilkay Gundogan stopping a dangerous counterattack. He realized that that was it, but looking at the bigger picture, Man United have got themselves a player they thought they have lost. That is definitely a positive.
De Gea Brilliant To Earn Clean Sheet
Man United kept a clean sheet against Man City which had not happened in almost three years and that was down to some brilliant saves from David De Gea. It was great to see him do well in such a big game after a few shaky months, but tonight he made four saves to stop City from scoring.
It was maybe a bit surprising to see him start instead of Sergio Romero getting his cup appearance, but in the end it worked out well for the Spaniard.
Lingard Struggles Against Real Opposition
Jesse Lingard started against Tranmere Rovers last weekend and he scored, his first goal in domestic competitions in 366 days, but this time around he did not enjoy the game. Instead of a struggling League One side, Lingard was up against the reigning champions (they still are) and he did not do so well this time around. He squandered one really good chance that could have helped United to at least reach the extra-time and he was also ineffective and unable to keep possession.