What a day for all the Red Devils! Manchester is back in red, as United have defeated City on Saturday, in the big derby which was resolved by a second-half turnaround from Erik Ten Hag’s side.
Manchester United won 2-1 in the span of just five minutes. In fact, it was City who scored the opener through Jack Grealish, right at the hour mark. But that lead did not bring a full swing of Pep Guardiola’s side as usual, but a comeback from the Devils. First it was Bruno Fernandes who scored the opener which was awarded by VAR following offside controversy, while Marcus Rashford completed the turnaround with his strike after 82 minutes. Here is what we learned from the big clash at Old Trafford.
Rashford Knows No Limits In 2023
We are yet to see a post-World Cup match in which at least one of Manchester United’s goals will not be scored by Marcus Rashford. The incredible England international has been the goalscorer in every of the seven United matches since 21 December. He scored now eight goals and had two assists as well, while against Man City he proved this is his true breakout season at the very top level. Rashford’s performances have been great throughout the campaign, not just in terms of goals and assists, showing the club they should tie him down with a new long-term contract as soon as possible. This version of Rashford is the one United could continue building their team with.
Shaw Shines At Centre-Back
While United were turning around this match from nowhere, scoring two goals against the run of play – when they had better opportunities in the first-half when the scoreline was still 0-0 – it was Luke Shaw that was doing his diligent work in the centre of defence. The left-back had to move at his recently new position, with Ten Hag choosing to keep Lindelof, Martinez and Maguire all on the bench. With Shaw, United got more pace in this area, while also allowing movements in possesion towards the left lank, with Malacia going forwards – due to Wan-Bissaka’s eagerness to stay more defensively disciplined. With Shaw at centre-back, United stopped the hottest striker in the world Erling Haaland, restricting him to mere two shots (none of which went on target) and meager 20 touches in 90 minutes of play. Even Bruno Fernandes jokingly hailed Shaw on Instagram as United’s latest amazing January signing.
A Curious Look At The Premier League Standings
And last, but not the least, after 18 matches, Manchester United have 12 wins and 38 points, just one point less than City. Arsenal are six points ahead of United at the top, with a game in hand. There is nothing to suggest United could be in a title race, but considering City definitely are and United are breathing by their necks, it is easy to see just how great things have been under Erik Ten Hag. United fans should definitely not lose their minds about potential title race just yet, but everything we have seen so far this season suggests the Devils are going towards the very top. If Ten Hag continues to grow this team and the club improves the squad in the summer, then this season could be a nice preview of what kind of things could wait this team.