Manchester United Fend Off Manchester City for Nervy 2-1 Derby Win

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIDecember 7, 2019

Manchester United's English striker Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United survived a nervy finish to beat Manchester City 2-1 in the Premier League at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the first half and caused the champions all sorts of problems with their pace on the counter-attack.

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot on 23 minutes after being tripped by Bernardo Silva, and he came close to a second five minutes later when another effort hit the crossbar.

The Red Devils deservedly doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark through Anthony Martial, who combined with Daniel James and squeezed a low shot past Ederson at his near post.

Manchester City dominated possession in the second half but had to wait until the 85th minute to find a way past David De Gea in the visitors' goal.

Nicolas Otamendi powered Riyad Mahrez's corner home from close range to make it 2-1, but it would prove only a consolation for Pep Guardiola's side.

The visitors made two changes for the match, bringing in Martial and Luke Shaw for Mason Greenwood and Ashley Young, while John Stones came in for Otamendi for Manchester City:

Goal shared the two teams:

Goal @goal

🚨 Derby teams are out 🚨 Predictions? 🔵🔴 #MCIMUN https://t.co/zuQChSVVxf

In a frantic start, Manchester United hit City on the break and tested Ederson twice inside the opening 10 minutes. James fired straight at the Brazilian after being set up by Rashford, while the goalkeeper also had to be alert to stick out a foot to block from Jesse Lingard.

Ederson saved again from Martial before Rashford finally sent the Brazilian the wrong way from the penalty spot. Bernardo conceded the foul with a clumsy challenge that was not given originally by referee Anthony Taylor but awarded after a VAR check:

James Ducker @TelegraphDucker

Not quite sure how Anthony Taylor missed it in the first place as it was that clear a penalty but in this instance that’s an example of VAR doing its job. Rashford converts the penalty. 1-0 to United #mcfc #mufc

The chances continued to flow for the Red Devils in a dominant opening spell. Rashford fired wide and then sent another effort onto the crossbar with Ederson well beaten.

Manchester United's second goal arrived after more good combination play between Martial and James in which the Frenchman turned inside the area and tucked a low shot past Ederson.

Melissa Reddy @MelissaReddy_

#MUFC are absolutely shredding #MCFC with ease at the moment and are 2-0 up courtesy of Anthony Martial. And they've missed more chances than the hosts have created!

Pep Guardiola's side did come back into the match toward the end of the first half. David Silva had their first shot on target after 34 minutes but put it straight at De Gea.

Kevin De Bruyne then floated in an inviting cross for Gabriel Jesus but could only watch as the striker sent a flying header wide of the target.

Manchester City also had two penalty appeals for handball turned down in the first half.

Victor Lindelof was not penalised after the ball twice hit his hand as he slid in to challenge Jesus, and Fred also escaped punishment just before half-time after he slid in to block De Bruyne's cross.

The Athletic's Sam Lee provided official guidance from the Football Association to explain why neither was given:

Sam Lee @SamLee

Like I say, it looked a penalty to me but the bottom point here means it's not going to be given. The other points cover the Lindelof one (hit his torso first) https://t.co/hFMPH8JKNd

Manchester City continued to press after half-time but were still vulnerable to the counter. Martial led an attack with bodies in support on another break, but the Frenchman picked the wrong ball, and Kyle Walker drew a foul from Rashford.

At the other end of the pitch, Manchester United needed Aaron Wan-Bissaka to deny Raheem Sterling, while Rodri forced a diving De Gea to tip a powerful shot over the crossbar.

There were also some ugly scenes from the stands when supporters threw objects at Fred and Lingard midway through the second half (video UK only):

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

Ugly scenes at the Etihad Stadium...😬 Manchester United midfielder Fred is hit by projectiles from the home crowd as he prepares to take a corner. Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League now or follow online here: https://t.co/UNE1aW8GZi https://t.co/FoLTTUDtHQ

City finally pulled a goal back with just five minutes of normal time remaining. Substitute Otamendi beat Harry Maguire and Wan-Bissaka to Mahrez's corner from the right and planted a powerful header past De Gea.

The goal set up a tense ending as City pressed hard for an equaliser, but the Red Devils hung on through five minutes of stoppage time for an impressive win that left the champions 14 points behind leaders Liverpool.


What's Next?

Manchester City are away at Dinamo Zagreb in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. Manchester United host AZ Alkmaar in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.