Manchester United suffered another humiliating derby-day defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, as the champions came away from Old Trafford with a 3-0 win.
After a competitive opening half an hour, City took total control of proceedings, with the fluid midfield knocking the ball around United's static equivalent. It was the same players who netted in the last season's league win at the Etihad that were on target for City on Sunday, as Erling Haaland grabbed two and Phil Foden scored in the latter stages of the second half to compound a miserable day for Erik ten Hag's side.
It was a first period in which City retained possession well, but seemed wary of over-committing and allowing space in behind for United to attack into. A second-minute dribble and shot from Scott McTominay was an early demonstration of the Red Devils’ threat in transitional moments.
Fernandes also fired wide after Rasmus Hojlund stretched the City back four and centred the ball, while McTominay again tested Ederson when he latched onto a long pass from Marcus Rashford’s long ball in behind.
But after an even first 30 minutes, the game changed midway through the opening 45 minutes, when Hojlund grappled with Rodri and held onto the Spaniard in the box. Missed by most in real time, Paul Tierney’s VAR check was something of a surprise, but the referee correctly pointed to the spot.
Haaland stepped up and, ignoring the chants enquiring about his father's health, dispatched the ball beyond Andre Onana. City had showed encouraging moments prior to the goal - such as Foden's header, that Onana frantically cleared - but the penalty changed the flow of the game, with Julian Alvarez’s free-kick tipped wide, while Onana’s full-length sprawl kept out Haaland’s header at the back post from Bernardo Silva’s lofted cross.
Yet, when the same two combined just after the break, the Norwegian didn't miss for a second time. Haaland had all the time in world to coolly plant his header into the back of the net and give City a two-goal lead - nothing Onana could do about this one.
City’s dominance only increased as the excellent Jack Grealish went close from wide areas on three separate occasions, Julian Alvarez curled one wide from distance and then Bernardo Silva’s effort was held. Onana, United’s best performer on the day, came flying out of his goal to deny Haaland a hat-trick on 71 minutes, but it was only a matter of time until the champions netted a third.
It was Foden who grabbed it, after Rodri’s shot from distance was palmed wide by Onana, and as Jonny Evans switched off, Haaland nipped in behind and centred the ball for a grateful Foden to tap in.
The end to the game was a scrappy, slightly ill-tempered affair, with a clearly embarrassed United resorting to physical methods as they vented their frustrations at another derby where the chasm in class was evident.
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