Manchester City eased to a derby day win at Old Trafford as the blues moved second in the Premier League table and increased the pressure on United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
A 6th minute own goal by Eric Bailley was added to by Bernardo Silva on the stroke of half-time as City ended a run of four Premier League games without victory against United, with three of those ending in defeat.
A lot of the pre-match hype was surrounding the role of Cristiano Ronaldo and the future of Norwegian manager Solskjaer, who has come under scrutiny since the reds had won just one of their last five Premier League matches prior to Saturday’s derby. And Portuguese star Ronaldo was rumoured to be looking for a move to City and, despite the blues not making any official bid, snubbed playing for a Manchester side to return to Old Trafford.
And how City will be delighted they didn’t sign the winger. It seems to be a case of if Ronaldo doesn’t turn up, then neither do United. And that was clear on Saturday lunchtime as City completely nullified the threat from the former Madrid and Juventus man.
The blues record at Old Trafford is well known, but in the last ten years, the faithful had hope on derby day, and the annual dream of beating United on their own patch turned into a reality.
City were all over the reds from the first to the final whistle and forced home keeper David de Gea into a series of stops to prevent the scoreline from matching or even beating the one Liverpool produced the last time United stepped out at Old Trafford.
By that time, City were already 1-0 to the good after Bailley’s attempted interception and clearance of Joao Cancelo’s cross found the back of the United goal. City had threatened just moment prior, but when the ball came out to Cancelo, his cross was met by Bailley, who watched on in horror as the ball sliced off his shin and beyond de Gea.
Cancelo, Kevin de Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus were all denied by the Spanish shot-stopper, who even had to prevent Victor Lindelof from becoming only the second ever United player to score a derby own goal in the Premier League.
Ronaldo did wake up briefly in the first half and saw a shot saved by Ederson, before Bernardo secured the points with another derby goal.
Again, it was the ever-impressive Cancelo who provided the assist, finding his international compatriot at the far post. It looked more of a hopeful ball into the box than a deliberate attempt to find Silva, but the stretching midfielder managed to get his foot on the ball and tap past de Gea.
Silva was unsure whether the ball had gone in, and a quick glance at the goal confirmed City were two goals to the good.
Sensing United were no threat, City relaxed in the second half, preferring not to exert themselves, inviting United to attack so they could hit them on the counter. However, United gave nothing in return and seemed content to accept a 2-0 defeat. Three times in the past, United have come back from 2-0 down to beat the blues 3-2, but there was no fight, and City were cruising to victory.
Stepping things up a little, Phil Foden hit the post and Gabriel Jesus, who said before the match that he wanted a derby day goal, looked to have been fouled in the area towards the end of the match. VAR decided against the award, but in truth, it would have just rubbed salt into United’s already gaping wounds.
In the end, City’s superior class shone through, and gave manager Pep Guardiola the perfect response to losing at home to Crystal Palace last weekend. The blues now go into the international break and return two weeks on Sunday with a home match against Everton.
Final Score: Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City