Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City: Player ratings as Rashford winner caps dramatic comeback

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Manchester United scored twice in four second-half minutes to turn their Premier League clash against Manchester City on its head.

Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes scored in quick succession as Manchester United came from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 in a dramatic derby at Old Trafford.

Just four minutes separated Erik ten Hag’s two tries as Fernandes first equalized with a controversial goal to cancel out Jack Grealish’s opener.

There was no arguing United’s winner though, Rashford poking home from close range after Alejandro Garnach’s cross.

The win moved United to just a point behind their arch-rivals while also giving Arsenal the opportunity to move eight points clear with victory over Tottenham on Sunday.

In-form United had the first chance after capitalizing on Bernardo Silva’s loose pass, Christian Eriksen feeding Fernandes who dragged an effort wide of the target.

City got off to a poor start with sloppy passing during the opening half-hour, which encouraged the home fans, although United could not capitalize.

Rashford went closest when he was denied first-time by Manuel Akanji after rounding Ederson, with the Brazil keeper then lunging at the England star’s feet after Eriksen sent him through on goal.

Pep Guardiola shuffled his pack 11 minutes into the second half, replacing Phil Foden with Grealish, who took just three minutes to make his mark and head home Kevin de Bruyne’s chipped cross at the far post.

United equalized in questionable fashion, Fernandes curling past Ederson while Rashford, who was in an offside position, raced onto a pass but failed to touch the ball, with the initial offside decision overturned by VAR.

And there was more drama soon after when Garnach’s low cross was turned away by Rashford to put United within touching distance of City in the Premier League after a ninth straight win in all competitions.

Man Utd player ratings (4-3-3)

Manchester United celebrate Marcus Rashford's winner against Manchester City
Manchester United celebrate Marcus Rashford’s winner against Manchester City / Matthew Ashton – AMA/GettyImages

GK: David de Gea – 6/10 – Could hardly be blamed for the close-range concession against Grealish.

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 6/10 – Muzzled Phil Foden’s threat down the flank so well that the City winger was hooked. Had less success against Grealish.

CB: Raphael Varane – 7/10 – Took few risks when City were able to eke their way into United’s box.

CB: Luke Shaw – 8/10 – Up against the towering and intimidating figure of Erling Haaland in an unnatural position, Shaw did remarkably well to limit the Premier League top scorer’s impact.

LB: Tyrell Malacia – 7/10 – Eagerly and aggressively snapping at Riyad Mahrez’s heels.

CM: Casemiro – 8/10 – On hand to lend an extra broom when sweeping up City’s attacks. The Brazilian couldn’t stop De Bruyne from teeing up the opening goal but crucially toed the ball away from Haaland.

CM: Fred – 7/10 – A rare lapse in concentration was ruthlessly punished after spending so much of the match as close and uncomfortable as a hair shirt.

AM: Christian Eriksen – 6/10 – Shadowed Rodri off the ball but was quick to shuttle it forward in transition.

RW: Bruno Fernandes – 8/10 – Alongside his crisply taken equaliser, Fernandes was the chief delivery source for United’s counter-attacks, sling-shotting the ball whenever he spotted a forward dart.

ST: Anthony Martial – 3/10 – Amid the fury of a derby, Martial’s nonchalant approach grates even more than usual. Even the Old Trafford crowd called for a bit more urgency at times before he was replaced at half-time.

LW: Marcus Rashford – 8/10 – Poised on the shoulder of the deepest sky blue shirt, desperate to burst behind City’s backline. Passed up a raft of chances before finally tucking in.


Substitutes

Antony – 5/10 – Lining up through the middle, Antony struggled to progress beyond a nuisance.

Alejandro Garnacho – 7/10 – Wriggled away from Ake to set up Rashford.

Harry Maguire – N/A

Lisandro Martinez – N/A

Scott McTominay – N/A


Manager

Erik ten Hag – 7/10 – Set his team up to strike on the counter. After missing a number of chances through this route in the first half, his confident side found a way through in the second.


Man City player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Ederson – 4/10 – Recklessly charged off his line but wasn’t deterred by that error, expertly rushing out to smother Rashford three minutes later.

RB: Kyle Walker – 7/10 – As swift as ever on the cover but forced to retreat plenty of times. Increasingly ventured forward after the interval.

CB: Manuel Akanji – 5/10 – United specifically targeted the space behind Akanji who had some shaky moments but was hardly a liability for the reigning champions.

CB: Nathan Ake – 7/10 – Made little fuss with what defensive work he had to do.

LB: Joao Cancelo – 5/10 – Grew into the game as he was given more licence to drift laterally as well as vertically.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 8/10 – When De Bruyne was given a breath of space, he invariably showed why Ten Hag devised a specific plan for him.

CM: Rodri – 8/10 – So utterly fundamental to City’s game on and off the ball, metronomically dictating play from the base of midfield.

CM: Bernardo Silva – 6/10 – Dropping deeper than Rodri at times to collect the ball off his centre-backs while also buzzing forward to lead the first line of City’s press.

RW: Riyad Mahrez – 5/10 – Came off second-best more often than not in his personal duels with Malacia, needed the help of his teammates to bypass the fullback.

ST: Erling Haaland – 4/10 – Feeding on scraps, Haaland was just as uninvolved as normal but without his customary goal.

LW: Phil Foden – 3/10 – Skirted anonymously around the fringes of the contest.


Substitutes

Jack Grealish – 7/10 – For the second Premier League game in a row, Grealish came off the bench to change the game.


Manager

Pep Guardiola – 5/10 – City never seemed to go for the second goal while they were in the ascendency, instead resting in possession but without the solid base of yesteryear to lean upon.


Player of the match – Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)

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