Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United: Rashford’s early strike hands Reds top-four chance

source: vavel

Manchester United beat Manchester Rivals Manchester City 1-0 to move within one point of a top-four place going into the international break.

Marcus Rashford made the difference, in his first Manchester derby, with the winning goal in the 16th minute to give under-pressure United manager Louis van Gaal a huge win. The second half saw a great defensive performance from the whole team to keep a clean sheet.

The home side started the game the better and had the first decent chance of the game when on the break David Silva played Raheem Sterling in behind the Red’s defence. The winger then played a great ball into the penalty area where it found Jesus Navas but he could only put his shot wide of the goal.

Navas had City’s second good chance of the game as well but his shot was saved by David de Gea with his legs. The chance came from a mistake from Morgan Schneiderlin in the middle of the park but he got away with it.

The opening goal of the game though went to the Reds when Rashford slotted the ball under Joe Hart. Rashford made the goal for himself when he gave Martin Demichelis the slip and ran through on goal to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.

A couple of minutes after the United scored their opener, they almost scored a second as Anthony Martial hit a fierce shot from outside the box but this time, it was well saved by Hart.

The rest of half saw plenty of effort from both teams but no real chances were created for the remainder of the half. That was until the last few minutes of stoppage time when Rashford was tripped in the box but the referee didn’t give it.

 United adopted the tactics of counter attacking which worked well throughout the first half and it was clear it was the tactics that Louis van Gaal had set his team up to play.

The second half began with a couple of half chances for the Red’s firstly a Demichelis backpass was short but Hart just about got there before Martial and in the process Hart injured himself and needed to be replaced. 

The second chance came whenever a good passage of play led to Marcos Rojo get in behind the City defence but he saw shot well saved by Willy Caballero.

The home side started to grow into the game in the second half and would have had an equaliser on the hour mark if it wasn’t for a brilliant defensive block from Chris Smalling. Navas played a great ball into the near post to were Wilfried Bony was but his shot was expertly blocked by the English defender. 

Sergio Aguero was next to go close for the home side when he saw his header come back off the post. The cross for the Aguero header again was produced by a good cross from Navas. The away side were starting to show signs of weariness after playing on Thursday night.

Aguero missed an unbelievable chance with twenty minutes left when David Silva produced a lovely cross into the area and Aguero put his header across goal instead of heading it on goal. The follow up went to Bony but he saw his shot blocked by Michael Carrick in front of the goal.

The game drifted along until it was announced that there was going to be six added minutes added on at the end of the game and then Silva produced a wonderful ball to Aguero who took it down well but the striker put his shot wide of the goal.

The game ended 1-0 to United and it was a very impressive performance under pressure from the whole team to get a massive victory and bring United to within one point of the top-four. 

Rashford will get all the credit for the winner but there were special performances from Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin and Daley Blind that gave the Reds a massive win.

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