Two goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial on Saturday night were enough to do all the magic as a tactically aware Manchester United defeated Manchester City 1-2 at the Etihad.
Guardiola confident of a victory, started the match with a 4-3-3 formation with Sterling, Jesus and Bernardo Silva his preferred front three while Man U. started with a pacy front three of Anthony Martial, Daniel James and Marcus Rashford.
Guardiola was hopeful of a win, while Solksjaer would have happily taken a draw if a genie gave him a draw at the beginning of the match-but the god of football had other plans!
Solksjaer’s front three partnership caused Man City’s shaky back line of Walker, Stones, Fernandinho and the inexperienced Angelino all sort of problems in the first 30 minutes of the first half.
Martial, Rashford all had their chance to score and were either saved by the post or the goalkeeper Ederson.
in the 23rd minute, Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot after being brought down by Bernardo Silva before Anthony Martial made it 2-0 when he sent a fine left foot shot past Ederson in the 29th minute. At the end of the first half Man City saw a penalty appeal rejected after Fred handled Kyle Walker’s cross
Man city pounded, prodded, flexed and rigmaroled around United’s defence but United were resolute and the first half ended 0-2.
Manchester United’s defensive acuteness and attacking verve on the counter was so mature and impressive that it was beginning to look like they will score more goals in the second half and with the time entering the last ten minutes, City were fighting for their life, with Guardiola visibly frustrated.
United nearing the last minutes of the game started playing more compactly and left only Rashford upfront but were soon broken in the 85th minute as Nicolas Otamendi headed home a late consolation after escaping the attentions of Aaron Wan-Bissaka..
On this night, this special occasion, this Manchester derby, Man United coach Ole Gunnar Solksjaer proved he could be a tactical hero, and what better way to prove yourself than against one of the greatest coaches in the world, Pep Guardiola.
2019 EPL Season
Man City 1-2 Man United
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer 1-0 Pep Guardiola
Liverpool are now 14 points clear of the reigning champions Manchester City, a gap that has never been overturned before i Premier league history.