With an excellent performance at Etihad Stadium, Manchester City outperformed Manchester United to keep control of the Premier League title chase.
Manchester City leads Liverpool by six points with one game remaining after a win that was probably even more impressive than the score suggests.
Ralf Rangnick’s team was without injured Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani,
as well as Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw, who both have Covid-19,
and were outclassed by the reigning champions’ talent and effort.
Kevin de Bruyne was the driving force behind it all.
He put City ahead early on with a neat finish,
then restored their advantage just before half-time when Jadon Sancho equalised for United with a low strike,
the Belgian’s second smashed in in a goalmouth melee.
After the break
,Manchester City picked up the pace and deservedly scored after 68 minutes when Riyad Mahrez met De Bruyne’s corner on the half-volley to past United goalkeeper David de Gea.
The goal came as a result of a deflection off United captain Harry Maguire,
who was having a terrible afternoon.
,the goal being awarded after a lengthy VAR probe for offside.
Manchester City react to adversity
Manchester City had Liverpool on their tail after Jurgen Klopp’s side drew level with West Ham United,
but the champions replied magnificently.
City forced themselves on Manchester United from the first whistle,
and Sancho’s wonderful equaliser was merely a minor annoyance as the difference between Guardiola’s squad and their arch-rivals was cruelly revealed.
De Bruyne was the hero of the show,
scoring twice and setting up Manchester City‘s third. He was the brightest star in a galaxy on display at Etihad Stadium as City demonstrated that they are not about to cede their title, no matter how hard Liverpool pushed them.
City’s first-half performance was superb,
but they were simply magnificent after the break as they outran United, who were never given a second of possession and were unable to withstand wave after wave of onslaught.
Without De Gea, Riyad Mahrez may have added to his two goals,
while Joao Cancelo’s spectacular effort was also saved by the United goalkeeper.
Manchester City‘s possession dominance and ability to carve open an admittedly vulnerable United defence at will enthralled their supporters,
who revelled in a display of mastery that left Manchester United beaten and battered well before the final whistle.
Maguire summarises Man United’s plight.
Manchester United had a horrible and chastising 90 minutes,
and few players suffered more than captain Maguire.
Watch the incredible goals of the match!!
Maguire was out of position for Manchester City‘s first,
let the ball go in a goalmouth scramble for De Bruyne’s second, then deflected Mahrez’s shot past De Gea for the third.
He was also cautioned for a rash, desperate tackle on De Bruyne,
and he appeared to be a player who lacked confidence.
Rangnick‘s lack of defensive organisation,
encapsulated by an amateurish S-shaped defensive “line” that saw Mahrez‘s final goal given that VAR check,
didn’t help by injuries and illnesses that robbed him of key players,
there was no excuse for the wastefulness in possession and the lack of defensive organisation,
was encapsulated over an a defensive “line”
they have seen that Mahrez’s final goal given so VAR check.
After Arsenal’s win at Watford extended their hold on fourth place and a place in next season’s Champions League, the loss leaves Manchester United in a difficult position in the race for fourth place and a place in the competition. Arsenal are now in fourth place, a point clear of United, with three games remaining.
Manchester United is still in the Champions League, but based on this dismal evidence, the idea that they have a chance of winning Europe’s top championship is pure delusion.
It was shocking to see Manchester United try to reach shadows and at every turn by a City team they would like to consider competitors.
Full Time Manchester United 4-1 Manchester City