Martial 8 out of 10 as Man United complete league sweep of rivals City
MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United completed the league double over Manchester City for the first time in a decade by winning 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Anthony Martial and substitute Scott McTominay got the goals as United stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games to keep them in the hunt for a top-four finish. City’s third Manchester derby defeat of the season leaves them a mammoth 25 points behind champions elect Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola’s cause wasn’t helped by Ederson after the Brazilian goalkeeper let Martial’s finish slip under his body and then in the final minutes rolled the ball straight to McTominay, who scored with a first-time effort from 40 yards.
On another day Martial might have had a hatctrick but the one he did get — watching Fernandes’ flick over his shoulder to volley in — showcased the very best of his finishing ability. Solskjaer asked Martial for more goals when Marcus Rashford was ruled out with a back injury and the Frenchman has delivered. That’s four in his last five starts at a crucial stage of the season.
Only that is was not more comfortable. Martial scored the crucial goal in the first half but a nervous final 10 minutes could have been avoided had United taken more of their chances, or been more clinical with a final pass. It was only after McTominay’s goal in injury time, off a second Ederson mistake, that the result was finally beyond doubt.
Manager rating out of 10
8 — The Norwegian got his tactics spot on, particularly in the first half and United were deserved winners. Some fans will still have doubts about whether he is the right man but not many managers can say they have beaten Guardiola three times in one season like Solskjaer has now. He’s got a meeting with Tottenham and Jose Mourinho next.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
DF Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 8 — Recovered from a back injury to start and kept England teammate Sterling very quiet, just like he did at the Etihad Stadium in December.
DF Brandon Williams, 7 — One good ball over the top made a chance for Martial and he almost found Fernandes with a cross from the left. Another good performance in a big game from the 19-year-old.
DF Victor Lindelof, 7 — Barely put a foot wrong as Solskjaer’s three-man defence worked again, restricting City to just three shots on target.
DF Harry Maguire, 7 — Missed the win over Derby but returned to the XI here. Almost scored with a header from a Fernandes corner.
MF Nemanja Matic, 8 — Picked ahead of McTominay and rewarded Solskjaer’s faith by not allowing City’s attacking midfielders any space or time on the ball.
MF Fred, 8 — Lots of energy and was a threat going forward in the first half. Unlucky to be booked for diving when it looked like he should have drawn a penalty.
MF Bruno Fernandes, 7 — Playing in his first Manchester derby, his clever first-time pass to Daniel James created United’s first chance and later he set up Martial for the goal with a wonderful flicked free kick.
FW Daniel James, 7 — Should have done better when he was played in by Fernandes and could have found the midfielder in the box when he broke down the right in the second half.
FW Anthony Martial, 8 — Should have squared to Fernandes when he got the better of Fernandinho on the left touchline but made up for it with a good finish to put United ahead.
DF Eric Bailly, N/R — Came on for Williams and helped United see out the victory.
MF Scott McTominay, N/R — Will have been disappointed not to start but was all smiles after his late goal sealed the three points. Reacted so quickly to Ederson’s errant throw and finished with aplomb from 40 yards with a sliding effort.
FW Odion Ighalo, N/R — Worked hard and chased everything down as United held on.