Manchester City rode their luck to beat Sheffield United 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]
Second half goals from Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne led City to victory as the Blades were unlucky throughout with a tight offside VAR call going against them, the referee pretty much grabbed an assist on City’s opener and they hit the woodwork and missed several glorious chances.
With the win Man City move to within one point of second place Leicester City but are 14 points behind leaders Liverpool who also have a game in hand on them. Sheffield United are in eighth place on 29 points, six points off the top four.
3 things we learned
1. Unlucky Blades finally lose away: The almost went halfway through the season unbeaten away from home. What a season the Blades are having and they were so unlucky to lose this. Lys Mousset‘s first half goal was ruled out, just, by VAR for offside and City’s opener arrived in incredibly unlucky fashion as the ball hit referee Chris Kavanagh. City had the extra quality but Sheffield United gave them an almighty scare as Billy Sharp hitting the inside of the post with a header in stoppage time summed up their luck.
2. City react positively: Following their brave display away at Wolves, which saw them play with 10 men for over 80 minutes but blow a 2-0 lead late on thanks to some terrible defending, it took a lot of guts for City’s players to stand tall and go again less then 48 hours later. Guardiola brought in Garcia and Zinchenko to the lineup, with Bravo also replacing the suspended Ederson, and they didn’t look too comfortable defensively. City should be applauded for picking themselves up and even though they are 14 points behind leaders Liverpool, they have shown they will keep battling away.
3. De Bruyne on a different planet: He set up Aguero for the opener, scored a sublime goal of his own late on, was running around everywhere and even if Man City don’t pull of a miraculous comeback to win the title this season, the main positive will be that KDB is back to his best. De Bruyne has remained fit for most of this season and City are a totally different team when he’s firing on all cylinders.
Man of the Match: Kevin de Bruyne –
The first big chance of the game arrived for Sheffield United as Mousset nodded wide under pressure from Zinchenko, who put his boot up high.
Riyad Mahrez was played in by Rodri but his shot was deflected wide at the near post as Man City clicked through the gears in the first half.
Mousset looked to have given Sheffield United the lead after John Fleck‘s superb through ball but after he smashed home VAR intervened to rule out the goal for a marginal offside on the Blades striker.
John Egan headed over the bar as the Blades continued to look dangerous with Mousset again going close on the break, while at the other end Dean Henderson kept out Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva at the near post.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
In the second half Aguero dinked an effort just over at one end, then Muhamed Besic smashed just wide at the other as the game opened up.
Huge controversy then arrived as Man City took the lead. Sheffield United tried to play the ball into midfield but referee Chris Kavanagh was in the way and although the ball didn’t touch him, he caused a turnover which led to De Bruyne setting up Aguero to slam home. There was nothing the referee could do as the Blades were incredible hard done by.
De Bruyne whipped a free kick over the bar late on and although Sheffield United continued to threaten on the break, City doubled their lead as KDB combined with Mahrez and whipped home a shot at the near post to grab all three points.