Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s incredible week continued with Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat of Manchester City on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium.
The Red Devils beat Tottenham and their derby rivals City in a span of four days, and now sit fifth in the table on 24 points. That’s five points back of fourth place Chelsea, and eight back of City.
[ MORE: JPW’s 3 things learned at the Etihad ]
City is a stunning 14 points back of leaders Liverpool.
Man City worries
1. Etihad embarrassment from fans: Manchester United led 2-0 in the 66th minute when they couldn’t manage to take a corner kick due to lighters and other objects being thrown at Fred, one hitting him in the head. A remonstrations from referee Anthony Taylor stopped the object tossing, but it’s a certain black eye for the home fans.
UPDATE: Video appears to show Jesse Lingard and Fred being racially abused by a fan making monkey gestures during the incident. Man City has released an incident on the matter. Read more here.
2. City has lost its nerve: Yes, these are the two-time defending champions of England, but the amount of complaints coming from the home side was stunning. The reactions during times of trouble have not been that of a typical Pep Guardiola side, assured of its eventual perch at the end of a match. Being second (or third) is not suiting City.
3. Another CB lost? With Aymeric Laporte still out for another couple months, City saw John Stones forced off in the 59th minute with injury. That brought Nicolas Otamendi into the fray alongside Fernandinho.
Man Utd marvels
1. Rashford: He’s totally tapping into his potential, and working so much better out wide than up the middle.
2. McTominay: He’s come from nowhere to become a vital part of everything they do. Won 12 of 15 duels, drew five fouls, and made three interceptions to go with three tackles.
3. Solskjaer: Again missing Pogba, the only foot Solskjaer put wrong at the home of a major rival was starting Jesse Lingard. Organized and patient in another banner day for the Norwegian.
Man of the Match: McTominay
[ MORE: Premier League stats ]
Daniel James forced a fine save out of Ederson in the first minute, while Kyle Walker stymied a would-be Anthony Martial breakaway with pace and a tackle.
Jesse Lingard was the next to trouble Ederson, United clearly up to the challenge of an away derby in the first 10 minutes.
Ederson saved from Martial in the 16th minute as the Red Devils continued to fly on the counter attack. City had all of the ball, but not much of the threat.
Referee Anthony Taylor waved away penalty claims when Bernardo Silva chopped down Rashford, but VAR did its job in properly awarding the attempt. Rashford converted it for his 10th goal in 11 matches.
Rashford flubbed a chance to make it 2-0n in the 25th, City wide open at the back.
That’s when Martial made it 2-0, cranking a shot off the near post and past Ederson.
Man City finally started to look dangerous after the half-hour mark, with David Silva pumping a shot into the gut of David De Gea.
Kyle Walker’s stoppage time cross was blocked by the arm of a sliding Fred, but only a corner kick arrived after VAR had a look.
City was better in the second half, with Kevin De Bruyne seeing a shot deflect out for a corner in the 55th.
Raheem Sterling picked the pocket of Victor Lindelof, and was traced through the 18 by Aaron Wan-Bissaka en route to a corner kick.
De Gea flew through the air to deny Rodri a goal in the 64th, and Wan-Bissaka blocked an Angelino shot 11 minutes later.
Otamendi powered a header home off a corner kick when Maguire was slow to react.
That really opened things up, and De Gea stopped Mahrez on a shot through traffic.