Manchester Derby

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VIDEO: Breaking down some celebrated Premier League derbies

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The kickoffs aren’t coming back soon, so we’re finding solace in anticipating the biggest matches on the Premier League calendar.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Certain rivalries are circled on the fixture list when it arrives each summer, the sort of games that seem to level the playing field regardless of the gulf in class.

Is Arsenal struggling? No better way to bounce back than Spurs.

Liverpool sliding a bit? It’ll snap back to form when Everton hits Anfield.

PST lead writer and editor Joe Prince-Wright has prepped up for several of these derbies over the years, and here’s a cheat sheet for those new and a tasty summation for those missing their hated foes.

Liverpool-Manchester City

Arsenal-Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool-Everton

Manchester City-Manchester United

Chelsea-Tottenham Hotspur

Solskjaer, Rashford excited for Manchester Derby in League Cup semis

Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited to match up twice more with his longtime neighbors.

The former Manchester United striker and current manager saw his side drawn against Man City for the League Cup semifinals after beating Colchester United on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

His side is feeling good after defeating the two-time reigning champion Citizens on Dec. 7. United lost 2-0 to City at Old Trafford in April last season, Solskjaer’s only other matching of wits with Pep Guardiola.

From The Manchester Evening News:

“We take what comes our way we have a good memory from last time we met them,” Solskjaer said.  We played well against them but there’s things we need to improve on. It will be two fantastic nights in Manchester.”

Marcus Rashford is delivering on his potential, and dominated against Colchester United on Wednesday.

Solskjaer said he had to take the in-form striker off the training pitch on Tuesday.

“There’s hunger there, we do extras with the strikers all the time,” he said, via The Manchester Evening News. “I was trying to hold Marcus back yesterday, because he wanted to do extra, it was two days after a game, and a day before a game but he was still on the training ground practicing, and we’ll get better and better.”

Rashford reacted to the draw by a posting a cheeky caption above a photo with Mason Greenwood (See bottom of post). It’s safe to say he’s proud of the holding derby momentum.

There’s not a lot of reason to focus on the derby given a legitimate shot of perfect point collection from the four festive fixtures beginning Sunday at Vicarage Road.

United’s festive fixtures All 39 PL matches ]
Dec. 22 – Watford v. Manchester United
Dec. 26 – Manchester United v. Newcastle
Dec. 28 – Burnley v. Manchester United
Jan. 1 – Arsenal v. Manchester United

League Cup semifinal draw: Manchester Derby, Leicester-Villa

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England doubled its Manchester Derby count on Wednesday when Manchester City was drawn against Manchester United in the League Cup semifinals.

That means Leicester City with tangle with Aston Villa over two legs for the other spot in a Wembley Stadium final on March 1.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

The first legs will be played the week of January 6, with the second legs on tap for the week of Jan. 27.

Man City is bidding to become the first three-peat winner of the League Cup since Liverpool between 1981-84.

City’s six wins are two behind Liverpool for the most all-time, while Villa and United have five and are tied for third-most.

Leicester has won thrice, the last one in 2000.

Kyle Walker: City catching up to Liverpool ‘difficult’ after derby loss to United

Kyle Walker
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After a crushing 2-1 loss to archrival Manchester United at home, 14 is the new magic number for Pep Guardiola and company.

14 is the number of points that Manchester City trail league leaders Liverpool by, an uphill battle that is influencing many people on the outside looking in to think that City’s chances of lifting the league’s silverware for a third straight season are officially done and dusted.

That’s not the narrative that is occupying Kyle Walker‘s train of thought, however. Speaking on behalf of his City teammates and himself, the defender is keen on fighting until they’re mathematically out of contention for the title, regardless if the standings show that Liverpool have yet to suffer a defeat this season after 16 matches.

“Can’t fault the manager,” Walker told Sky Sports following City’s second Premier League loss in five games. “He has won numerous trophies. I can’t put my finger on it. It is going to be difficult, Liverpool are on fire. They [Liverpool] are getting wins and we are not. It is a big gap but we will fight until the end.”

A consolation goal from Nicolas Otamendi in the 85th minutes wasn’t enough for the Cityzens, who endured a fourth league loss this season, matching last season’s number of losses throughout 38 games.

After the dispiriting derby day performance from City, the defending champions stand at 32 points after 16 bouts, the lowest point haul for Guardiola in his 11-year top-flight management career.

No team in league history has overcome a 14-point deficit. Since late October, City are yet to record a clean sheet, an apparent issue that Walker believes he and the rest of the team’s defenders need to address in order to return to old ways.

“Us as defenders need to hold our hands up,” he said. “We need to keep clean sheets and strikers maybe need to put more away. They had a game plan and it worked. They have quick players in quick areas and they are going to hurt you on the counter. Credit where credit is due, they stepped up today. Fair play.”

Solskjaer reacts to big Manchester Derby win, racial abuse of players

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A Manchester City appeared to make appeared to make racial gestures and yell “monkey” at black players on Manchester United during Saturday’s derby at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked about it after the game, as was Pep Guardiola who said he supports Man City’s strong statement against the incident.

[ MORE: Recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

He said he’s reviewed the incident and was enraged seeing Jesse Lingard and Fred abused.

“I’ve seen it on the video. It’s Jesse and the Fred, and the fella must be ashamed of himself. It’s unacceptable and I hope he won’t be watching any football any more.”

Solskjaer was also asked about the win, which will be a memorable one for good reasons, too, after beating Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the week.

“We’ll remember this,” Solskjaer said on NBCSN after the game. “We looked so dangerous when we get the ball and go forward. Of course we’re playing against the best team in arguably the world. Just the preparation for this game, the way they can change things tactically. It’s not easy to analyze them, but they are unbelievable. To get a result and defend like we did and create as many chances as we did, we should’ve been three or four up.”