There was dancing but not a thrashing: the Manchester classic was from City

Josep Guardiola’s Manchester City beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s United 2-0 on Saturday in the city’s classic and temporarily approached Chelsea’s first place in the Premier League.

The match, the 186th in the history that United leads by 77 wins to 56, took place at Old Trafford Stadium and the goals were converted by the Ivorian Eric Bailly, against at 7 minutes, and the Portuguese Bernardo Silva, at 45.

The superiority of City was notorious from the beginning of the meeting. Guardiola’s team took possession of the ball – 68 percent possession – and he began to attack as far as possible. Proof of this was the first goal. Touching through the center, and opening to the right so that the center comes out, Gündogan who connects almost below the goal but cannot give him direction and the Swede Lindelöf clears. The City takes the rebound, opens to the left, takes the center and Bailly defeats the resistance of the Spanish De Gea in his attempt to clear. Unusual.

The Ivorian was chosen by the Norwegian Ole GunnarSolskjaer to reinforce their defense that, since the 0-5 fall against Liverpool, went from four to five defenders (three centrals and two full-backs). This time the Frenchman Raphaël Varane was not there, so the 22-year-old African took to the court for his – just – third game of the season. His stay lasted just 45 minutes, since at halftime he was replaced by attacker Jodan Sancho.

The feeling of a thrashing was present after the 1-0 and the ghosts of the catastrophe against Liverpool, too. The victory against Tottenham (3-0) and the draw against Atalanta (2-2) in Italy were enough to keep Solskjaer in charge but not enough to change the face of a team that relies heavily on the almost heroic appearances of Cristiano Ronaldo.

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This time, United too He began to depend exclusively on one player, but it turned out to be his goalkeeper. From Gea He saved in a great way a shot from Gabriel Jesus in the small area, a distant bomb from Cancelo, an attempt against Maguire a meter from the goal line after the overflow and center of the indomitable Foden and another shot from De Bruyne from inside the area.

If United were still alive it was thanks to the Spanish. The team hardly created and only had one in the first part, a left-footed volley from Cristiano taken by Ederson in the 25th minute.

At least the distance was only one goal, they might have thought on the United side, who were already looking forward to halftime. But in the twilight of the first half, the defense did their thing again. Weak center to the area, Lindelof lets her pass, Shaw trusts himself and Bernardo steals his wallet, he throws everything and sneaks it through the first stick to a De Gea -this time- lacking in answers.

Guardiola’s men slowed down in the second half, contenting themselves with enjoying how United was unable to generate danger and taking over the ball. They did not squeeze, luckily for a Solskjaer I was watching the walk from the bench.

A curiosity, perhaps proof of how good the City thing was or perhaps a message that Guardiola wanted to give to his rival, was that the winner did not make any changes.


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