Bruno Fernandes can’t hear you
The Premier League title race is on! Just about. Well, probably not because City are surely too good to throw away an 11-point lead, but this at least keeps things interesting for a bit longer, and it will give Pep Guardiola pause for thought.
Not only did Man Utd put an end to City’s extraordinary sequence of 21 successive wins, they were good value for their 2-0 win. A Bruno Fernandes penalty in the second minute, awarded after Gabriel Jesus barged into Anthony Martial, put United 1-0 up and stunned the hosts, before a Luke Shaw finish on the counter-attack (all Shaw’s own work) in the 50th minute virtually ensured the three points.
Martial was the official man of the match, and he did have a good game, but I thought Shaw was the best player on the pitch. The way he carries the ball out of defence looks so effortless.
City tried gamely to find a way back into the match but their players looked tired and never really threatened Dean Henderson’s goal.
28 – Manchester City were beaten for the first time since November 2020 (0-2 v Spurs), ending a run of 28 games without defeat across all competitions for Pep Guardiola’s side. Blow. pic.twitter.com/wSLgK1rsr9
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 7, 2021
United have a streak of their own to protect now – this win made it 22 league away games unbeaten (14 of those were wins), which is a hell of a stat, and one that Ole Gunnar Soskjaer does not get enough credit for. There is the makings of an excellent back four at United, with Henderson looking like he could dethrone David de Gea, Victor Lindelof (superb yesterday) and Harry Maguire working well together, and of course the resurgence of Shaw.
“I’m delighted,” Solskjaer said after the match. “We were on the front foot for 10-15 minutes but then the last half hour of the first half we played too much on the result. We had to get to half-time to get hold of everyone again.
“The second goal was magnificent. Luke just showed what he is about. He was a massive doubt this morning and had to go through a fitness test to play. What a performance.”
“Congratulations Manchester United first of all,” City boss Pep Guardiola said.
“Ten games left – now we arrive at the important part of the season. The last 10 games are important and we start next Wednesday. We will try to win as many games as possible to be champions.”
Man of the match: Luke Shaw (Man Utd)