Manchester United brought Manchester City’s sequence of 21 successive victories in all competitions to a crashing halt with an impressive 2-0 derby victory at Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side still have what looks to be an unassailable 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League, but the manner in which United subdued a previously unstoppable City and enhanced their own top-four chances will be a huge confidence boost to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players.
United, who have now gone 22 league away games unbeaten – including 14 wins – stunned City with a fast start and were ahead after a penalty was awarded inside the first 30 seconds when Gabriel Jesus fouled the impressive Antony Martial.
Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot despite City keeper Ederson getting a strong hand on the ball, then United fashioned the win with a mixture of solid defence and constant menace on the break.
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Rodri almost equalised just after the break when his shot glanced off the angle of post and bar, but United effectively sealed the win – condemning City to their first loss since a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham on 21 November – when the outstanding Shaw, who had earlier missed a chance to double United’s lead, led a counter-attack, exchanging passes with Marcus Rashford before beating Ederson with a low shot.
Solskjaer’s team, who had not scored in their previous three games, moved back into second place, a point ahead of Leicester City in the increasing tight fight for a place in the top four.
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