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Manchester United: Christian Eriksen could’ve let Ten Hag down in the derby

Manchester United produced a stunning comeback to defeat Manchester City 2-1 and continue their rich vein of form under Erik ten Hag in what could be a big statement of intent from the Dutchman.

United matched their rivals during an uninspiring first half, with Marcus Rashford coming close on a couple of occasions to opening the scoring. However, a few players were miles off the pace, especially Anthony Martial, who took just 14 touches before being substituted at half-time.

City moved through the gears during the second half and Jack Grealish netted just moments after appearing from the substitutes’ bench to give the visitors a deserved lead.

United were faltering and it looked as if, even though they had won six matches on the bounce since the post-World Cup resumption, Ten Hag still had a massive job on his hands to get close to Pep Guardiola’s men.

Christian Eriksen – who has been so important for the Old Trafford giants this term – struggled during the match, completing only 16 passes while playing just behind Martial.

The Danish “genius” – as dubbed by Statman Dave last year, took just 28 touches of the ball, gave away possession ten times and lost all four of his duels this afternoon. He was given a lowly Sofascore rating of 6.4/10 and Ten Hag eventually withdrew him after 71 minutes, replacing the 30-year-old with Alejandro Garnacho.

He could’ve let the manager down badly if he remained on the pitch, but just seven minutes later, Bruno Fernandes scored a controversial equaliser – with a clearly offside Rashford deemed to not have impacted the play – before the Englishman poked home the winner following excellent work from Garnacho down the left wing.

The balance of the team obviously changed following Eriksen’s withdrawal and the victory lifts United into third place in the Premier League table, just a point behind City as Ten Hag continues his revolution in Manchester, and this result will live long in the memory of Red Devils supporters.

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This wasn’t Eriksen’s finest performance for United, although his substitution turned out to be one of the Dutchman’s best decisions during the match. Otherwise, the game could have ended up with a rather different result.