What an incredible Manchester Derby!
Those who think the Premier League has lost it’s touch will completely change their minds after seeing this one.
Pre-kickoff, most expected an incredibly close, chess-match type affair with limited goalmouth action as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola refused to surrender all three points to each other.
City started the strongest and had accumulated a 2-0 lead after 36 minutes. But a howler from Claudio Bravo, dropping the ball to Zlatan Ibrahimovic inside the box, brought United back into the match and paved the way for an incredibly even second half.
The Red Devils pushed for a late equaliser but come the final 15 minutes, both sides were too exhausted to provide any more drama.
Just in case you missed the action or simply want to re-live it, we’ve got SIX fantastic photos that perfectly epitomise one of the best Manchester derbies ever!
Much of the pre-match build-up focused on Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho’s long-standing rivalry. But there was plenty of respect on the touchline this afternoon – both managers worked incredibly hard to get the best out of their sides and barley had time to even throw a scornful glance at each other.
Feisty performances are an integral component of any derby and on that front, the Manchester clash also delivered. Tempers reached boiling point in the early stages when Pep Guardiola and Wayne Rooney wrestled over the ball. Overall, however, both sides were relatively well behaved and Mark Clattenburg kept a lid on things.
Manchester City opened the scoring after just 16 minutes with a surprisingly un-Guardiola hoof up-field. Kevin De Bruyne latched onto Kelechi Iheanacho’s flick-on, poked the ball around a static Daley Blind and swiftly converted a one-on-one with Claudio Bravo. Here’s the Belgium international celebrating.
Not long after, Iheanacho extended City’s lead – his goal proving to the decisive one of the afternoon. A De Bruyne shot cannoned off the post but the City youngster, stepping in for the suspended Sergio Aguero, reacted quickly to snatch the rebound.
Claudio Bravo may be brilliant with his feet but he’s not so great in the air. Indeed, the City ‘keeper fumbled a relatively routine cross straight into the path of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who found the net to put United back into the match.
After 90 ferocious and incredibly hard-fought minutes, neither manager held a grudge. Despite all the talk surrounding their rivalry, Guardiola and Mourinho shared a brief hug at the final whistle. Fantastic sportsmanship after such an outrageous game.