Living rivals Manchester United were humiliated in an ugly home loss, while Manchester City secured derby day ecstasy thanks to a double from Erling Haaland.
The world of football turned to Old Trafford for the 191st Manchester derby, the first since Pep Guardiola’s team duplicated their 1999 triple crown. Although Haaland’s spot-kick and uncontested header sealed the 3-0 victory, City’s domination was much more evident than the score indicates. Haaland then fed Phil Foden.
Erik ten Hag’s United, who have already dropped five of their ten Premier League starting games, saw an abrupt end to an unimpressive three-match winning run in all competitions. Midway through the first half, Haaland gave City the lead with a penalty kick given by the VAR for what appeared to be a Rasmus Hojlund tug on Rodri.
Haaland scored another goal thanks to ragtag defending, capping a lopsided victory that Foden sealed with a late flourish. If Andre Onana hadn’t made his saves on a day when United supporters jeered Ten Hag for starting Hojlund instead of Hojlund, it would have been worse. Last Sunday, United paid tribute to the late, great Sir Bobby Charlton once more, and it was an awful way to cap off an emotional week.
The red-and-blue supporters cheered together prior to a contest that City controlled right away. With just eight minutes remaining, Foden scored a strong header that Onana blocked after Kyle Walker nodded back Rodri’s diagonal ball.
If the goalie hadn’t reacted, Haaland would have been able to bundle the ball home after it looped up. It was a let-off, as Jack Grealish was denied by Onana prior to City being given a penalty. VRA When a free-kick was finished, Michael Oliver told Paul Tierney to go to the pitchside monitor to look into a possible pull by Hojlund on Rodri. Eventually, the referee pointed to the spot, and Haaland maintained his composure to send Onana spinning around and wheel off in celebration in front of the enraged home crowd.
The Old Trafford crowd were silenced by that gut punch in the 26th minute, which gave City the upper hand. Away supporters even made light of the atmosphere, comparing it to that of the Etihad Stadium. For the rest of the first half, City dominated play as they pressed for a second goal that few could dispute, but United had two significant chances to draw even.
Hojlund eventually cut back for Bruno Fernandes to rifle over after roaring onto a stray ball and rounding Ederson. The youthful attacker could have wished, in retrospect, that he had fallen following John Stones’ powerful build-up defense. In stoppage time, Marcus Rashford’s first-time sweeping ball put Scott McTominay behind to take a touch and clear a strike that Ederson had pushed over, bringing United even closer.
The noise level inside Old Trafford went up after that, as did Onana’s superb save of Haaland’s close-range header. The City shooter would not be denied a second chance for long, even though it appeared to be a potentially game-changing moment. Following a trade of efforts between Fernandes and Foden, the visitors took advantage of United’s weak defensive structure when Bernardo Silva flicked a cross to an unmarked Haaland, who finished at the far post. A small group of jubilant City supporters screamed, “Mind the gap, Man United,” when Onana stopped Grealish from adding to the header in the 49th minute.
The away supporters were still making their voices heard, and as Haaland went down, claiming a penalty, the attacking midfielder for England curled over a cross-shot. Rashford’s deft touch and strike over the goal’s face gave United a fleeting glimmer of optimism, but City soon resumed their attack. Well-positioned, Onana prevented Haaland from completing his hat-trick before Ten Hag’s choice to substitute Garnacho for Hojlund was greeted with a chorus of jeers.
Grealish’s deflected attempt went wide, and in the 80th minute, Onana was eventually defeated once more. This time, the supplier was Haaland. Onana deflected Rodri’s shot into the path of the striker, who then passed it in for Foden to score. As some United supporters started to leave early, the goal scorer attempted to add an overhead kick. Few could blame them, considering the dismal performance on their side. As the clock ticked down, all they missed was petty jealousy.