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Man Utd beat Man City in thrilling derby

Manchester United dented neighbours Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes with a superb counter-attacking victory in the Manchester derby. City stay third but are now…

Manchester United dented neighbours Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes with a superb counter-attacking victory in the Manchester derby.

City stay third but are now 14 points behind leaders Liverpool, who won at Bournemouth while United move up to fifth.

Marcus Rashford’s first-half penalty, which was awarded after a VAR check, put United ahead.

Anthony Martial scored the second with a left-foot shot and Nicolas Otamendi replied with a late header for City.

United’s win was no more than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side deserved after they repeatedly carved the hosts’ defence apart in the opening stages.

Some incisive play saw Rashford hit the crossbar, while Daniel James and Martial could have added to the visitors’ tally.

Gabriel Jesus missed an excellent chance to score for the City – heading wide from six yards – as they lost two home matches in a season for the first time under manager Pep Guardiola.

There was a clear sense of injustice around the Etihad during the game, as City’s faltering Premier League title defence took yet another backwards step.

VAR was at the centre of attention once again with an alleged handball from Fred going unpunished in the first half, though a penalty would have seemed harsh on the midfielder with his arm close to his body as he went to ground and blocked Kyle Walker’s fizzed low cross.

By then, VAR had already given a penalty to Marcus Rashford for the opening goal, after he had been barged over in the penalty area by Bernardo Silva.

United were 2-0 up within half an hour, with Anthony Martial’s precise low finish beating Ederson at his near post as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side moved through City’s porous defence with ease.

There was further bad news on that front for Pep Guardiola as central defender John Stones brought back into the team in place of Nicolas Otamendi, was forced off with an injury midway through the second half.

Otamendi then gave his team a lifeline with a late headed goal, but United held on for a well-deserved 2-1 win.

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