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Manchester City vs Manchester United at Etihad Stadium

Etihad Stadium Referee : Anthony Taylor
7th March 2021 4:30 PM (GMT)
  • 0 Manchester City

  • 2 Manchester United

    • ‘2' Bruno Fernandes (Pen)
    • ‘50' Luke Shaw


Commentary By Neil Leigh


Good night from me πŸ’™

OK folks, that's a wrap for today.

Our remarkable 21-game winning run and 28 game unbeaten sequence finally comes to an end at the hands of United.

But let's remember - we are still 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table and going for glory in all four competitions.

Not too shabby I think you'd agree.

Thanks for joining us and and join us again on Wednesday when we play host to Southampton and seek to get back to winning ways.

See you then.


More from the boss...πŸ‘‡πŸ»

Pep Guardiola:

"The way we will play Southampton will be completely different to how we played against United and we are going to approach and decide how we are going to play and then try to do it."



Pep's verdict...

Pep Guardiola:

"Congrats Man United for the victory – we conceded the first goal against a tough team and they are so strong so it was so difficult. After the first goal, for the first 5-10 mins we were a little bit out of it but after that we came back to the game"


'We will learn from this defeat'

Pep Guardiola's verdict:

"They are so fast with the counter attack and their pace.

"We played well apart from the first 10 mins but we were not clinical up front and congratulations Man United.

"Today we lost but the news is 21 wins in a row.

"This win will help us a lot and we will learn.

"There are still many games to play. Now its about the next game."


'We have to learn as a group'

More from KDB:

"Obviously, it's not nice to lose the derby but it happens. We move on Wednesday (against Southampton) is a new game and we focus on that.

"It's never nice to lose but sometimes its necessary but we overcome some bad spells but not today we have to learn this as a group.

"I think we should have score three or four times with the half chances but it happens. We have confidence that in the next game we will put them chances in."


'We played into their hands'

Kevin De Bruyne's reaction:

"I don't think we started well. We know it would be hard, we played into their hands. Needed 15 minutes to settle. I think we played well but we didn't score. We made a mistake with the pressing but wasn't to be 

"It's not the best to be behind one minute in but you have 90 minutes. The mentality was the same but we couldn't get the ball in."


Joleon Lescott's verdict:

"I believe the players don’t rely on victories and they'll dismiss this quickly. New faces, new energy and belief. I’m upset but not worried for the future."



A  bitterly disappointing yes but well worth remembering we are still 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with everything to play for in all four competitions.

That remarkable run had to come to an end at some stage - and the hallmark of this City side is that every time a question has been asked of us we respond in kind.


Full time

All over.

Our remarkable unbeaten run finally comes to an end and it's United who claim the derby spoils.

Hugely frustrating afternoon.


Close again

Now De Bruyne fizzes in free kick from the left flank which Fernandes heads behind.

From the resulting corner, Gundogan gets a flick on and Stones is a foot away from meeting the ball at the back post.


Off target again

City still fighting and contesting for every ball as Gundogan powers through the box.

Then De Bruyne pings in a stunning cross but Sterling's header goes wide of the target.

We have done everything but score this past 10 minutes.


Faigue factor?

There's perhaps a look of weariness with some of the City players.

If that is the case, it would hardly be a surprise given the punishing schedule of this season.


How did that not go in?

A wonderful inviting cross from Walker simply begs to be finished.

But Raheem Sterling can't make contact six yards out with the goal gaping and the ball goes out of play.



So close from Foden.

Brilliant City move sees De Bruyne square the ball to Foden in the centre of the box.

The City man swivels on a sixpence and then fires in a snap shot which goes just wide.

Would have been some introduction that.



Could that be a crucial moment?

Martial is through one on one with Ederson and the City keeper gets down to deny the United man.

Superb piece of work by the keeper.


City change

First swap for City as Kyle Walker comes on for Joao Cancelo.

Maybe a tactical move to try and halt the forward threat of Luke Shaw who has been a real menace all afternoon.



More patient build up play and the ball finds Jesus on the right edge of the box but the Brazilian's shot come cross goes harmlessly out.


Twist and shout?

City still pressing at every opportunity but there is no doubt United look a real threat every time they mount a counter attack thanks to their pace upfront.

Still a few twists and turns in this game one feels.


Shaw booked

The United man sees yellow for a late challenge after the visitors had threatened again through Martial's stooping header.

Fortunately the French striker couldn't get enough purchase on the header.



Jesus was in for a moment behind the City defence from De Bruyne's assist but chose not to shoot and the opportunity passed.

A game of fine margins at the moment. United taken their chances so far - we need to make it count. 


Time to deliver

Important to stress there are still 40 minutes left on the clock here.

And if any team is capable of clawing this deficit back it's City.


Sucker punch

Out of nowhere, the visitors have doubled their advantage.

Shaw powers upfield, plays a give and go with Rashford and the ball goes through Rodrigo's legs beyond Ederson inside the far post.


Hit the bar!

Brilliant move from City as Jesus tees up Rodrigo on the edge of the box and the Spaniard's first time shot clips the top of the bar.

So close - we are knocking on the door!


Yellow peril?

Harry Maguire of course already on a yellow so I wonder if City will look to put pressure on the United skipper knowing he can ill afford a slip up?


'Space is the key'

Joleon Lescott's half-time verdict:

"You have to respect you are playing a good team. The numbers are a swarm of red in their box.

"We need more personnel to find space so I think Pep will encourage players to get forward."


Jamo's confident!

David James' half-time verdict:

'"I'm a big fan of the fact you can score too early so it isn’t a problem for me. The way it panned out is what you expect.

"Possession and chances for City so if it continues City will win."


'A proper derby'

John Edwards at the Etihad:

"Not the score line we would have wanted, but it has been an entertaining opening 45 minutes here at the Etihad. A proper derby you might say, given the physicality and the tempo it’s been played at.

"The game has transpired as you might have expected since the goal, with City on the front foot and United content to try and soak up the pressure and hit us on the counter via the pace of Dan James and Marcus Rashford.

"Pep Guardiola’s side certainly won’t be discouraged. We’ve looked lively in the final third, but we’ll hope to test Dean Henderson more after the break."


Questions and answers

The first 10 minutes apart City have looked the more threatening though United are a constant menace on the break.

Still 45 minutes to go and options aplenty on the bench.

And whatever the puzzle placed in front of him, the boss always finds an answer!


Half time

Not quite what we wanted with United holding the lead thanks to Bruno Fernandes's second minute penalty.

Still plenty of time to turn this around though.


So close

Our best moment of the first half.

Mahrez finds space on the left flank and lets fly but the effort arrows just wide.

Better again from City.


Another United break has my heart in my mouth as James powers forward.

Fortunately it fizzles out but the visitors must be watched at all times.


End to end!

Brilliant move down the left flank sees De Bruyne tease in an inviting cross which Maguire has to scramble to head clear.

United then break upfield at pace through Rashford but Stones does well to sniff out the danger.

A warning of United's threat on the counter.



Gundo again comes close.

Some great passing and movement from Mahrez dazzles United and Gundogan again tries his luck with a snap shot which Henderson gathers at the second attempt.

You feel one of these attacks will bear fruit.



So close.

Gundogan spins and drills in a delightful through ball behind the United defence buts it's a fraction too strong for Sterling to gather as Henderson races out.

A matter of mere inches there.


Coming to the boil?

Getting a touch feisty out there which is exactly what you would expect from a Manchester derby.

This game matters to both sides. It's making for a compelling game.


All fired up...

 From John Edwards at the Etihad:

"The City bench are convinced that’s a penalty. Pep Guardiola was already out on the edge of his technical area, but behind him a host of the substitutes and backroom staff jumped up to protest the decision. 

"Bernardo Silva looked particularly surprised, whilst Fernandinho’s appeals rang out the loudest and, behind me, Robbie Savage, who is on commentary duty for the BBC, was certain Sterling had been fouled. 

"It wasn’t given, but City will be encouraged by the last 10 minutes as we’ve pinned United back in their own half in what’s been our best spell of the game. Just need a goal to show for our efforts…"


Not this time...

City pull United one way then the other but Shaw stands tall to usher the ball out for a goal kick with Mahrez and Cancelo in hot pursuit on the left side of the box.

Mich better shape to City's game - most of the play is being channeled in the United half.


Henderson save

Now the United keeper is called into action to keep out a stinging Zinchenko drive.

We're building a head of steam here you feel.


Penalty shout

Sterling weaves his way inside the United box and is sent sprawling by Fred.

There are loud shouts from the City bench but referee Anthony Taylor is unmoved.

Nothing doing but City growing into the game.



Another better passage of play. The ball is worked to Gundogan via Sterling and Zinchenko on the left channel and the German swivels and shoots from just outside the box.

The effort is too high but more encouraging signs from City.


Ederson save

De Bruyne is dispossessed and Rashford races on before firing in a dipping 20 yard which Ederson gets down smartly.

United pressed high up the fiield - need to try and take the game into their half where we can


Growing presence

From John Edwards at the Etihad:

"So often we hear that it is important to start well in games of this magnitude, but it couldn’t have gone any worse for City today and United looked to take full advantage in the minutes after Bruno Fernandes converted his penalty.

"It’s the first time in 20 league games that we have trailed – a run that stretches back to the November defeat to Tottenham Hotspur – so this is an unusual position for our boys, but they won’t panic.

"We’ve weathered the early storm and whilst it remains a fairly even game, we are gradually taking control of possession and growing into this contest."


That's a rarity - the ball goes straight out for a throw in from Kevin De Bruyne.

Just need to try and settle and put together some sustained pressure.


Danger man

Fernandes seeing plenty of the ball early on. We need to try and cut out the supply chain to him.

Signs though that our passing and movement is beginning to click.


Time to respond

United looking to utilise their pace upfront at every opportunity.

We haven't really got motoring yet - need to up the intensity and drive.


Ederson save

Blimey - now Luke Shaw wriggles free in the box and fires in a hot which Ederson gathers.

Good job the full back didn't get more power on that.

Time to settle and find our rhythm lads.


City have so much talent it's scary!'

David James:

"There is that much talent in this side where do you start!

"Look at Arsenal invincibles it worked because they didnt get beat. They didn’t really scare us but this team can.

"I was watching Lord of the Rings then City, my wife heard Gundo and thought he sounded like he was from Lord of the Rings!

"This team is so scary. We had Aguero, KDB and now it is just the whole team."


Pep's pre-match thoughts πŸ’¬

Pep Guardiola:

"In terms of the derby we have played there at Old Trafford in the League and the Carabao Cup and without people it is different.

"We will try to keep the ball as much as possible and look to play with the ball."


Can't argue with any of this! πŸ’ͺ


Another big result

It's all over in the 2pm kick-off and Fulham have secured a 1-0 win away at Liverpool to provide a huge boost in their bid to get out of the bottom three.

A sixth consecutive home defeat for Liverpool in this most remarkable of seasons.


'Riyad's touch of class'

Joleon Lescott on Riyad Mahrez:

"The benefit of having world class players is that someone always steps up. Gets 1 v 1 early and is looking for the pass.

"Decision making is good, and I haven't seen a better first touch in the league so I want to see it every game.

"He doesn’t surprise me because he has the ability - we just expect more."


'A strong United selection'


David James on United's line-up...

"I said to Joleon that is their strongest team they can put out. That is a strong side. I’m happy because you want to see the best team. 

"Rashford, Martial, James have pace. Keep Bruno quiet, the pace goes null and void.

"Henderson is good from England perspective; he has great talent but he has to learn to play for Man United.

"Henderson better in the air (than David De Gea) but I hope he doesn’t play well today!"


'Pep has the answers'

David James says Pep always finds a solution:

"Not a big fan of the term momentum as it's too easy. It means we never get beat so it is about what you do between games.

"The communication is great, confidence is high for the likes of Foden as he will be waiting to come on to make an impact.

"When things don't go right Pep knows how to mend it but other teams don’t know how to do that. Something will happen before the end and he will be prepared."


Stat attack (part three)...πŸ“ˆ

 πŸ”Ή United have dropped points in seven of 10 league matches since beating Burnley on 12 January which sent them top of the table.

 πŸ”Ή Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have failed to score a single goal in their past six league meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City or Tottenham. Each of their last four such matches have finished goalless.

 πŸ”Ή United have been involved in six goalless draws in the league this season - their joint highest figure in a Premier League campaign.


'No such thing as a wrong choice'

Joleon Lescott on City's derby line-up:

"I don’t think there is a wrong choice. A great place to be with Pep. The wide men, Mahrez and Sterling are the best making full backs uncomfortable.

"I'm sure Pep has it in mind and its exciting. Tweaking the system helps no full back overlaps so its mainly a one v one giving Sterling much more space."


Game of patience

It remains goalless over at the Academy Stadium with left than 20 minutes left as our Women play host to Everton.

There's still plenty of time to make the all-important breakthrough!



Join special guests Joleon Lescott and David James along with presenter Cel Spellman NOW for the latest edition of our matchday We're Not Really Here show! 


Here's how we line up this afternoon... ⚽️

Pep Guardiola makes three changes from the side that beat Wolves last Tuesday with John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Ilkay Gundogan coming into the starting line-up.

Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva revert to the bench.

CITY XI: Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko, Rodrigo, Gundogan, De Bruyne (c), Sterling, Jesus. Mahrez

Subs: Steffen, Walker, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho, Bernardo, Foden, Aguero, Torres


Stat attack (part two)...πŸ“ˆ

 πŸ”Ή City have won 21 consecutive matches, scoring 55 goals and conceding eight.

 πŸ”Ή The only teams from the top five European league to have recorded longer winning streaks in all competitions are Bayern Munich (23 consecutive victories last year) and Real Madrid (22 in 2014).

 πŸ”Ή Pep Guardiola's side have won 15 Premier League games in a row, three short of the top-flight record, set by City in 2017 and matched by Liverpool last year.


Pep's pre-match thoughts...πŸ‘‡

Pep Guardiola:

"People are saying nice things because we are winning. The smell when you win is beautiful but we can lose. That's why our perspective is calm.

β€œWe train incredibly well tomorrow the same and then we want to do a good game.

β€œI had incredibly hungry teams in my career. We were lucky to be together.

β€œTo do what we have done - winning and winning - is because these guys have something special, like we had in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.”


Stat attack...πŸ“ˆ

πŸ”Ή United have won three of their past four league and cup games away to City.

 πŸ”Ή Seven of the past 10 Manchester derbies in all competitions have been won by the away side.

 πŸ”Ή There have been 151 top-flight Manchester derbies - United have won 58 and City 45, with 48 draws.


Tale of the tape πŸ“ˆ

There's no getting away from it - City head into the derby on the back of a quite extraordinary run.

Pep Guardiola's side have embarked on  a 21-match winning streak and are unbeaten in our last 28 games, meaning if we avoid defeat we will create a new Club record of 29 games unbeaten, surpassing the record we previously set between April and December 2017.

We have won two, lost two and drawn one of the previous five Derby meetings.

United arrive at the Etihad in decent nick themselves.

They are on a ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions - six of which have ended all square, including Wednesday's goalless draw at Crystal Palace.

Should City triumph, the Premier League leaders would stretch our lead at the top of the table to 15 points.


Elsewhere today...

It's another busy day in the Premier League.

Apart from the small matter of the Manchester derby, there are three other games taking place.

West Brom and Newcastle shared the spoils in a goalless draw in Sunday's early kick-off while Fulham are leading 1-0 at Liverpool at half-time.

The day's late kick-off sees Tottenham play host to Crystal Palace.


Early team news πŸ“‹

πŸ”Ή Pep Guardiola confirmed at Friday's pre-match press conference that City have no injury concerns ahead of today's game.

 πŸ”Ή Nathan Ake is back in training having recovered from the muscular problem has kept the central defender out for two months..

 πŸ”Ή Juan Mata and Phil Jones are both unavailable for United , whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed David De Gea will miss the game following the birth of his first child.

 πŸ”Ή Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba are all doubts after missing United's midweek draw with Crystal Palace.


It's your shout! πŸ“±

As ever, we want to hear your thoughts ahead of today's big game.

How are you feeling ahead of this one? What would your ideal line-up be? Score predictions?

Let us know using #WNRH on Twitter and your tweets could feature here in the Matchday Centre and on the We're Not Really Here show.



Joleon Lescott and David James are the special guests on today's latest edition of our We're Not Really Here matchday show and they'll join presenter Cel Spellman in the studio at the Etihad Stadium to provide their expert analysis.

The show gets under way at 15.30pm (UK), one hour before we kick-off against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men. It returns at half-time for a brief summary of the opening 45-minutes and again after the full-time whistle for half an hour of post-match analysis.

Joleon and David always offer a passionate and insightful take on everything City-related so it promises to be another compelling show.

And the best news of all?

You can watch it all here in our Matchday Centre and the video will automatically appear at the top of the page.

A guaranteed derby result!



A very good afternoon to you all.

It's matchday once again  - and not just any matchday!

For it's the day that matters more than most: it's Manchester Derby Day!

City host United at the Etihad Stadium in a 16:30pm (UK) kick-off, looking to extend our lead over our rivals atop the Premier League table - and claim those all-important Manchester bragging rights!

Wherever you're watching in the world, let us know how you're feeling ahead of the game. Nervous? Excited? Or maybe a bit of both (I know I fall into that camp!)

 I’ll be bringing you live updates throughout the pre-match build-up, as well as all the big game action and post-match reaction as we bid to make it 22 wins in succession and 29 games unbeaten in all competitions which would create a new club record.

Plenty at stake then!

And whatever your derby mood, let us know, using #WNRH...



Form guide πŸ“ˆ

City go into this clash on a 21-match winning streak and are unbeaten in our last 28 games.

We have won two, lost two and drawn one of the previous five Derby meetings.

United are on a ten-match unbeaten run in all competitions - six of which have ended all square, including Wednesday's goalless draw at Crystal Palace.

Should City triumph, the Premier League leaders would stretch our lead at the top of the table to 15 points.


Early team news πŸ“‹

Pep Guardiola has confirmed Manchester City have no injury concerns ahead of today's game.

Nathan Ake is available for selection again, which means Guardiola has a fully fit squad to choose from for the first time this season.

A muscular problem has kept Ake out for two months, with his last appearance coming in the Boxing Day win over Newcastle United, but the Dutch defender has responded well after returning to full training earlier this week.

Whilst City will have a full complement of players, the same cannot be said of Manchester United, who could be without up to six members of their squad.

Juan Mata and Phil Jones are both unavailable, whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed David De Gea will miss the game following the birth of his first child.

Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba are all doubts after missing the midweek draw with Crystal Palace.



It's matchday - and not just any matchday! It's the day the two halves of Manchester collide: it's Manchester Derby Day!

It's the first fixture you look out for when the calendar is released... and it's here!

City host United at the Etihad Stadium in a 16:30 (UK) kick-off, looking to extend our lead over our rivals atop the Premier League table - and claim those local bragging rights!

Wherever you're watching in the world, let us know how you're feeling ahead of the game. Do you love Derby Day - or hate it?! Let us know, using #WNRH...


Other games that day

  • West Bromwich Albion0
    Newcastle United0
  • Tottenham Hotspur4
    Crystal Palace1
  • Liverpool0

As it stood

P GD Pts
2 Manchester United 28 +23 54
3 Leicester City 28 +16 53
4 Chelsea 27 +17 47
5 Everton 26 +6 46
6 Tottenham Hotspur 27 +18 45
7 West Ham United 26 +9 45
8 Liverpool 28 +11 43
9 Aston Villa 26 +11 40
10 Arsenal 27 +7 38
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 28 -9 35
13 Crystal Palace 28 -17 34
14 Southampton 27 -11 33
15 Burnley 28 -16 30
16 Newcastle United 27 -17 27
17 Brighton and Hove Albion 27 -8 26
18 Fulham 28 -11 26
19 West Bromwich Albion 28 -36 18
20 Sheffield United 28 -29 14
Link To Full Table