Ruthless United tear City to shreds in derby
By Chris O'Brien
April 12 2015
Manchester United staged a stunning comeback in Sunday’s derby, tearing apart City with a aplomb. A 4-2 victory opened up a four-point lead over their cross-city rivals, leaving United comfortably on course for a quick return to Europe's elite competition.
City burst out of the traps with purpose; with brief moments of the opening period reminiscent of the 6-1 mauling they gave the Red Devils back in 2011.
It was no surprise when the visitors broke the deadlock. Easily cutting open United’s backline, Sergio Aguero tapped home David Silva’s cross after a James Milner pass. It was a goal which characterised City’s abundance of attacking riches, and left the Red Army contemplating a long afternoon.
The comeback, however, was one to savour.
Funnily enough, it was City’s enthusiasm and determination which forced United’s route one approach to the equaliser. David de Gea surged off his line as Jesus Navas aimed to latch onto the loose ball. His thundering long-ball found Ander Herrera, City panicked as the cross came in, the ball hit Gael Clichy's back and Ashley Young fired home.
Minutes later, Young turned provider with Clichy poor again. The resurgent Marouane Fellaini took advantage of slack marking from the City defender, nodding home to the delight of Old Trafford’s home support.
Having started off second best, United continued to look dangerous and confident after the break, playing with purpose and belief. A third goal almost came shortly after the re-start, as Joe Hart met Wane Rooney’s free-kick with a finger-tip save, and Young, Herrera and Michael Carrick all went close in a goal mouth scramble.
The lead was extended, however, on 67 minutes. Rooney skilfully picked up Daley Blind’s pass and played in Juan Mata, with the former Chelsea man closing on Hart, and dispatching a fine finish from an acute angle. It was a delicious team goal.
City were in tatters – their impressive start a distant memory. United seized the opportunity to end their run of derby wins with relish. The fourth came on 73 minutes, with Young involved for the third time, as Chris Smalling sprung the offside trap to nod home from a free-kick, as ruthless United continued their stunning run of form.
United’s six league wins on the bounce has included a trouncing of Spurs and victory at Anfield. This win further suggested that Louis van Gaal has found his winning formula, though Aguero reduced the arrears late on to bag his 100th City goal, with United forced to finish the game with 10-men as Carrick limped off with all substitutions made.
Chelsea’s late winner at QPR surely forced even the most optimistic United fan to put away their calculators and stop dreaming of a late title push. However, following this excellent derby win, only the most pessimistic Red won’t be dusting off their maps of Europe! Well done United – fantastic!
Full Time – Manchester United 4-2 Manchester City
Attendance - 75,313