The visitors took the lead through David Silva, but Marcus Rashford’s equaliser kept it level at half-time, before Nicolas Otamendi’s decisive goal in the second half led Pep Guardiola‘s side to a win.
Here we rate the players from Manchester City.
EDERSON: Was caught out for Rashford’s strike but made a brave and brilliant double save late on to preserve City’s lead. 7
KYLE WALKER: Provided an option for City that was probably underused. 6
VINCENT KOMPANY: Organised and commanding but did not return for the second half. 6
NICOLAS OTAMENDI: Strong in the tackle and coming forward, and took his goal well. 8
FABIAN DELH: Created an opportunity for Sane with a brilliant pass but his defensive inexperience was exposed by United’s equaliser. 6
FERNANDINHO: Kept City’s midfield ticking and United’s quiet before switching to defence for a spell in the second half. 7
KEVIN DE BRUYNE: Made some determined runs and forced a good save from De Gea but his passing was unusually wayward. 6
DAVID SILVA: City’s most creative player, made the most of the space he had to work with and finished his goal well. 8
RAHEEM STERLING: Made a lively start playing in a central role but could not capitalise on his opportunities. 7
GABRIEL JESUS: Looked sharp and beat Rojo with some nifty footwork to test De Gea but debate over whether he tried to con the referee into giving a penalty will persist. 6
LEROY SANE: His touch was outstanding and he got some chances to show his pace out wide. 7
ILKAY GUNDOGAN (for Kompany, 46): Brought a different dimension to the City midfield with some good attacking runs. 6
ELIAQUIM MANGALA (for Jesus, 59): Gave City a bit of extra solidity to get the result, despite some nervy touches. 6
BERNARDO SILVA (for Sane, 88): Held the ball up well as City closed out victory. 6
As he lamented conceding “disgraceful goals” and being denied a “clear penalty”, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes neighbours Manchester City now have an advantage that could prove insurmountable in the Premier League title race.
“Probably, yes,” he said after Pep Guardiola’s leaders inflicted their first loss in 41 home games to extend the gap to 11 points.
“It is a significant distance. We can work and fight for it. Match after match and every match we are going to give everything, with our qualities, with our problems, that is what we do all the time.
“But Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them. I think they have all these decisions in their favour.”
Despite City being dominant in possession, Mourinho felt the outcome should have been different.
Striker Romelu Lukaku twice blundered through horrific defending in his own box to allow David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi to claim the decisive goals. The first a hooked effort two minutes before the break, the second in the 54th after Lukaku’s hurried clearance hit Chris Smalling and fell to Otamendi to stretch and volley past David De Gea.
City were similarly slack at the back to concede through Marcus Rashford in the second minute of first-half added time after Otamendi missed a cross and Fabian Delph was deceived by a bounce.
But Mourinho felt referee Michael Oliver should have given a spot kick when Ander Herrera went over the outstretched leg of Otamendi in the 79th minute. United’s Spanish midfielder was booked for a dive instead.
“My first reaction is I feel sorry for referee Michael Oliver because he had a very good match but unfortunately he made an important mistake,” said Mourinho.
“Michael was unlucky because it was a clear penalty. I think when you see Manchester City play, you expect Manchester City to score great goals not to score two disgraceful goals. They are the last goals you expect to concede against a quality team like Manchester City, two very bad goals…. with a rebound and incredible lucky or unlucky depending on perspective. They were two easy goals.”
Luck did play a part in the stunning double save by Ederson five minutes from time when Lukaku had the chance to atone for his errors and make peace with the home fans frustrated by his calamitous contribution.
Anthony Martial crossed from the left and Lukaku saw his point-blank finish hit Ederson in the face and the Brazilian keeper somehow picked himself up to block Juan Mata’s follow up.
“People say it was an amazing save by Ederson, that’s true, it was amazing, the key point, but I think De Gea had much more saves than Ederson,’ argued Guardiola. “We won because we were better. In all departments, we were better.”
With a record 14th league win in a single season confirmed, the City boss also refuted the pre-match suggestion from Mourinho that his players dived.
“The message was the same in Barcelona: our players diving. It’s the same,” he added. “When a team has the courage to have 65, 70, 75 percent average ball possession in all the games, it’s because it’s an honest team, it’s because they want to play. Sometimes they’re quicker, sometimes they’re faster, but they’re not a team who try to look for something special. Because we are honest. We’re going to face the opponent face-to-face to try to win.”
Goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi gave City a 14th straight Premier League win and increased their lead at the top to 11 points, but Mourinho felt his side should have been awarded a spot-kick when Ander Hererra went down under a challenge from Otamendi.
Referee Michael Oliver booked Herrera for diving and left Mourinho with a distraction after his side were outplayed at Old Trafford.
“Clear penalty. I am sorry for us and sorry for Michael, I think he had a good performance but it was a clear penalty,” the Portuguese said on Sky Sports.
“The referee made a mistake, which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation here against Man City. We were winning 2-1 and Mr Clattenburg didn’t see the penalty – (Claudio) Bravo on (Wayne) Rooney – and this one also.
“I am sorry for Michael Oliver because he had a good performance. The referee had a good match but he made one mistake and his mistake was crucial to the outcome of the match.”
With United’s deficit now into double figures, City are clear favourites to lift the Premier League title in May.
Mourinho says his side will continue to fight.
He added: “They are a very good team. I think they are lucky, they had all the decisions in their favour but Tuesday is another day in the Premier League and I am pretty sure all of us, us in second, Chelsea in third, and fourth and fifth and sixth, everyone is going to try to fight for points and try and reduce the distance.
“Of course, their advantage is a very good one.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 10, 2017