Manchester City defeats United in derby clash to go top of table - As it happened

Tune in for live score and commentary from the crucial debry between Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League.

Raheem Sterling came to close to giving Manchester City the lead in the first half.   -  Reuters

Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the derby between Manchester United and Manchester City in the Premier League.

United's poor run of results continued depsite a determined show, but Manchester City cruised through like a champion to the top of the table, taking a point's lead over Liverpool. Only Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton stand in its way as it aims to defend the Premier League title.

Have we witnessed the end of the title race? The so-called minnows might have a say in it. That's all for today. Thanks for tuning in.

90+4' That's full time! Man United slumps to its second successive Premier League defeat. Man City does a double over United but more importantly, goes top of the table.

90' Four minutes of added time. It's looking more and more like a result that's going to leave one side of Manchester already celebrating the title.

85' Pogba takes a shot from outside the box and the deflection puts it in the path of Rashford but Ederson gets there first. United still doesn't look like it can find a way back here. City, meanwhile, looks like champions.

82' Kitchen sink moments as Solskjaer brings on both Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial.

79' SCORE UPDATE! Arsenal loses 3-1 against Wolves and that's some relief to United. United takes on Chelsea next, which is currently 3rd and four points ahead of United.

77' Lukaku substitution has worked is Solskjaer just wanted him to get on the end of chances. Lukaku is low on confidence at the moment and today may not be the day he finds the net.

75' Pogba plays a brilliant ball to Rashford near the box. He takes it down and eventually passes it to Lukaku who takes it to the goal line and tries to shoot it in from a very acute angle. Hits Ederson, then Lingard and goes out for a goal kick.

72' Substitution for United. Lukaku comes on for Andreas Pereira. Will this work for United?

66' GOALLL! Leroy Sane scores! The substitution has worked. He finds himself in space and shoots at De Gea. The United goalkeeper can't keep it out. Beaten at his near post again. Not a good week for him either.

63' Pogba takes the free-kick and it's straight at the wall. 

62' Pogba wins a free-kick in a wonderful position. Right in the middle on the edge of the box. Who wanna take it?

58' LINGARD MISSES! United at the other end responding brilliantly response. A determined Rashford surges into the box on the right and plays it to Lingard. Lingard just has to get a touch on it to put it into the open net. But somehow misses.

56' City has gotten into rhythm. Aguero with a shot from distance; it's just wide.

54' GOALL!  Bernardo Silva puts City ahead.

53' And Leroy Sane's right into  the thick of things. Sane gets into the 6-yard box and tries to square it to Aguero in the middle but Youngs tracks back well to block it.

51' Was that substitution because of injury or was that tactical? Has Guardiola spotted a chink in United's armour he knows he can exploit? It's convenient either way.

50' Fernandinho seems to have come the worse off that challenge with Pogba. He's down injured and now he's going off to be replaced by Leroy Sane. That's more firepower for United to deal with.

48' Rashford, at the edge of the box, passes to Pogba who cuts past a defender and lifts to shoot but Fernandino gets there just in time to clear the danger.

46' Action resumes. United has shown encouraging signs but it's been City that has come closer to scoring.
And now, City is already on the front foot, foraging into the United box.

HALF TIME

As it stands, Liverpool is still on top of the table with a point's lead. I don't know how Man United will be feeling about that.  But it's been a good response from United after the disastrous show at Goodison Park. Lingard has led the forward press which has caught City napping at times but Sterling and Aguero have come close to putting City ahead. Both teams have looked good on counters though.

45+2' A pretty irritated Old Trafford here. Gundogan goes down near the edge of the box after a tackle from Lingard.  He stays down as United start a counter. Guardiola is not happy that play's going on and the United players eventually decide to put it out of play.

43' CHANCE! And possibly the best one so far. Sterling keeps hold of the ball well in the box to waeve through a crowded 6-yard box and shoot. He doesn't get a lot of power on it and De Gea saves.

41' Andreas Pereira can play Rashfor in with a good ball but a bad touch takes it away from him. Pogba does well to get to the second ball and win a free-kick. And the free-kick is an easy take for Ederson.

39' The game has gone a little flat. But oh, there's a foul on Aguero and a free-kick to City. United has held fort well so far.

36' There's some good news for Man United already. Arsenal is losing 3-0 to Wolves currently. Follow the game live here.

34' Play's around the United box now. City has taken back control of the game. United is defending well but can't get Rashford and Lingard running.

31' Fernandinho loses it in midfield and Lingard and Rashford pounce on it and start a quick counter. Rashford tries to take it on his own and gets boxed by Zinchenko and Laporte. Lingard is not happy.

29' Sterling squares the ball into a dangerous area in the box but misses everyone! Pogba picks it up and tries to start a counter-attack but Fernandinho makes another timely interception.

27' That was a good free-kick from Young, sending it right across the 6-yard box. Fernandinho does well to get there before Rashford.

26' United wins another free-kick. Flung in by Young.

25' Aguero shows good strength to hold off Darmian and put in a cross. It's behind Bernardo Silva but he tries an overhead kick but it barely troubles De Gea.

22' CLOSE! United's pressing is working as City loses the ball in midfield once again. Rashford shoots from distance. It dips dangerously but just goes over the bar.

18' Back-to-back chances! Bernardo Silva shoots from distance but De Gea saves. United on the counter as Lingard sends Rashford in with a through ball. Ederson charges forward and clashes with Rashford, who needs some medical attention.

16' CHANCE!  Pogba plays in a beautiful long ball into the box. Lingard arrives and tries to sidefoot on the volley. It's a good attempt, but wide.

15' Sterling cuts in. It's a tame shot but takes a dangerous deflecton off Smalling. De Gea is alert to change direction and hold it.

At the other end, Fred with a wild shot from distance.

13' United survives a scare! It's a good move from City that sees Sterling on the edge of the box, cut in but United somehow clears it out.

11' And suddenly Man United has grown into the game. Once again, it's pressing at the front from Lingard that has worked the trick. The ball moves around the City box for while but United can't get a shot away. It's already a much better performance than Sunday.

10' City loses the ball in midfield again and Rashford moves it ahead. He's blocked and it's a yellow card to Kompany.

9' United fans on their feet! Lingard presses Kompany well and he's forced to play it out for a United throw. United needs more of that.

7' City wins a free-kick in a good position. It's floated in, but they can't make much of it.  Goal kick.

4' It's been all City so far. Who's playing at home again?

2' Young tries to play Rashford in early. But Ederson calmly collects it.

1' Manchester City kicks-off. How is this derby going to down? This match has in recent times always been more than a derby, especially this time. City needs to win, United needs to win. But if United do, it's almost like gifting arch-rival Liverpool the title.

 

KICK OFF

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had all sorts of questions directed at him after United's poor recent form, especially that 4-0 drubbing against Everton on Sunday. And he's given scribes plenty to write about.

    READ | Solskjaer: Man Utd not ready to compete with City or Liverpool next season

    READ | Manchester United players will have no hiding place against City, says Solskjaer
     
  • Solskjaer has started with Darmian and Luke Shaw as fullbacks. Ashley Young is also in the team. So clearly, width is something he's going for.
     
  • Pep Guardiola's Man City is without Kevin de Bruyne who got injured in the EPL clash against Tottenham Hotspur, but still starts a strong side.
     
  • Manchester United fans find themselves in a peculiar situation. A derby win could go on to ensure that arch rival Liverpool lifts its first Premier League title. A defeat could help city rival Manchester City to another title. But at the same, United is fighting for a place in the top four and next year's Champions League.  Even a draw may not be sufficient.

    What a time to be a United fan, eh?  Have your say here.

Head-to-head record (like that's going to matter)

Manchester United - 73                              Drawn - 52                           Manchester City - 52

Here are the starting line-ups:

Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Young (C), Fred, Andreas Pereira, Pogba, Lingard, Rashford.

Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva, Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero.


Aashin and Lavanya seem to have picked sides but there's consensus on the fact that we're in for one hell of a game! Who are you rooting for?

 

 

 Title, top four and pride at stake in massive Manchester derby

Even by the rarified atmosphere of Manchester derbies, there will seldom have been so much on the line for both sides of the city when Manchester United host Manchester City on Wednesday.

For City, the Premier League title is at stake with Pep Guardiola's men needing to win their remaining four matches to be sure of becoming the first side since United a decade ago to retain the title.

Those days of dominance are long gone for the Red Devils with just a place in the top four and Champions League qualification its target.

However, United also has to restore some sense of pride after a 4-0 thrashing at Everton on Sunday.

Defeat at Goodison Park was United's sixth in eighth games, a run that has seen them crash out of the Champions League and FA Cup, as well as slip back down to sixth in the Premier League.

But with Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea also faltering, it remains just three points off the top four.

 

The momentum and feel-good factor built up by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first few months in charge has gone.

Now the Norwegian, only hired on a permanent basis last month, has to show he has the ability to arrest the slump even before a major restructure of his squad takes place in the summer.

Solskjaer questioned the work rate and desire of some of his players on Sunday, making it clear that big changes are needed.

However, he is clinging to the hope that those he currently has to call on will be shocked into a short-term response.

“Against City at Old Trafford on Wednesday, that's the biggest incentive we can have,” said Solskjaer after the Everton embarrassment.

“Old Trafford at home, in front of our fantastic fans, they were unbelievable again and they never ever moaned at our players, which they could have, but they've been supportive and I'm sure they will be on Wednesday night.”

Yet, there is a dilemma even for United fans keen to halt City's rise.

Should City fail to win at Old Trafford, Liverpool -- historically United's fiercest rival -- will be just three games away from a first league title in 29 years.

Liverpool has already set its highest ever points tally in the Premier League era of 88 to lead City by two points.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will expect a reaction from his players after the poor show at Goodison Park, while Pep Guardiola will have his players prepared to achieve a potential double over Manchester United, something he did not manage in his first two seasons.   -  AFP

 

However, Guardiola's men have a game in hand and should they move top once more with a win on Wednesday, would just need to see off Burnley, Leicester and Brighton to guarantee the title.

“With this Liverpool side, our side we know if we lose what happens,” warned Guardiola.

City's quest for a quadruple of trophies fell short by the finest of margins as it lost on away goals to Tottenham in the quarterfinals of the Champions League last week.

However, it can still claim an unprecedented domestic treble by winning the league and FA Cup over the next month to go with its League Cup win in February.

“I love my team being there,” added Guardiola.

“I am not going to criticise them because we are out (of the Champions League). I see every day what we have done over the past two seasons, they show me character every three days.

“I have good players, but they have to do it. And when people expect them to do it, it's harder to do it. That's why we push them but they respond really well. I love my team.”

City gained a small measure of revenge on Spurs with a 1-0 league win on Saturday, but victory came at a cost with Kevin de Bruyne unlikely to play again this season due to a hamstring injury.