Marcus Rashford became the youngest player to ever score in a Manchester derby today, as the 18-year old scored the only goal of the match opposing City to United at the Etihad Stadium to keep United’s hopes to end in the top 4 alive, despite being given a bumpy ride by the Citizens in the second half. After being dumped out of the Europa League on Thursday by Liverpool, it was the perfect way to bounce back and lift the spirits once again for the red half of Manchester.
United started the match on the back-foot, as Navas forced Darmian to concede a corner in the early seconds of the game, the former then nearly forcing the ball past De Gea, only for the latter to save with his right foot, as City looked to capitalize early on. However, on a quick counter at the other end, Rashford was found by a through ball by Mata, and after skipping past Demichelis, the youngster calmly slotted the ball past Hart in City’s goal to silence the home crowd. Martial then tested Hart with a long range attempt, but City were lucky to go to half-time with only a goal deficit, as the referee did not penalize Demichelis’ foul on Rashford in the box in the first half’s additional minutes.
City suffered another set-back three minutes into the second half, as Hart picked up what seemed like a calf injury in an attempt to clear Demichelis’ weak back-pass, and put under pressure by an onrushing Martial in the box. Caballero, who came on to replace Hart, first had to keep out a dangerous pass from Rojo, then produced a brilliant save to keep out Martial’s deflected effort. United however went into defensive mode from thereon, and City piled on the pressure in search of the equalizer. Aguero gave a reminder of his presence by nodding Toure’s cross onto De Gea’s left post, with the latter looking well beaten by the effort. Bony then came close only to see Carrick poke the ball into a corner-kick. City kept the heat on United’s defense, but Aguero slashed his effort wide after beating his defender with a clever turn. United somehow managed to hold on for a vital win, keeping the hopes alive to at least qualify for next season’s CL phase, and making it a perfect pre-birthday gift for me in the process as well 😆