Football

City a step closer to title after 2-0 win over United

Defeat piles more misery on Solskjaer's side as Rashford urges teammates to play like Manchester United

EPL
MAN UNITED MAN CIty
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  (Bernardo Silva 54, Leroy Sane 66)

Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has called on his team to play like Manchester United, following a 2-0 defeat by Manchester City at home on Wednesday morning (Singapore time).

“Today, we didn’t play like Manchester United. It’s not right. The bare minimum is to work hard and give all for the badge, the supporters, the club and yourself,” he said, as City took a huge step towards their title defence.

“It has been a tough road to get to where we are, to get there and not be putting up the same performances as we were in January is disappointing.

“We know what’s been going wrong, it’s mentality and willingness to run for your team. Forget the league and top four, you don’t lose this game. It’s that simple as a Manchester United fan. We (the players) never call each other out but we have to be real with each other.”

City have 89 points, one more than rivals Liverpool, with both teams having three games to play – and none of them against top-six opponents.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side remain in sixth place with 64 points, outside the Champions League qualification slots.

United are surely keen to get this season over with and begin the rebuilding they need – they have now lost seven games out of their last nine in all competitions and were outclassed after the break by City’s composed, intelligent passing and movement.

Second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane ensured a comfortable win for City, who have now won 11 straight league games.

The form book suggests City should win the title, much to the frustration of Liverpool who have lost just once this season.

THREE WINS

However, City captain Vincent Kompany was not getting carried away. “Nothing is played out yet. Burnley is a difficult away game next and there is plenty to play for, both for us and Liverpool. We will deal with the other games in the next days,” said the Belgian.

“We need three wins. We cannot expect the opponent to drop points.”

United, smarting from their 4-0 hammering at Everton on Sunday, created little beyond an optimistic long-range effort from Rashford in the scoreless first half.

City were slow to find top gear. Guardiola was forced to adjust his line-up six minutes after the interval when Brazilian holding midfielder Fernandinho went off injured and Leroy Sane was introduced.

But it was no surprise that Portuguese winger Silva was the man who broke through.

He picked the ball up on the right flank and cut inside on to his left foot, surprising de Gea with a low drive that sneaked in the bottom corner in the 54th minute.

United’s night was summed up when some rare shaky defending from City saw the ball loop towards the back post but Jesse Lingard mis-kicked completely and the opportunity had gone.

City then doubled their lead – Fred giving the ball away in midfield, Sterling breaking forward before feeding Sane on the left with the German’s powerful drive flying in off the outstretched leg of de Gea. – REUTERS

Manchester Unitedmanchester cityMarcus RashfordOle Gunnar Solskjaer