Young stars as United's resurgence continues
MANCHESTER UNITED 4 MANCHESTER CITY 2
Manchester United’s renaissance continues.
They are bulldozing over every obstacle that is standing in their way.
Manchester City were their latest victims this morning (Singapore time) as they fell to an embarrassing 4-2 Manchester Derby defeat at Old Trafford, reports Gary Lim.
Despite a bright start, the defending champions faded away and were simply no match for United’s energy and brilliance.
At the centre of everything splendid about United were, almost inevitably, three players who looked like they were never going to make it at United — Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata.
But the trio’s recent rejuvenation has created the spark for United’s upturn in fortunes in recent weeks, and this game was no different.
Young was the star of a five-star show. His Man United career has come full circle.
He moved to Old Trafford four years ago as the potential catalyst in Sir Alex Ferguson’s regeneration plans.
But he never looked the part.
But manager Louis van Gaal did what neither Fergie nor David Moyes could do — draw the best out of the 29-year-old winger.
He set United on their way to victory this morning.
The former Aston Villa star thumped in the equaliser just six minutes after City had taken an eighth-minute lead through Sergio Aguero.
Young just grew from strength to strength as he delivered two assists to turn the screw on their arch-rivals.
He tore down the left flank the entire game to leave City’s defence scrambling for cover.
Fellaini, so often the butt of jokes in the past, was another menace in the City backline.
They call him a one-trick pony, but it says something about the man if he causes havoc via the same way over and over again.
His aerial power gave United a clear advantage in the opponent’s penalty area.
And when Young delivered a inch-perfect cross to the far post, the Belgian wasn’t about to turn down the invitation.
His 27th-minute header gave United the lead for the first time in the game and the Red Devils never looked back after that.
Like Young and Fellaini, Mata also rose to the occasion. He was the man Chelsea didn’t want.
For a while, it looked like Man United didn’t want him too. Now, van Gaal can’t get enough of him.
The Spaniard dictated the tempo in the attacking third like a conductor in an orchestra.
In the 67th minute, he raced clear of the defence and slotted home to give the hosts a two-goal cushion. He looked slightly offside but he wouldn’t care.
But United were not done yet.
The game was turning into an exhibition of attacking football and they were relishing the moment.
It was Young again who carved out United’s final goal, his free-kick finding Chris Smalling who headed the ball into the back of the net.
City’s fightback was feeble.
Aguero scored his second of the game late on to make the scoreline look a little more respectable. But it was scant consolation.
With United’s terrific trio in such unstoppable form, the “noisy neighbours” were silenced once again.
Get more match analysis in our print edition on April 13.
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