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City retain ‘BEST’ in Manchester status with victory over United

Manchester City defeated Manchester United 3-1 on Sunday, March 3, 2024 to retain the ‘best’ team in Manchester status, at least until the 2024/2025 season.

It was United who took the lead in the Manchester derby, when Marcus Rashford found the net early in the game with an ‘unstoppable’ long-range strike.

Erik Ten Hag tutored Red Devils successfully kept the hosts at bay throughout the first half, but the second period saw United fall flat at the Etihad.

England youngster, Phil Foden supritended over the comeback, bagging a brace to put the title-chasing Citizens 2-1 up before goal-king Erling Haaland added a third to seal a 3-1 result for the Champions.

That victory ensured City retain bragging rights in Manchester and also keep chase of Premier League leaders Liverpool, who kept their spot with a hard-fought win over Taiwo Awoniyi’s Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening.

In his post match comments, Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag said his boys had a good performance despite suffering defeat against their city rivals.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, speaking to Match of the Day: “I think it was a good performance overall, we went 1-0 up and we had our moments after it to score the second one.

“We defended very well and there were two defining moments when we nearly made a breakthrough and conceded the first goal.

“Then you are disappointed, we have to accept it and still were had the opportunties to at least get one point, but the win was also possible.”

On Kyle Walker foul on Marcus Rashford:”I looked back and asked Rashy [Rashford] if there was contact, maybe soft but there was contact.”

On tactics:”Getting behind the defending line with the speed of Garnacho, already after a couple of minutes there was some good breakthrough and then quickly after it was a good goal from Rashford.

“We closed the middle very good and the box very good.

“We stuck to the plan and we had the moment of the reckless action of the goalkeeper of City and after that attack we conceded the goal.”

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola also spoke to BBC match of the day team:  “Not winning would not be good but we matched the result with the performance and it is really good.

“We started really well but after seven minutes and the first long ball we were not in the correct line. We we were a little more anxious in the first half in the final third but yeah it was a really good game.

“They are a team built for the transitions and they can kill you in them. That is why you have to not lose that. If we attack not in a good position they can make good transitions and score a second goal and make it more difficult.”

On Phil Foden:”It is the amount of games he is playing. He was always a talented player but now he is more mature and understands more the game, especially defensively. He can play middle, right, make moments and cut inside, play in the left, scoring from the left. What can I say? He is the best player in the Premier League right now for the amount of things he does. Unbelievable.”

His defensive work give you as much pleasure as other stuff?”When he scores two goals it gives me more pleasure than the other stuff. We don’t negotiate over that, the guy who doesn’t do that doesn’t stay in the team. He loves football, he lives for football. He is a joy and his work ethic is unbelievable.”

On title challenge: “It is about us. We can’t control what Liverpool or Arsenal, Aston Villa or other contenders do, it is about us. We do what we have to do to win today, next Wednesday and Sunday. This team is legendary.

“Will we do it? I don’t know. We have today more points at this stage than last season. The difference is Liverpool have I don’t know how many more points than this stage last season. When the opponent is behaving like this, what can I say, congratulations so far. We will continue to try game by game.”

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