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Other SportsMan City 3-1 Man United: Foden, Haaland goals make Rashford opener meaningless...

Man City 3-1 Man United: Foden, Haaland goals make Rashford opener meaningless in derby

Phil Foden scored an inspired second-half brace and Erling Haaland atoned for an astonishing miss to give Manchester City a comeback win and make Marcus Rashford’s spectacular early opener count for nothing in the derby at Etihad Stadium.

Second-placed City had been heavy favourites to beat opponents who started 15 points below them in the table, only for Rashford to produce a dream start for the visitors by thumping in from well outside of the penalty area to give his side a surprise eighth-minute lead.

After Haaland sent a volley over the crossbar from almost on the line shortly before the interval, Foden took aim with a glorious, rasping drive to level 11 minutes into the second half.

England playmaker Foden put City in front 10 minutes from time, completing a slick one-two with Julian Alvarez by drilling a low diagonal shot under goalkeeper Andre Onana’s fingers and into the far corner of the net.

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City manager Pep Guardiola looked disbelieving at Haaland’s miss but his relief showed in his celebration when Rodri dispossessed Sofyan Amrabat and set up Haaland to finish in more characteristically clinical fashion a minute into added time.

The result moves City a point behind leaders Liverpool, while United are six behind fifth-placed Tottenham and have played a game more.

City vs United result deepens visitors’ gloom

New United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s designs on transforming the club’s underachievements off the pitch led to greater scrutiny than usual of the gap between City and their neighbours in the build-up to this game.

While City have dominated English football under Pep Guardiola, the most successful team in the history of the English game have not mounted a credible title challenge since Sir Alex Ferguson led them to glory in his final season in 2012/13.

Rashford, who has been one of the players to underperform in 2023/24, provided the perfect tonic following their last-gasp first defeat of 2024 at home to Fulham eight days earlier, and Erik ten Hag might have sensed his team would improve on their record of four league defeats in five in the fixture when Haaland implausibly spurned the simplest of chances.

Foden – like Rashford, an academy product of his club and a Manchester native – dashed those hopes to continue his excellent campaign, and Haaland’s late winner would also have felt important after his relatively profligate run of recent form, failing to score in five out of seven previous appearances across the Uefa Champions League and Premier League.

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