Erling Haaland scored twice to help Manchester City to a 3-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. With the win, Manchester City moved within two points of Tottenham Hotspur, who are now in first place in the Premier League.
Haaland scored a goal from the penalty spot in the middle of the first half, then added another goal with a header just after the break, and then set up Phil Foden for the game’s third goal.
Following a lacklustre beginning to their defence of their title, City began the match ranked outside of the top four.
But the team under by Pep Guardiola is still the favourite to win an unprecedented fourth consecutive English top-flight title. Furthermore, they demonstrated that they are in a different league than their regional competitors by moving up to third place.
United is now in eighth place after suffering their fifth loss in 10 league games this season, 11 points behind the leaders.
United veteran Bobby Charlton was honoured once more prior to the start of the game, and luminaries from both teams who had played with or against the 1966 World Cup victor were invited onto the field for a minute of applause before the game began.
But as the action got going, things went back to being hostile between the two sides.
United had gotten off to a terrible start to the season, but they had won their last three games, although against Brentford, Sheffield United, and FC Copenhagen, in ways that were not particularly convincing.
Even though it took City forty-five minutes to get into their rhythm, this was the actual test of any renaissance Erik ten Hag’s men had been working towards, and they failed the test miserably.
It is possible that the penalty save that Andre Onana made with the last kick of the game to keep Manchester United’s Champions League challenge alive against Copenhagen in the midweek match could prove to be the defining moment of the Cameroonian goalkeeper’s time at Old Trafford.
United might have been in for an even more disastrous afternoon if it weren’t for the former stopper who played for Inter Milan.
Onana had to be at his best once more to bail out some sloppy defence as he parried Foden’s header and denied Haaland from the follow-up attempt before Harry Maguire cleared the ball off the line. Onana had to be at his best to bail out some shoddy defending.
However, he was unable to repeat his heroics from the penalty spot after VAR intervened to award City their first penalty at Old Trafford since 1992. This was the first time City had been awarded a penalty at Old Trafford since 1992.
Rodri was definitely brought down by Rasmus Hojlund, but United will likely argue that similar occurrences, which include jostling within the box, frequently go unpunished for whatever reason.
Recently, Haaland has been the subject of considerable criticism because goaltending is an area in which he is known for setting exceptionally high standards for himself.
The Norwegian, however, has already scored 11 goals in 10 Premier League games this season and sent Onana in the other direction with his penalty kick.
Hojlund had a significant opportunity to make apologies when he seized on a careless ball made by Foden and raced clean on goal.
But the Dane gave the ball a hefty touch as he was going around Ederson, and Bruno Fernandes made a save on the ball as it came back across the goal.
Pep Guardiola, the manager of City, appeared to be growing visibly upset as his team’s unexpectedly poor passing handed United chances to counter-attack, and Scott McTominay had a good chance to equalise and stung Ederson’s palms with a shot.
But if it weren’t for an incredible save by Onana, the away team would have maintained their 2-0 lead at halftime. Haaland’s powerful header would have been turned away.
The warning was ignored by United, and four minutes into the second half, City doubled their lead with a play that was virtually identical to the one they had just used.
After receiving the ball, Bernardo Silva was put in down the left side of the pitch, and this time, Haaland met his cross with a more cushioned header that beat Onana.
After that, City had complete control of the game, and it took another incredible save from Onana to prevent Haaland from scoring a hat trick in the Manchester derby when he was clean through.
After Onana blocked Rodri’s initial shot, City’s number nine selflessly passed up his next opportunity to win the game in order to set up Foden for an easy finish with a tap-in after the goalkeeper’s initial save.
The scoring of the third goal served as the signal for thousands of United fans to leave the stadium, but not before many of them voiced their disapproval with Ten Hag’s choice to remove Hojlund from the game.
Ten Hag is under increasing pressure to right a ship that has been sinking since he took over as captain after a successful first season in that role.