Manchester, April 25 (IANS) Premier League holders Manchester City defeated Manchester United 2-0 to reclaim first place from Liverpool.
As if the normal drama of the derby were not enough, the match at Old Trafford on Wednesday took on special significance for its impact on the title race and because it was United’s first outing since a 4-0 drubbing last week at the hands of Everton.
With 35 matches played, City have 89 points, one more than Liverpool, reports Efe news.
City will hoist the Premier League trophy for a second straight year if they take all nine points from their remaining games, no matter what the Reds do.
After conceding four goals to Everton, United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer went with a five-man back line and entrusted the offense to Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard up front on Wednesday night.
The plan worked well in the first half, disrupting the potent City attack and limiting them to one real scoring chance, a strike by red-hot Raheem Sterling that forced an impressive save from United goalkeeper David De Gea.
But the visitors were improved after the break and the United strategy collapsed in the 54th minute, when Bernardo Silva beat defender Luke Shaw and blasted a low shot just inside the near post, leaving De Gea with no chance.
Only the post prevented Sergio “Kun” Agüero from giving City a 2-0 advantage on their next possession.
With United visibly deflated, the second goal was only a matter of time and it came in the 66th minute.
Sterling carried the ball into the United half and released Leroy Sane, whose effort was the kind of shot that a De Gea in top form would probably have stopped.