Manchester United have done the league double over Manchester City, winning 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial’s goal had looked like being just about enough to earn us a hard fought three points, before Scott McTominay’s late chip over an out of position Ederson sealed the win.
Here is a look at five things we learned from the victory…
Fernandes to Martial connection
Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial have been threatening to get on the same page ever since the Portuguese midfielder signed for United.
Martial’s opening goal was the first one he has scored from a Fernandes assist.
It came from a clever free-kick from Fernandes, who clipped the ball over the City wall for Martial to hit first time underneath Ederson.
Martial looked lively and confident all game while Fernandes looked comfortable orchestrating United’s attack. There is a lot more to come from these two.
James got a big show of faith from Solskjaer
Welsh winger Dan James had not featured in the last two games and was dealing with an injury leading into this fixture.
It was a surprise to see him in the starting line-up for the derby. This was a big show of faith from his boss, for a player who had been in poor form.
Tactically it was possible to see why he was picked. When he got the opportunity to run at Nicolas Otamendi he had the defender worried.
The problem for James remains a lack of end product, but he didn’t stop trying, and played all 90 minutes.
Williams picked when it matters
Brandon Williams has had a surprise break in recent weeks. This was his first start in five matches.
When it really mattered, he was brought in by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. That speaks volumes, showing that he was just rested as opposed to being dropped.
United reverted to a 3-4-1-2 system for this one, which allowed both Williams and Luke Shaw to start.
The 19-year-old played well, he offered an outlet going forward, creating two chances, and apart from one shaky moment in the second half where Riyad Mahrez caused him trouble, he was solid defensively.
Guardiola hoodoo over
Pepe Guardiola took over at City in 2016, and had never lost a Premier League game at Old Trafford.
That was a pretty shameful record on our part. Finally it’s come to an end.
Martial’s first half goal had put us in a strong position to win, but City came out fighting in the second half.
For long periods we were penned back and this was a big test of our defensive resilience.
With Chelsea winning today, three points was essential to keep the pressure on in the race for a top four place.
United’s forwards need to repay Fernandes
While Bruno Fernandes’ creative talents are already paying dividends for United’s players, he has not exactly seen the favour repaid yet.
Both Anthony Martial and Dan James were guilty of ignoring him when through on goal, and a simple cutback would have left Fernanes with a clear and better opportunity to score.
In each half, Martial and James had efforts saved by Ederson and left Fernandes’ clever runs wasted.
When each player watch it back they will reflect that they should have handled the situations differently.
The more United’s players play with Fernandes, the more chance is that they will become more aware of his forward running and make better decisions.
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