On Saturday, the Merseyside derby and Manchester derbies took place with very different results. The Merseyside derby was a dour affair, while the Manchester counterpart was anything but. Here is what happened in Saturday’s games:
Saturday’s Manchester derby was supposed to be the day that Manchester City won the Premier League title against their bitter rivals Manchester United. However, nobody told the visitors, who came back from two goals down to win 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.
The visitors held City for the first 25 minutes before Citizens captain Vincent Kompany powered home from a Leroy Sane corner kick. From then on, the home side looked to be in control in the first period. Pep Guardiola’s side doubled their lead on the half-hour mark, as Ilkay Gundogan showed good feet before poking past David De Gea.
City should have sealed the game and the title, as England international Raheem Sterling missed two gilt-edged chances before the break. The former Liverpool player was then made to pay for those misses in the second half.
United came out with far more purpose in the second period and reduced the deficit eight minutes into the second half, Paul Pogba firing home after a clever pass from Ander Herrera. Two minutes later and Pogba doubled his tally, heading into the bottom corner from an Alexis Sanchez cross. The initiative was very much with United at this point and the incredible turnaround was complete on 69 minutes. Sanchez fired in a free-kick and centre-back Chris Smalling volleyed home from close-range.
City sent on the big guns from the bench, with Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Gabriel Jesus all coming on. However, they could not find an equaliser. Aguero saw a good penalty appeal turned down, as he went down under a reckless challenge from Ashley Young. Referee Martin Atkinson decided to wave away appeals and the game carried on. Aguero also saw a late header superbly saved by David De Gea.
The victory has just delayed the inevitable of City winning the league, as Guardiola’s side are still 13 points clear of United, with only six games remaining. The Citizens are still red-hot favourites for the title and could seal the title in the next couple of weeks.
The early Premier League game saw Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool go head-to-head at Goodison Park. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp rested a number of key players ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Manchester City. The Reds still had enough quality to hang on to a goalless draw. They are now 17 games unbeaten against their local rivals.
In truth, it was a rather lacklustre derby. Everton had little to play for and Liverpool’s minds were on the clash with City. The first half produced very little. Reds ‘keeper Loris Karius denied Yannick Bolasie with a superb fingertip save.
At the other end of the field, Jordan Pickford did his World Cup chances no harm by producing good saves from Dominic Solanke and James Milner. The home side starting grow into the game in the last 20 minutes and should have taken maximum points. Seamus Coleman was within inches of connecting with Cenk Tosun’s header towards goal, while young substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin fired wide from inside the box.
In the end, a draw looked a fair result. Neither team did enough to win the game. In the grand scheme of things, this derby mattered very little to either team. It will certainly not live in the memory for long.
Saturday’s other results:
Bournemouth 2-2 Crystal Palace
Brighton 1-1 Huddersfield
Leicester 1-2 Newcastle
Stoke 1-2 Tottenham
Watford 1-2 Burnley
West Brom 1-1 Swansea
Who pulled off the biggest result of Saturday in the Premier League?