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Redemption For United As They Beat City – Full Match Report

Well based on recent results Jose Mourinho could not start with a weakened XI so he started with arguably a full strength line-up of De Gea, Valencia, Blind, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Pogba, Rashford and Ibrahimovic. His hand was kind of forced in attack by the injuries to Rooney and Martial. He selected a strong bench with plenty of options in Depay, Lingard, Young, Romero, Fellaini, Schneiderlin and Darmian. City started without star men Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Sergio Aguero although their top scorer did make the bench.

In the early part of the 1st half neither side was able to create much in the way of clear cut chances with the biggest incident being the awarding of a yellow card to City forward Kelechi Iheanacho for a cynical foul on 13 minutes by referee Mike Dean. Valencia followed Iheanacho into the book when ref Mike Dean evened things up by giving the United right-back a yellow card for a bad foul. As the half moved towards the break United seemed to start to impose themselves without really threatening to score. As the half-time whistle approached Rashford looked to have a good chance but could not get a good shot away and United were denied by an onrushing Caballero after a good cross from Pogba. Nigerian international Iheanacho had a decent attempt for City but it was easily blocked as the sides played out the added minute of time and went into the dressing rooms scoreless.

United fielded the stronger line-up and were hoping to make this count as the game resumed. The second stanza started with Kolarov coming on to replace Kompany as Pep Guardiola obviously was protecting his captain as he looked to be suffering from yet another injury. On 49 minutes United had the most incisive move of the game started by Mata and then onto Zlatan who laid it on for Pogba but his left footed shot was pushed onto the post by Caballero and it bounced away to safety. United got the crowd involved heavily after Pogba’s fine chance as they continued to press the City goal. The United pressure finally told on 54 minutes, as Juan Mata broke the deadlock after a pass from Ibrahimovic found its way to him in centre of the penalty area and the Spanish international made no mistake blasting his left-footed strike into the bottom left corner of Begovic’s goal making it 1-0 United.

United continued to play at a high tempo after the goal and Rashford made a great run down the left side before delivering a fine cross which Ibrahimovic only just missed making contact with. Guardiola then chose to make a change hoping to turn the momentum as Raheem Sterling replaced Leroy Sané and immediately made his presence felt by winning a free-kick. The City manager then played his trump card as he sent on star striker Sergio Agüero to replace Nolito. Jose then responded and sent on the more defensive minded Schneiderlin for scorer Juan Mata and the Spaniard went off to an ovation from the home crowd. United continued in a pretty comfortable manner as City did not really threaten the United goal. Jesse Lingard was then sent on to replace the injured Marcus Rashford on 82 minutes as United looked to be taking the game away from Manchester City.

United snuffed out all City could offer in the last few minutes including the 5 minutes of added time as Paul Pogba received a yellow card for a bad foul and Ibrahimovic also got booked but it mattered little as redemption came for Jose Mourinho and his players with the final whistle as United won the second Manchester Derby of the season 1-0 knocking the holders out of the EFL Cup. The result was deserved and United will look to push on now after they delivered a great performance played at a high tempo and will have banished the loss to Chelsea from their minds as ancient history.

After the games tonight the quarter-final draw was held and Manchester United will face West Ham United at home in their quarter-final after the Hammers knocked out Chelsea to earn the right to face them.