MANCHESTER – He had to be the neighbor, the greatest rival, the one to cut Manchester City’s historic streak. At 21, Manchester United stopped Pep Guardiola’s team’s winning tally, storming the Etihad Stadium (0-2) and giving themselves a little hope in the fight for the Premier League.
Guardiola’s men fall before they can match Carlo Ancelotti’s 22 consecutive wins for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich’s 23 from last season and part of it, and Ajax Amsterdam’s 26 from the early 1970s.
And it is that the derby for Manchester City could not have started worse and two minutes into the game he was already behind on the scoreboard. In an extravagant way also, because it is not the general rule that a center forward commits a penalty in the first minute of play and less in a run, not a set piece.
But Gabriel Jesús came down to help on defense and stepped on Anthony Martial from behind and in the area. The Frenchman fell and his namesake, Anthony Taylor, pointed to the penalty spot. Bruno Fernandes scored his 10th maximum penalty of the season.
He was close to being stopped by Ederson, who touched the ball on his trip to the nets, but United went ahead and left Manchester City 88 minutes ahead to try to show that they are a team that also knows how to recover from setbacks.
Gündogan led the way in attack and tried with shots from the front. De Bruyne was in charge of feeding balls to Sterling, who could suffer a penalty for taking down Fred, and to Mahrez, but the City wingers were slow in their decisions when they stepped on the area of Dean Henderson, starter for the paternity of David De Gea .
City stretched after the break and brushed the equalizer with a shot from Rodri with the inside to the crossbar, but it was United that showed the fang. Henderson kicked off the goal, handed it to Luke Shaw, who started from his field, hit a wall with Rashford up front and finished on the bottom with his first Premier League goal away from home.
The stick for City was tremendous, because to seek their last defeat you have to go until November 21 and at home until September 27. Guardiola’s team failed to recover from the emotional blow and although he tried to close the gap, he never came close to the comeback.
Even so, City has the league in sight and leads United by eleven points, which climbs to second place passing Leicester City.
With twelve rounds to go to the end of the competition, City lost a battle 22 games later, but the war was almost won.