EPL

Phil Foden stars as Manchester City come from behind to win derby

By Sports Desk March 03, 2024

Phil Foden scored twice in the second half as title-chasing Manchester City came from behind to claim a crucial 3-1 win over rivals Manchester United.

The champions were stunned by a brilliant strike from Marcus Rashford after just eight minutes but were otherwise the dominant force in a keenly-fought Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium.

Their pressure eventually paid off as Foden levelled with a long-range effort in the 56th minute and then put his side ahead 10 minutes from time. Erling Haaland put the result beyond doubt in stoppage time.

Victory took City one point behind leaders Liverpool ahead of the two sides’ eagerly-anticipated meeting at Anfield next weekend.

Foden, also last week’s match-winner at Bournemouth, is rapidly becoming City’s star of the season but prior to his intervention it seemed Rashford could steal the headlines.

The England forward this week defended himself against suggestions he was not fully committed to United and his blistering opener was an excellent way to do his talking on the pitch.

It came from a route-one punt upfield by Andre Onana which was taken under control by Bruno Fernandes and laid off to Rashford 25 yards out.

He seized the chance as he hit a thunderous first-time shot which flew in off the underside of the bar.

It could even have got worse for City with two more United breaks catching them out.

A Ruben Dias slip allowed Rashford another run at goal but the bounce wrong-footed him and Kyle Walker cleared. Rashford was then unable to make clean contact with a shot after a low ball was whizzed into the area.

Yet these were rare forays in a first half City otherwise dominated, racking up a remarkable 18 shots – their most without scoring in an opening 45-minute period under Pep Guardiola.

Haaland was guilty of their most glaring miss. The prolific Norwegian, who scored five at Luton in midweek, remarkably volleyed over in front of an open goal from a well-cushioned Foden header.

Prior to that Foden and Rodri were both denied by Onana while Jeremy Doku, Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland all failed to make the most of half-chances.

The equaliser came early in the second half as Foden connected with another fine effort from outside the area that curled into the top corner.

United protested, feeling Rashford had been fouled by Walker moments earlier and a furious Erik ten Hag was booked for his reaction on the touchline, but that contact had been deemed minimal by referee Andrew Madley.

The leveller reignited an atmosphere that had become subdued and play was held up after a blue flare was thrown onto the pitch and landed close to Onana.

City continued to probe with Walker shooting at Onana but United retained a threat on the counter-attack and Alejandro Garnacho broke clear only to be denied by an Ederson tackle.

The decisive moment came 10 minutes from time as Foden combined with Julian Alvarez and beat Onana with a low drive across goal.

Haaland wrapped up the scoring with a precise finish – his 28th goal of the campaign – late on.

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