Manchester United and Louis van Gaal breath a sigh of relief at the final whistle at the Etihad in the Manchester Derby this weekend.
The Red Devil’s teenage sensation, Marcus Rashford was once again superb and decisive as he scored the only goal of the fixture taking United to within a point of Manchester City at the end of this game.
Injury to Vincent Kompany saw Mangala and Demichelis start for City and both the center halves had a torrid time on the night against the likes of Rashford and Anthony Martial and looked like conceding more than they did over the 90 minutes.
The 18-year old was cool and composed when the ball arrived to him at the edge of the penalty box early in the first half. He swept past Demichelis with ease and slotted past Joe Hart with minimal fuzz and set off to celebrate his first goal in a Manchester derby.
The hosts who then lost Raheem Sterling to an injury could not find the decisiveness in front of goal needed to break the visitor’s defense and fell to a cruel defeat in an important game in the context of the season.
Martial also came close later in the half while Sergio Aguero showed his class but neither could find the back of the net and the game ended in a 1-0 victory lifting loads of pressure off the United manager Louis van Gaal.
Wilfred Bony also came on in the second half after the Citizens lost Joe Hart to another injury and had plenty of half chances and a couple of easy ones but the striker failed to convert any of those chances leaving his team with a loss in the hands of their neighboring rivals.
David de Gea then produced a smart save to keep out Yaya Toure’s curling effort before Sergio Aguero’s header smashed into the post. But the visitors held on to their lead even as there were 6 minutes added to the second half.
Louis van Gaal’s men showed great concentration and outplayed the home team on the night and have now closed the gap on their rivals to just a points.
Pellegrini, who was incharge of his last derby had to settle to a loss and was dealt a huge blow in the pursuit of silverware this season. They are 15 points away from the Foxes at the top of the table and though have a game in hand have no chance of catching them in the remainder of the season.
United on the other hand have slowly moved up the table and are now level on point with the Hammers in the 5th place and will need just one more slip-up from City to move into the top 4 of the Premier League this season.
This victory will surely give the Red Devils plenty of confidence going into the international break and they will come back into the league believing that they can capture a top 4 spot come the end of the season.