Report

Foden inspires Man City to turnaround win over Man Utd

3 Mar 2024
Foden celebrate

Midfielder scores twice in 3-1 victory as City move a point behind Liverpool ahead of Anfield showdown

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A Phil Foden double and Erling Haaland's stoppage-time strike earned Manchester City a 3-1 turnaround victory over Manchester United to move a point behind leaders Liverpool.

Marcus Rashford gave United a shock early lead with a thunderous long-range goal with what was the visitors' only shot on target of the match. But Foden replied with his own long-range stunner before scoring his second with 10 minutes remaining. Haaland sealed the win, making up for a glaring miss in the first half.

Up next for City is a huge showdown at Anfield against title-rivals Liverpool on Sunday 10 March, while a second consecutive defeat leaves Man Utd 11 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

Premier League

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 32 +44 73
2 Arsenal ARS 32 +49 71
3 Liverpool LIV 32 +41 71
4 Aston Villa AVL 33 +19 63
5 Spurs TOT 32 +16 60
6 Newcastle NEW 32 +17 50
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How the match unfolded

Man City made five changes to the side that beat Luton Town in their midweek FA Cup win, with Ederson, Ruben Dias, Jeremy Doku, Rodri and Foden returning, while Josko Gvardiol was back on the bench after recovering from an ankle injury.

For Man Utd, Jonny Evans replaced the injured Harry Maguire for his first start in a Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium since December 2012. Kobbie Mainoo also returned, while Sofyan Amrabat and Antony were on the bench from the side that beat Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Wednesday.

United stunned the home fans through Rashford's sensational strike. 

Andre Onana's long ball over the top found Bruno Fernandes, and the Man Utd captain laid the ball off for Rashford, who hammered a shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

Rashford celebration

It was Rashford's fifth Manchester derby goal in the Premier League, with only Wayne Rooney, with eight, and Eric Cantona, seven, netting more for Man Utd.

It also was the 12th time Man City had fallen behind in a Premier League match this season. The only time they have done so in more under Pep Guardiola was in 2019/20 (13), the last season in which they did not win the title.

Rashford then missed two great opportunities, firstly taking a poor touch with his head when in a great position, before producing an air kick with the goal at his mercy at the back post.

Rashford missed opportunity

At the other end, Foden was denied in a 1v1 by Onana, who also produced a fine stop to keep out Rodri's low strike. 

But Man City's biggest chance came in the 45th minute. Foden headed the ball across goal and from just two yards out, Haaland somehow volleyed over the crossbar. 

Haaland miss

"The only thing that can make the ball go up in that situation is if you volley it," said Michael Owen, scorer of 150 Premier League goals. "I would fling my chest at it or possibly head it. The last thing I'd want to do is volley it. You should hit it with anything that kills the speed of the ball."

Man City had 18 shots by the break, the joint-most on record that Man Utd have faced in the first half of a Premier League match, matching the total allowed versus Fulham in March 2009. 

Meanwhile, City's non-penalty Expected Goals (xG) score of 2.73 was also most any side have generated in the first half of a Premier League match this season. 

The same pattern continued in the second half, and with their 21st shot, City finally equalised.

Moments after Rashford had been shrugged off the ball by Kyle Walker with another opportunity to race through on goal, Foden drifted inside past Victor Lindelof before lashing a shot from 25 yards out into the top-left corner, leaving Onana with no chance. It was his 17th goal of the season in all competitions, his best-ever tally.

Foden then completed the turnaround with 10 minutes remaining, playing a one-two with substitute Julian Alvarez before his low angled shot crept under the outstretched hand of Onana.

Foden's second goal

In the first minute of added time, Haaland made amends for his earlier miss, collecting Rodri's pass after the Spaniard dispossessed Amrabat before slotting past Onana for his sixth goal in four Manchester derbies, going two clear of Ollie Watkins in the race for the Castrol Golden Boot.

Haaland goal

City are now unbeaten in their last 12 Premier League matches ahead of next weekend's mouthwatering match at Anfield.

Club reports

Man City report | Man Utd report

Next five Premier League fixtures
Key facts

This was the first time that Man City had ever come from behind to beat Man Utd in a Premier League match, in the 29th occasion of them falling behind in this fixture in the competition (D3 L25). They had lost the previous 15 times in a row that they had trailed against Man Utd in the league.

Man Utd lost a Premier League game in which they led at half-time for the first time since September 2014 against Leicester (5-3), ending their run of 143 unbeaten games when ahead at the break in the competition since then (W123 D20).

Man City have completed a Premier League double over rivals Man Utd for a sixth time – with half of these coming under Guardiola (also 2018/19 and 2021/22).

Foden has scored six Premier League goals against Man Utd, his joint-most against a single side (also 6 v Brighton), while team-mate Haaland also has six Premier League goals against the Red Devils, his outright most against a single opponent. Indeed, only Sergio Aguero (eight) has more Manchester derby goals in the competition for Man City than the pair.

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