Sunday, April 14, 2024

EPL: Foden double fires Manchester City to comeback win against Manchester United

Manchester City's English midfielder #47 Phil Foden (left) vies with Manchester United's Swedish defender #02 Victor Lindelof during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on March 3, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

MANCHESTER, March 4: Phil Foden kept Manchester City’s Premier League title challenge on track with a superb second-half double as his side hit back to clinch a 3-1 home victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
Marcus Rashford’s eighth-minute thunderbolt gave United the lead against the run of play and it looked like the visitors might put a dent in City’s hopes of a fourth successive crown.
But Pep Guardiola’s side remained patient, dominated possession and were eventually rewarded with Foden again proving how indispensable he is for City.
Foden arrowed a sublime effort into the top corner in the 56th minute and the England forward then produced a clinical finish with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.
Erling Haaland, who missed a golden first-half chance, secured the points with a late strike.
Reigning champions City, whose unbeaten run in all competitions now stands at 19, moved to 62 points, one behind leaders Liverpool who they visit next weekend. United remain in sixth place with 44 points.
Rashford’s bolt from the blue might have floored lesser sides but Erik Ten Hag’s United could have few complaints at the way City turned things around.
City had 74% possession and 27 efforts on goal compared to United’s three but it was Foden who found the key to the lock.
He was given a standing ovation as he walked off after taking a knock in stoppage time — City’s fans in buoyant mood at keeping the pressure right on Liverpool and Arsenal.
City camped in United’s half in the opening minutes but were stunned when from United’s first foray forward Bruno Fernandes rolled a pass towards Rashford who launched a 25-metre effort that crashed off the underside of the bar and into the net.
Rashford had other chances too, mis-controlling after being sent clear and later failing to connect with a volley.
City probed United’s defence continually and eventually opened it up only for Haaland to somehow sidefoot over from Foden’s headed cross with halftime approaching.
There was no sense of panic though and the pattern continued after the break. There was nothing United keeper Andre Onana could do about Foden’s equaliser.
Cutting in from the right he struck a fierce left-foot shot that was equally as spectacular as Rashford’s effort.
City kept pressing and Foden put them ahead in the 80th minute with a low left-foot shot across Onana after being played in by Julian Alvarez.
Haaland got in on the act in stoppage time with a trademark left-foot finish after being played in by Rodri. (Reuters)