Manchester is still blue after Manchester City defeated rivals Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford. The Premier League winners seized the lead when VAR awarded a penalty, which Norwegian attacker Erling Haaland easily converted. After the interval, the Norwegian striker headed home his and City’s second goal, before Phil Foden sealed the victory with a late tap-in after being set up by Haaland.

With a beautiful double, Erling Haaland scored his first derby goals at Old Trafford as Premier League winners Manchester City cruised to a 3-0 win over arch rivals Manchester United.

On 26 minutes, the Norwegian attacker tucked away a penalty, sending United keeper Andre Onana the wrong way from the spot after VAR determined Rasmus Hojlund had hauled back Rodri in a packed home area.

On 49 minutes, he scored his 11th league goal of the season, finishing off a stunning sweeping run to force home a header from a Bernardo Silva cross.

After Onana denied the great Rodri a goal of his own in a one-sided game, Haaland then set up Phil Foden for the third on 80 minutes.

Indeed, only a magnificent diving save from Onana in extra time in the first half stopped Haaland from adding a second with a powerful header, with the Cameroon international also somehow snatching the ball away from Haaland’s foot on his line after repelling a Foden header.

At the other end, City goalkeeper Ederson showed his class by tipping a Scott McTominay volley over the crossbar late in the first half, but Erik ten Hag’s struggling side were thoroughly defeated.

City climb to third place in the rankings, behind Arsenal in goals scored but just two points behind leaders Tottenham. United are now eighth in the standings with 15 points, eight points behind the top four.


Apart from Manchester United’s abysmal performance, VAR had every reason not to be proud of itself again on Sunday evening.

The issue of human error interacting with sophisticated technology was on display when VAR gave City an easy penalty halfway through the first half after Hojlund obviously fought with Rodri in the area.

Referee Paul Tierney seemed to pause while examining the VAR decision before eventually pointing to the spot.

Rodri was unlikely to have hung onto the ball coming into a hard-pressed United defense’s penalty area, but if that judgment was considered worthy of a penalty, it begs the question of why Harry Maguire was not penalized for a similar foul on Haaland at the hour mark.

The obstructing England defender clearly fouled Haaland as he yanked him back inside the area before Jack Grealish fired a shot across goal and beyond of the target. Tierney was not requested to go to the monitor this time.

There will be a directive sent to match officials clarifying why one judgment was a penalty and another was not, but it all seems to be confused and ultimately inaccurate.

In the current game, VAR remains a frustrating lottery, adding anxiety to a feeling of injustice when a referee used to rule it incorrect back in the day.

The irregularity of its decision-making has also failed to clarify what is and is not a foul within the area.


There were other candidates for the accolade, with Haaland and his City teammate Grealish constantly in the spotlight for Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing squad, and Manchester United goalie Onana producing another superb effort to preserve the score at three.

Rodri, who was at the heart of City’s midfield, was the standout performer. His ability to break up assaults and prompt them from deep makes the whole City squad tick, becoming a piece of art in the current game.

The return of the Spain midfielder from suspension has triggered City’s comeback to form. He is still as important to City’s success as Haaland’s goals up top.


Manchester United: Onana 8, Dalot 6, Lindelof 5, Maguire 6, Evans 6, Amrabat 5, McTominay 6, Eriksen 6, Fernandes 6, Rashford 6, Hojlund 5 Subs: Mount 5, Martial 5, Reguilon 5, Antony 5. Garnacho 5

Manchester City: Ederson 7, Walker 8, Dias 7, Gvardiol 7, Stones 7, Rodri 9, Silva 7, Grealish 8, Alvarez 7, Foden 7, Haaland 8 Subs: Kovacic 5, Doku 5


7′ CITY IS IN SIGHT! With Rodri in control of the pace, Walker sends a cross into the box for Foden to try his luck from close range. Andre Onana gets his claws in just as he’s about to steal the ball and score, but Haaland is there to block the extra point. After that, Maguire finishes up the clearing. United’s defense was frantic, but they held on.

25′ VAR CHECK: RODRI WAS FORCED BACK INTO THE BOX. Referee Paul Tierney checks the box to see whether Hojlund pulled Rodri, and it’s evident that he did. He dithers, but concludes that his delay is a punishment. opportunity for City to take the initiative.

26′ GOAL FOR CITY! Erling Haaland, in particular, has stepped up to the plate. This Old Trafford goal by Haaland is his first in a Manchester derby. In terms of goals, they’re up 1-0. The ball was crossed by the Norwegian striker to Onana’s left as he cut to his right. Wow, City is off to a great start. The Old Trafford derby penalty was their first in 32 years.

45+1′ UNITED ALMOST LEVEL UP! City takes the lead in the 191st Manchester derby, but McTominay comes close to tying the score. Ederson pushed his volley over the crossbar. There will now be four more minutes.

45+2′ ONANA WITH A SUPERB STOP! Haaland makes a strong attempt on goal from Silva’s cross, but Onana makes a diving save. Excellent save to save City from going up 2-0.

49′ GOAL FOR CITY! Haaland leaps above the defense and smashes a header in at the end of a magnificent counterattack by the away team. Clever, decisive play by the victors. Silva’s assist on the 2-0 goal with a cross to the far post.

80′ NUMBER THREE FOR CITY! Foden makes it 3-0 with a nice finish off a Haaland assist, and this game is already over. Even after Onana blocked Rodri’s shot, the home team is still in a lot of trouble. As a result, some United supporters are leaving the stadium in disgust.


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