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Manchester United 1-3 Manchester City: 3 standout performers from the match | Carabao Cup 2019-20

Daksh Shukla
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 08 Jan 2020, 16:07 IST

Manchester United v Manchester City - Carabao Cup: Semi-Final
Manchester United v Manchester City - Carabao Cup: Semi-Final

It was the first Manchester Derby of the new decade, and it was almost too easy for Pep Guardiola and his men. Manchester City were at their very best and were in command of the game for the whole 90 minutes.

An unstoppable strike by Bernardo Silva broke the deadlock before Riyad Mahrez rounded David de Gea to make it 2-0 for the visitors. A swift and smooth counter-attack helped by some poor defending gave City a 3 goal lead when the keeper's saved shot ricocheted in off Andreas Pereira. Marcus Rashford did bring some life into the game after he scored to make it 3-1 but it was too little too late.

A tactical masterclass by Guardiola adding to a dismal performance by the home side means that Manchester City take a commanding lead into the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Keeping that in mind, we look at 3 standout performers from the match:

3. Rodri

Rodri ran the midfield in the derby
Rodri ran the midfield in the derby

It was an amazing performance by the Spanish midfielder. Classy and elegant, as he is always, the 23-year old orchestrated the whole show for Guardiola's side. Alongside Ilkay Gundogan, he was at the base of everything good happening for City in the game.

His work-rate, technique, ability to break down possession, football intelligence and the skill to move possession smoothly were all showcased in that display at Old Trafford. He did get booked for a foul on Mason Greenwood but all in all his feathers were unruffled throughout the 90 minutes.

Rodri seems to be at the heart of a well-drilled Manchester City side. Described as "Tailored for the Premier League" by his manager, the midfielder is growing in confidence game after game and we could be seeing the best of him very soon. 

2. Fernandinho

Fernandinho with a captain
Fernandinho with a captain's performance

He was the captain last night and he performed like one. Spotless throughout the game, Fernandinho was a rock at the back for Manchester City. Considering the fact that he is still settling in as a centre-back, Fernandinho was arguably City's best player last night.


The Brazilian stepped in to stop crosses and counter-attacks so many times that it is hard to keep count. It is tough for the best of centre-backs to deal with the pace of Rashford and other United players, but the 34-year old was assured and classy in his display in the derby.

The Citizens not only have a very reliable and experienced player, but also a leader in Fernandinho. Pep Guardiola mentioned the Brazilian in the post-match conference and said that he is lucky to have Fernandinho's leadership and flexibility in his side.

1. Bernardo Silva

Bernardo Silva: Man of the match in the derby
Bernardo Silva: Man of the match in the derby

It just had to be him. The Portuguese was at this very best against the rivals and gave a performance the fans will remember for a long time. It was a surprise to see both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the bench and Bernardo Silva leading the line for Manchester City. The 25-year old was given a free role and he was almost unstoppable.

17 minutes into the game the winger picked up the ball from 30 yards out, before moving towards the goal and unleashing a stunning rocket that went in off the bar. Just 15 minutes later he produced a peach of a pass to Riyad Mahrez, who made it 2-0.

Everything he did was silky smooth and he was outstanding throughout the game. A somewhat poor and controversial season for the winger has taken a good turn in the new year. The Portuguese would like to build on that dazzling display and would look to end the season on a high.

Published 08 Jan 2020, 16:07 IST
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