Manchester City took a huge step towards retaining the Premier League title after a dominant performance at the home of rivals Manchester United.
Going into the game the Blues were one point behind Liverpool, with this game in hand against United meaning a win would put them back on top with three games left for both City and Liverpool.
After a disastrous display against Everton the Sunday before in which United were beaten 4-0, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was looking for a reaction from his players. It seemed initially he got it as well, with United causing problems for City in midfield and making it difficult for the Blues to play the way the like to.
However, after a slow first half an hour, City slowly started to make the difference. A forced change for City saw Fernandinho replaced by Leroy Sane after the Brazillian picked up a knock in the 50th minute. Sane then changed the game completely. A quite exceptional performance saw City take a 1-0 lead when Bernardo Silva’s low drive from the edge of the box beat David De Gea at his near post.
The German then made it 2-0 shortly after the hour mark, with his left-footed shot seemingly causing issues for De Gea to deal with, again. United never really threatened after that, and City’s control of the game was intact for the rest of the game. The importance of the game showed as City are now in pole position to win the title for the fourth time. There is still plenty of football to be played, however.
Here are my three stars:
If you want to talk about making an impact, you have to watch the performance of Leroy Sane. Before he entered the pitch, City were struggling for an injection of pace and directness on the left-hand side. Up steps Sane to change all that. Driving at Ashley Young and Matteo Darmain was what City struggled with during the first half so Sane’s introduction was perfectly timed and executed. A big turn up from a big-game player.
David Silva rightly got Man of the Match in this game, but it’s hard to look past the influence of Bernardo. The young Portuguese international is beginning to become the most important and influential player in this fantastic City side. Another goal and another brilliant performance in such a tough fixture just proved that. His strike caught out David De Gea at his near post and once again was vital for a City win. Deservedly named in the PFA Team of the Year just hours later.
Sergio Aguero is one of the best all-round strikers in the game right now. Despite not scoring in the game, his work rate, attitude and hunger in the game was topped by none.
What many people question about Aguero and whether he could be the best in the game is now proven to be right, he can and does have the capability to work incredibly hard for the team. A proper away performance in a must-win game from the Argentine.