Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford’s brilliant link-up inspired Manchester United’s comeback 2-1 win over Manchester City, but the visitors weren’t best pleased with the former’s goal.
The Red Devils kept the likes of Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne quiet in the first half thanks to the elite off-ball structure implemented by Erik ten Hag. But Pep Guardiola, blessed with world-class options on the bench, managed to disrupt United’s shape by introducing Jack Grealish for Phil Foden.
Grealish’s ball-carrying ability got the better off United’s man-to-man marking approach and opened the space for De Bruyne to exploit. The Belgian playmaker made the most of the opportunity and found the Englishman in the six yard box to break the deadlock.
The hosts kept their cool and turned the game around through two quick goals from Fernandes and Rashford, and avoided two consecutive derby doubles.
The winning goal was a well-worked one, as Alejandro Garnacho impressively turned Nathan Ake before setting up Rashford. But City were furious United’s No 10 wasn’t ruled offside in the build-up to the equaliser.
Casemiro played through the 25-year-old forward, who was in an offside position. He smartly left the ball for Fernandes to rattle the net. The goal was initially ruled out but VAR found no issue with the play much to the delight of the Old Trafford crowd.
Manchester City players surrounded the officials in the Old Trafford tunnel following their controversial derby defeat to Manchester United, sources have told ESPN. pic.twitter.com/yBerB7oZFw
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) January 14, 2023
— Jan Aage Fjørtoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 💛💙 (@JanAageFjortoft) January 14, 2023
According to Jan Age Fjortoft, Guardiola was involved in a discussion in the stadium tunnel with United captain Harry Maguire after the full-time whistle. Grealish was also there and was “not aggressive” during the exchange.
In his post-match interview, the Spanish manager remained adamant that Rashford was intervening in the action.