Manchester City’s run of 21 consecutive wins came to a crunching halt as Manchester United won 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
The game began in startling fashion when Gabriel Jesus fouled Anthony Martial inside the first minute, gifting Bruno Fernandes the opportunity to score from the penalty spot.
Early in the second half came the game’s pivotal moments. First Rodri hit the angle of post and bar from the edge of the box, then less than two minutes later Luke Shaw exchanged passes with Marcus Rashford before slotting home from 20 yards out.
Even though characteristically enjoying a lot of play in United’s half, City failed to really test United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, indeed Anthony Martial was closer to adding to the visitor’s lead when forcing a fine save out of Ederson from point-blank range.
The result narrows City’s lead over United and the rest of the Premier League to 11 points, but most basically dent the aura of invincibility Pep Guardiola’s side have been carrying with them ahead as they go after trophies on four fronts.
City under Pep Guardiola has been the best front-runners in Premier League history and after seizing the initiative for this year’s Premier League title from Liverpool have
never looked like giving it away – and this will definitely not lead to City falling Devon Loch-like before the concluding tape in this competition.
The League will not be enough for City though – it is in Europe where the legacy of the Guardiola era will be judged, as to if they merit comparison to the Liverpool and Manchester United sides which conquered at home and abroad.
And in the Champions League, there will actually be occasions when they will fall behind and not be playing at their greatest capacity. If a Bayern Munich or a PSG catches the initiative against City, will they be able to win the hindrances and beat them? After this game, I’m not sure they will be able to do that – and most particularly the City players might not be either.