Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw Heroes for United in Manchester Derby Win

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Manchester United still knows how to at least stifle Manchester City, if not stop ‘em. From 2016/17-2019/2020, City finished on aggregate, 72 points higher than United in the table. But over the course of those four seasons, the derby results looked like this: three United wins, four City wins, one draw and a goal differential of City +1.

Factor in this year, where City are now 11 points up on United in the 2020/21 standings, and it’s an 83 point gap.

luke shaw

However, with United taking the Etihad edition of the derby today 2-0, and the Old Trafford edition a couple months ago goalless draw, the GD is now United +1 over that span.

It was a major upset tonight, to say the least, as United finally got a win over a big six opponent and City saw their record breaking win streak end at 21. The biggest heroes of the match today were Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw.

The former won a penalty for United in the first 35 seconds, and was dangerous on the counterattack all day. The latter scored the second goal to put it out of reach and did a fine job keeing Riyad Mahrez quiet.

“Anthony Martial was man of the match,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who really answered some critics today.

“That was the Anthony we know; strong, positive and taking players on. Delighted for him, until two hours before warmup I wasn’t sure if he’d play. Today he rediscovered himself.”

Martial has really struggled with his form this season, and he had to pass a late fitness test in order to even play in the Manchester derby. This win was also huge for Bruno Fernandes, who made some interesting remarks yesterday, and converted the penalty that the Frechman won.

As for Shaw, he’s really put together a solid season now, as the acquisition of Alex Telles has challenged him to be his best.

“The second goal was magnificent,” said Solskjaer. “Luke just showed what he is about. He was a massive doubt this morning and had to go through a fitness test to play. What a performance.”

Up next is a Europa League round of 16 clash against AC Milan, but good old friend Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not expected to be fit in time to feature.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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