This weekend was undoubtedly, once again, the weekend of the Manchester clubs. United beat an admittedly out of form Everton, and City thrashed a Watford side that was unbeaten in the league by six goals.
Let’s start off with United’s game.
Both the scoreline and the match were reminiscent of the first two games of the season, with United taking the lead early on, holding the game for most of the remainder of the match, and then bumping up their goal tally with a few goals from substitutes at the end, and winning the game by a convincing margin.
The Red Devils’ first goal was an absolutely brilliant strike from Ecuadorian right-back Antonio Valencia, smashing home a half-volley from outside the box, after Nemanja Matic’s cross-field pass. Some have claimed that Everton’s young goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, should have stopped the shot, but surely he cannot have been expecting a shot, and with a strike of such power and technique he would not have been able to react in time.
United then held onto the game for a long time, holding off Everton’s attack and controlling the midfield. The previously much-criticised Phil Jones was in excellent form and his partnership with Eric Bailly has been vital this season, letting United form a solid backline to help secure the game. Everton created a few chances, including a very good chance for Wayne Rooney to score against his old club, taking the ball off the defender and finding some space in the box, but his finish only managed to find the shin of David De Gea. Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini were very good at suring up the middle of the park, and Henrick Mkhitaryan provided fantastic speed and dribbling going forward.
United waited for Wayne Rooney, their all-time record goalscorer, to leave the pitch to a standing ovation before they finally doubled their lead, with Henrick Mkhitaryan sweeping home after Romelu Lukaku’s through ball in the 80th minute.
Romelu Lukaku added a third, slotting home Jesse Lingard’s cross before tormenting the Everton fans with a “where are you now?” style gesture. A fourth was not far in the offing either, just minutes later substitute Anthony martial was brought down in the box for a penalty, which he tucked away reliably.
Although the 4-0 scoreline may have been a little flattering for United, a win was definitely deserved. They took their chances in a fairly close affair when an off-target Everton did not.
To me, it is incomprehensible that a Premier league side could concede six goals in the space of just 90 minutes at home, but that is just what Watford did against an absolutely rampant Manchester City. The Blues dominated the game throughout, and could easily have been four or five-nil up by half-time.
City finally broke the deadlock at about the half-hour mark, with Sergio Aguero nodding home Kevin De Bruyne’s powerful cross for his first of the afternoon. They then quickly doubled their lead, Aguero again tapping into an empty net after David Silva’s cross. A third came shortly after from young prodigy Gabriel Jesus, and then half-time came, with City leading 3-0.
Watford had a couple of half-chances early on in the second half, heading over from a corner and volleying just wide, however, they all came to nothing, and a fourth was soon added by Nicholas Otamendi who headed home another David Silva cross.
After a twenty minute break from the scoring, Aguero slotted home his third in the 81st minute to complete a hat-trick, before Raheem Sterling tacked on a sixth from the penalty spot.
An absolutely rampant City performance destroyed a wasteful Watford, meaning the two Manchester clubs are now only split at the top of the table on Alphabetical order. All stats, goal difference, goals scored, goals conceded are exactly the same.
Who will come out on top come May?
With both sides looking like the ones to beat, I can see the Machester Derbies being even more important than ever. City have been the better side over the last couple of games, but United were totally unstoppable before the international break.
I really couldn’t predict who will come out on top, but rumours about Pogba’s injury lasting for up to three months will be concerning and could prove vital.
What do you guys think? Who will win the league? Will it be City, United or someone else? Leave your opinion in the comments section down below.
Just a couple of things before I sign off, I’ve got a few exams in the coming weeks, so I would very much expect the content posting to be less than usual, but they finish on October second, so it shouldn’t be too much of an effect. On another note, I’ve been organising some big events for the coming months, so keep an eye out for some exciting things. More information will be revealed on the twitter page (@_inthedugout_) in the coming days.
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