After a busy day of action yesterday, it’s time to depict a crucial weekend in the Premier League and Six Nations after the title edged ever closer to returning Liverpool, and France faltered in their own title bid.
HOW SOLSKJAER GOT THE BETTER OF GUARDIOLA – AGAINEmbed from Getty Images
Despite dominating possession, City failed to create many clear-cut chances and seemed to lose their attacking spark from the off, with Kevin De Bruyne ruled out through injury.
The closest they came was when Raheem Sterling put Sergio Aguero through on goal just after half time.
Despite the linesman flagging for offside, Aguero calmly dispatched and on second viewing it seemed an extremely harsh decision against the Argentine.
United defended valiantly, with Harry Maguire turning in a dominant defensive display, and they picked their moments just like they did in their reverse win at the Etihad.
10 YEAR RUN WITHOUT A DOUBLE ENDED
It was the first double United have completed since 2008-09, with Anthony Martial converting a delicious Bruno Fernandes free-kick although Ederson will be disappointed he let it squirm underneath his body.Embed from Getty Images
The Brazil International almost gifted Martial a second early in the second half, but after miscontrolling a backpass just about cleared off the toes of the French striker.
However, Ederson had his third moment of madness in stoppage time and this time it would be punished. In a hurry to get his side up the field, the City ‘keeper’s throw was intercepted by substitute Scott McTominay, who smashed it in from all of 40-yards to send Old Trafford wild.
The defence sat deep and looked for Daniel James and Martial’s runs in behind as soon as the ball was won. James was at the heart of most good things leading up to the box with his raw pace troubling Oleksandr Zinchenko throughout, although he lacked that cutting edge in the final third.
Fernandes is thriving in his box-to-box role at his new club, and his late runs really should have been picked out by Martial and James, with the January addition frustrated not to receive the ball twice when free on the edge of the area.
As for City, they had one attempt in the first half and despite knocking around tidily for the most part, looked lethargic with Sterling having another day to forget.
CHELSEA HAMMER EVERTON
Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Stamford Bridge ended sourly as his rejuvenated Everton side went down 4-0 to top four chasing Chelsea.
The Blues were 2-0 up inside 21 minutes through a smart Mason Mount finish before former Evertonian Ross Barkley’s exquisite first-time pass was converted by Pedro.Embed from Getty Images
Willian got Chelsea’s third with a lovely drilled effort from 25-yards that flew right into the bottom left corner, with Olivier Giroud topping off a fantastic afternoon for Frank Lampard’s men.
Here’s what the Blues manager had to say to BBC Sport post-match: “The whole attitude and focus of the team felt really strong after the Liverpool game.
“We have to replicate what we did today to some degree every week. We had a good early patch in the season, we’ve struggled for consistency in this period, which is understandable. But we have to work as we worked today to show we can finish with strength and get better.”
Chelsea visit Aston Villa on Saturday before facing Bayern Munich in the Champions League the following Wednesday.
FRANCE MISS OUT ON GRAND SLAM; BEARS MOVE UP TO THIRD IN PREM
Scotland stunned France in the Six Nations to leave England top of the table by winning 28-17 at Murrayfield on Sunday.
The French lost their 100% record in the meantime but remain in the hunt for the title although England sit on top of the tree after beating Wales 33-30 at Twickenham on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
Tries from Sean Maitland (2) and Stuart McInally sealed the win and a first double over the French since 1964. The key moment came just before half time when Mohamad Haouas went shown a straight red for a punch on Jamie Ritchie.
Despite a brilliant kick from Antoine Dupont setting up Damian Penaud, the French would soon capitulate after that Haouas moment of madness.
From there it all went down hill – Ben Hastings converted one of many penalties to give his side the lead and they never looked back.