EPL

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United: De Bruyne and Mahrez double up in demolition derby

By Sports Desk March 06, 2022

Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez hit doubles as Manchester City thumped derby rivals Manchester United 4-1 to restore their six-point lead over Liverpool at the Premier League summit.

United had won their previous three games at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions but, without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo, they were behind inside five minutes to a close-range De Bruyne strike.

After Jadon Sancho temporarily levelled up against his former club, De Bruyne struck a second to put City back in front before half-time, and then teed up Mahrez for a superb City third in the second half.

United were previously unbeaten in 11 games in normal time in all competitions but conceded a fourth when Mahrez doubled his tally late on, seeing City give themselves some breathing space at the top, albeit with Liverpool holding a game in hand and still having to travel to the Etihad next month.

De Bruyne was left in plenty of space to drill Bernardo Silva's low pass away from David de Gea early on, the Belgium international registering his 50th goal in the competition.

United otherwise made a positive start, despite also being without Raphael Varane, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani, and they were level with 22 minutes played.

Sancho was played into space by Paul Pogba and cut inside before sending a delightful curled finish past Ederson from the edge of the 18-yard box.

City restored their lead just six minutes later through De Bruyne, who blasted in after Phil Foden's initial shot was well saved by De Gea and not dealt with by United's defenders.

De Bruyne was again involved when picking out Mahrez from a corner to volley in a third goal for City, and the Algeria international rounded off the scoring in the 90th minute with another crisp finish after VAR judged Alex Telles had played him onside.

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  • Forest 'still have to finish the job' against Burnley, says Nuno Forest 'still have to finish the job' against Burnley, says Nuno

    Nuno Espirito Santo insists Nottingham Forest “still have to finish the job” of securing their Premier League safety when they face Burnley at Turf Moor.

    Three points clear of 18th-place Luton Town in 17th, Forest are all but safe from relegation, while it would take an unlikely 12-goal swing in the Hatters’ favour to usurp them.

    Nevertheless, Nuno is not taking anything for granted and has called for focus from his players, who he saluted for their efforts throughout the campaign. 

    "We still have to finish the job," he said. "But credit to the players because it was not an easy season. We have always been able to compete really well in games. 

    "The feeling is always that we should have been better. We have never felt that someone beat us; it was just that we let games get away from us.

    "Yes, in certain games we have been punished, but we have always been a team that wants to attack and score. That is part of our identity.

    "There is still a game to go, and we know how football can go. It is best that we prepare the same way with commitment. We are clear about everything that can happen. It is up to us to achieve what we want."

    Meanwhile, Burnley are preparing for life back in the Championship, with their immediate return secured after last weekend’s defeat at Tottenham.

    And Vincent Kompany says the match marks the first step towards the Clarets' recovery from their disappointment.

    "If we're treating this as the first game of next season, in terms of preparing for next season, then this game is an important game," he said.

    "You only really fail if you fail to learn and that's not the case for us. We've absolutely learned. There is no lack of motivation, no lack of desire. 

    "It's sometimes in human nature to sit down and sulk, to feel sorry for yourself. That is not in the culture here, it's not in my nature, the nature of many people here. 

    "We try to give that to the players – that's ultimately what is going to give them a chance to achieve their goals."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Burnley – Dara O'Shea

    O'Shea has been directly involved in two of the last three goals Burnley have scored at Turf Moor (one goal, one assist).

    The defender will look to build on that against a Forest side that has conceded 23 goals from set-pieces this season, with only three teams ever letting more in during a single Premier League campaign.

    Nottingham Forest – Chris Wood

    Wood is the highest scorer in Burnley’s Premier League history, having netted 49 times for the Clarets in the competition between 2017 and 2022.

    The striker will aim to become the fifth player to score a Premier League goal against Burnley having previously played for them in the division, after Andre Gray, Danny Ings, Michael Keane and Patrick Bamford.

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Forest are without a win in each of their last six league meetings with Burnley since a 2-0 victory in December 2012, with four of those ending in a draw.

    The Tricky Trees have failed to win their final league game in each of the last four seasons, since beating Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in 2018-19.

    Meanwhile, Burnley have lost their final Premier League game in each of their last six campaigns at this level.

    The Clarets have also won only twice at home this season. Failure to win here would mean this is the fewest wins they have ever recorded in front of their fans in a single campaign.

    Kompany’s side will need to tighten up in order to avoid that, though, having conceded at least once in each of their last 19 Premier League matches.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Burnley: 35.9%
    Nottingham Forest: 34.8%
    Draw: 29.3%

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    The pair were contesting a second final in as many events, with Swiatek saving three championship points before eventually prevailing in the Madrid Open showpiece a fortnight ago.

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    Although, the second seed was helpless as her opponent broke again in game seven of the second set, before wrapping up a fourth title of the season ahead of the French Open later this month.

    Data debrief

    Landing her third Italian Open title before turning 23, Swiatek is only the second player to achieve that feat after Gabriela Sabatini.

    In fact, at 22 years and 352 days old, she is the youngest player to win 10 WTA 1000 titles since the introduction of the format in 2009.

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    The German teed up Ian Maatsen for the opener on the half-hour mark before scoring a stunning free-kick eight minutes later to put Dortmund in control.

    Donyell Malen scored his 13th goal of the season to round things off after substitute Julian Brandt had latched onto Jadon Sancho's ball for a third.

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    Edin Terzic's side finished fifth in the final Champions League spot, while Darmstadt are relegated as the bottom club. 

    Data Debrief:

    Reus has been directly involved in 251 goals in the Bundesliga (156G 95A in 391 games), making him just the third player to reach 250 goals and assists since his Bundesliga debut in August 2009, behind Thomas Müller 318 and Robert Lewandowski 367.

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