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Soccer-De Bruyne and Mahrez fire Man City to 4-1 win over United

Premier League - Manchester City vs. Manchester United
Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester City v Manchester United – Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain – March 6, 2022 Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates REUTERS/Craig Brough

March 6, 2022

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez each scored twice as Manchester City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to six points with a convincing 4-1 derby win over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

United put up a good fight in the first half and were down 2-1 at the break but City quality showed after the break, with Ralf Rangnick’s side looking increasingly demoralized.

City have 69 points from 28 games while Liverpool have 63 from one game down. United slip to fifth place, a point behind Arsenal, who beat Watford on Sunday and have three games in hand.

Belgium’s De Bruyne was outstanding, leading the game out of central midfield and then threatening in the penalty area.

United were without Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani through injury and Rangnick surprisingly opted to play Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the forward positions.

City got off to the perfect start as De Bruyne put them ahead in the fifth minute, bringing home a low, withdrawn pass from Bernardo Silva after they overloaded the left flank.

But United equalized with an excellent curling shot from Jadon Sancho, who took his time and sliced ​​inside after a quick break before beating Ederson with his confident punch.

But Belgium’s De Bruyne restored City’s advantage when he found the goal after Phil Foden powered into the box and saw his shot parried by David De Gea.

City dominated after the break and made it 3-1 when De Bruyne took a corner deep to the edge of the box and hit Mahrez with a first drive that easily deflected Harry Maguire.

Mahrez completed the win with a goal that was initially ruled offside, but VAR noted that Alex Telles had played the Algerian on the side before latching on to an Ilkay Gundogan pass and firing in from De Gea’s shoulder.

The result reflected City’s dominance and manager Pep Guardiola was full of praise for his team.

“It was great from the first minute. We played very well and had to be patient in the first step,” said the Spaniard.

“Football is emotions. It’s definitely tactics, but it’s also emotions. Without the ball, we are a team with the will and passion to win the ball back from the first minute to the 90th,” he added.

Rangnick felt his tactics had been the right way to take on City before the rift in the class became apparent.

“It worked. It was clear to us that if we want to win the game, we have to run a lot. You have to be in attacking and chasing mode and we did that in the first half. The third goal killed us in the end,” he said.

“It’s difficult when we attack them very high you have to do a lot of negative running. The third goal is a brilliantly executed corner and almost impossible to defend. They were the better team in the second half and showed the quality they have. We found it particularly difficult after they scored the third goal.”

(Reporting by Simon Evans, Editing by Toby Davis)

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