80 min: Fernandes hoicks a speculative long-range effort miles over the bar. A bit early for Hail Mary attempts like this.
79 min: City respond to United’s substitution with a change of their own: the quiet Mahrez is replaced by Rodri.
78 min: Cancelo is booked for going forehead to forehead with Shaw, who had knocked him over in the silent-movie style.
77 min: United have enjoyed 77 percent of possession during the last five minutes. City seem perfectly happy about it, playing United at their own game, hoping to soak it all up and break dangerously if the chance presents itself.
75 min: United make the first change of the evening, throwing on Greenwood in place of McTominay.
74 min: It’s a good spell for United, who push City back. Suddenly Martial dribbles his way through a couple of gaps down the middle and enters the box … before falling to ground over a non-existent challenge by Dias. Martial claims a penalty; a furious Dias demands retribution for the dive. Referee Martin Atkinson takes the diplomatic route by waving both claims away. We play on.
72 min: Pogba busies himself down the left and pulls back for Fernandes, who attempts a curler towards the top right. He finds the top right of the Stretford End.
71 min: A reminder that both teams can make up to five subs, in a maximum of three batches. United are playing well enough for things to remain as they are, but time is becoming a factor.
69 min: Fred goes into the box for an agricultural swipe through the back of Gundogan. Meanwhile Peter Oh (56 min) scores an open goal: “No second coming, promise.”
68 min: Fernandinho has a shot that has enough welly to knock Maguire to the floor. The deflection loops harmlessly into Henderson’s arms. This doesn’t feel like it’s going to end 0-1. But who scores next?
67 min: Fernandes drifts in from the left and shapes to curl one towards the top right. He telegraphs his intention, and the resulting floater is easy meat for Steffen. United have responded well to falling behind.
65 min: Fernandes has a dig from distance, but sends his shot straight down Steffen’s throat.
64 min: Some space for Martial down the left. His low fizzing cross forces Dias to stick out a telescopic leg and poke the ball out for a corner. From the set piece, Maguire rises highest, but under pressure from Stones, can’t steer his header anywhere hear the goal.
62 min: Fred has the ball stolen off his toe in midfield by Sterling. He feeds Mahrez, who opens his legs, strides down the middle, and powers a curler towards the top left. Henderson tips over spectacularly. Great football all round, with the exception of Fred, whose leisurely faffing nearly cost United dear.
60 min: Martial contests a high ball with Zinchenko in the City box. It clanks off Martial’s chest for a goal kick. Martial claims the ball has hit Zinchenko’s hand, but neither ref nor VAR shows any interest. Then City break upfield, Sterling nearly rounding Henderson on the right, only for the keeper to snaffle just in time.
58 min: Foden crosses from the left. Sterling heads towards the top corner. Henderson claws it out. From the resulting corner, the ball’s worked to Cancelo out on the right. He whips towards the far stick. Foden is a toenail clipping away from poking home. Goal kick.
56 min: “Stones has come up roses for City,” quips Peter Oh, because somebody had to. But no more, please. This is the one.
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54 min: That’s the first goal United have conceded in this competition this season. But they’ve not been too shabby at recovering after conceding first this season – 18 points gained from losing positions in the Premier League illustrate that – so there’s no need for the hosts to worry quite yet. City are on top right now, though, playing with something of a swagger.
52 min: … and nearly doubled, as Cancelo drops a shoulder to glide in from the right and pearls a vicious rising shot towards the top left. Henderson can’t get anywhere near it, but the ball shaves the paint on the top of the bar. So close! That would have been a screamer.
51 min: VAR sticks its unwanted neb in – of course it does, boys and their toys – but Stones wasn’t offside and the ball didn’t hit his arm. City’s lead is confirmed.
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GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Manchester City (Stones 50)
It’s dangerous all right. Foden curls it in. The ball makes it all the way to the back post, where Stones – who accidentally trundled the ball into this very net early on – trundles another one into the bottom right off his thigh!
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49 min: Sterling busies himself down the left and is dragged back by McTominay. This free kick will be in a dangerous position, just to the left of the United box. City load it.
48 min: Fernaninho slides in on Pogba from behind, unnecessarily so. The City player receives a double-whammy of punishment: a yellow card, plus he’s clouted on the follow-through as the players tangle on the turf.
46 min: Shaw sends in a free kick from the left. Pogba flicks on. There are red shirts lining up at the far post, but Dias hoicks clear. A bright start to the second half by the hosts.
United get the second half underway on a chilly night. No changes made by either side. Yet. So will either side finally get round to scoring after three consecutive goal-free halves in Manchester derbies? “What happened to ‘deadly strikers’?” wonders Phillip Wainwright. “It’s a shame that modern tactics lean toward the absence of a ‘proper finisher’ in a team. Even Cavani, arguably someone under this umbrella in modern times, misses a hatful of clear/easy chances every season. See also Rashford, Martial, Bamford, Bergwijn, Sterling, Werner, even Son at Spurs… Is it just my rose-tinted view or did Van Nistelrooy, Henry, Shearer, Fowler etc not miss as many easy chances? I am an enormous fan of Rashford, on and off the pitch, but if him and the enigmatic Martial were to not miss as many easy chances, Man Utd would be an infinitely more dangerous prospect. Imagine if they had Kane/Son.”
HALF TIME: Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City
Both teams have come close – there have been three disallowed goals plus one shot off the post – but it’s goalless at the break.
45 min: Fernandes has a chance to release Rashford down the middle, but uncharacteristically makes a royal balls of the through ball.
43 min: Rashford whips a ball into the City box from the right. It rears up and smacks Stones on the arm. Stones had been clumsily leaning into the ball, so there’s a big penalty shout, but his arm was just about in a natural position, and he gets the benefit of the doubt.
41 min: De Bruyne strides into space down the right. He hooks into the middle, looking for the so-far-ineffectual Mahrez. Wan-Bissaka volleys clear.
40 min: City continue to stroke the ball around, but they’re not forcing Henderson into too much action.
38 min: Foden has the beating of Wan-Bissaka down the left. He twice gets past his man in the space of a few seconds, though on neither occasion delivers the killer ball.
36 min: Fernandinho sends a glorious diagonal ball towards Sterling on the right. Sterling is in acres, and romps into the box. He just needs to jink past Shaw to make room for a shot from close range … but clumsily runs slap-bang into the stationary defender, and doesn’t get the penalty he screams for.