Anthony Martial and youthful Marcus Rashford scored one goal apiece to hand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his Manchester United a 2-1 sweet victory against derby rivals Manchester City on Saturday.
Nicholas Otamendi’s late goal simply acted as a consolation for Manchester City in front of their home fans.
United were brilliant in the first half, as impressive as they have been in the 12 months of their Norwegian manager’s tenure, and a penalty from Marcus Rashford followed by Anthony Martial’s sharp finish made it their day. A late Nicolas Otamendi header could not save the hosts.
United’s first three attempts all forced Ederson to make sharp saves, the goalkeeper denying Daniel James from the edge of the penalty area, then a lively Jesse Lingard and the marauding Martial.
And with City in disarray at the back, the fast-breaking visitors were handed a penalty after a VAR review when Rashford went down following a mazy run, sideswiped by a clumsy Bernardo Silva challenge.
Rashford slotted low and into the right corner for the 23rd-minute opener, and the England striker went close twice in the next four minutes: firstly, when stroking a shot just wide after City’s defence was unpicked by a high-pace counter-attack, and then with a 20-yard curling shot that hit the crossbar.
Martial gave United the two-goal lead they richly deserved in the 29th minute when he swiveled and cracked a low, left-footed shot in off the base of the right post, after working the chance patiently with James.
City striker Gabriel Jesus might have narrowed the lead before half-time but headed wastefully wide from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross, before the hosts were aggrieved to be denied a spot-kick by referee Anthony Taylor when Fred appeared to handle a cross.
Guardiola made his annoyance known in a passionate appeal to fourth official Mike Dean before the second half began.
United centre-back Victor Lindelof made a superb intervention to thwart De Bruyne soon after the restart, deflecting the Belgian’s thumping shot over the crossbar.
Otamendi headed in an 85th-minute City consolation and fellow substitute Riyad Mahrez went close to a leveler moment later, denied by a fine save by David de Gea, but this was emphatically United’s day.
This win takes Manchester United to position five with 24 points from 16 matches.