Manchester United demoralizing Man City as Erling Haaland red carded


















Manchester United demoralizing Man City as Erling Haaland red carded

Manchester City take on Man United in the Premier League today and we’ll bring you live updates from the game in this blog.




UPDATED15:42, 3 MAR 2024


The Manchester derby takes place on Sunday.(Image: 2023 Visionhaus)

Manchester City welcome Manchester United to the Etihad in the Premier League today.



United won 1-0 against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup in midweek, which ensured progression to the quarter-finals of the competition, and they are looking to build on that result.




City also progressed to the next round of the FA Cup after a stylish win against Luton Town, a game which saw Erling Haaland score five goals at Kenilworth Road.


The Reds have not won at the Etihad since March 2021 when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge, and Pep Guardiola’s side won 3-0 at Old Trafford earlier in the season.


Ten Hag has won just once against Guardiola as United manager and that victory came at Old Trafford last term when goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford secured a 2-1 win.


Regarding the team news, Raphael Varane and Bruno Fernandes are set to be available, but Harry Maguire could be absent again after missing the Forest game through injury.


Ederson, Ruben Dias, Phil Foden and Rodri were rested in midweek and should return for City.


Follow below for live match updates from the Etihad.



8′ – MCI 0-1 MUN – GOAL! 1-0 UNITED! (Rashford)






Mainoo and Evans to start


United squad members


Hojlund is with the United squad


City squad confirmed


Gvardiol returns from injury



11′ – MCI 0-1 MUN – Rashford has stunned City

Some United fans have surfaced in the seats below us. One has just been turfed out. It might have been worth it. That strike was so stunning and so sudden it will have been difficult for the reds to have maintained their cover among the blues. Some are still smiling broadly.


As he did at Wolves, Rashford has come up with an impeccably-timed goal that backs up his words on Thursday. That was the goal of his life.



10′ – MCI 0-1 MUN – Onana was involved

Andre Onana deserves huge credit for his role in that goal. That is exactly why Ten Hag signed him, to be able to start attacks from deep. Rashford’s strike was exquisite but it was all made possible by their goalkeeper.



9′ – MCI 0-1 MUN – United strike on the counter

That is about as Route One as Ilkay Gundogan’s goal was in the FA Cup Final and that has changed the atmosphere in the ground at a stroke. United have always been better against Guardiola’s City with fast breaks and there is more evidence.



8′ – MCI 0-1 MUN – GOAL! 1-0 UNITED! (Rashford)

Wow, what a stunning goal that is from Rashford, an absolute beauty into the top corner.


That’s one of the best goals this fixture has seen over the years.



6′ – MCI 0-0 MUN – City are suffocating United

Other than Jeremy Doku, it’s hard to think of a City player who has given the ball away. They are suffocating United with every bit of possession they enjoy high up the pitch. United will have to hope that Doku’s risks don’t pay off because if he can add to City’s swarm then they will really be clicking.



5′ – MCI 0-0 MUN – Ten Hag’s message to Dalot

Ten Hag has told Dalot to take a wider position. He seemed to also have a moan at Rashford. He was tightly wound in the week and has looked quite vexed here already. Garnacho copped a bit off him as well.


With Doku starting, Dalot at right-back is sensible. As dire as it could be with Lindelof at left-back, United do not want him up against Doku.


That was a good opening for Garnacho there if he’d have been more clinical. Ten Hag gave two thumbs up to Rashford for the run he made.



3′ – MCI 0-0 MUN – City have been bright

SL An idiot in the VIP seats in front of us still cannot find his seat and hasn’t even looked at the pitch. He also has his headphones in. Tickets shouldn’t be sold to casual clowns like him.


City have barely let United out of their half. It has been an ominous start for United and Ten Hag is already having a moan at someone.



2′ – MCI 0-0 MUN – Early chance for City

Foden tries his luck from distance and his effort is headed for a corner by Dalot. City have started on the front foot and and it could be one way traffic today.



1′ – MCI 0-0 MUN – Lindelof at left-back

Lindelof is at left-back again, just as he was in the last derby. Garnacho is starting on the right, with Rashford left and Fernandes and McTominay central.



1′ – MCI 0-0 MUN – KICK-OFF!

We’re under way here at the Etihad. It’s a cracking atmosphere and this fixture usually delivers, so stick with us as we provide live match updates throughout the game.



Banners at the Etihad

Just in case they had forgotten, City fans held up banners in three different stands reminding the visitors of last season’s exploits. They’ve had to do a lot of suffering on the blue side of Manchester and they’re making the most of crowing about being top dog at the moment. A switch of ends at the coin toss as well, a classic Sean Dyche tactic, presumably Fernandes has won the toss and decided to do that.



The teams are out

“Na, na, na, na Citttyyyy,” echoes around the Etihad as the teams walk out.



The press box view

Both sides sang their chants to the sound of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. ‘Tearing Cockneys Apart’ vs ‘Giggs Will Tear You Apart’ is an unusual battle of the bands.


A banner that reads ‘Story of the Blues’ has just been unfurled by the City fans next to the United section. Underneath are two-stick flags bearing silhouettes of the major trophies City have lifted.



10 minutes until kick-off

We’re approaching kick-off time at the Etihad.



‘Have the b**** to play’

Ten Hag spoke to MUTV ahead of kick-off and said:


“Every single player has to show passion, desire, determination and intimidation if necessary. We have to show how hungry we are. It’s eat or be eaten. And we want to eat.


“You mention Scott [McTominay], but I can also mention Bruno, Casemiro, Varane, Evans, so we have many such players who have that passion, so if they construct a team model, we are sticking together, get to the fight, but definitely, we need a strong belief it’s possible and having the b**** to play.


“Adversity is in the DNA of Manchester United. It will always be, but we have to get strong out of this position and that’s what we report to the team, a strong message, believe in getting a result.”



(Image: MUTV)


Fernandes and Rashford must step up

If United are to have any hope of winning today then they need big performances from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. They have both been particularly poor in recent weeks and if it wasn’t for their star status, they would likely have been dropped by now. Rashford upped the stakes with his Players’ Tribune piece earlier this week and now he has to back it up on the pitch.



Foden and De Bruyne linking up

Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne have played together four times since De Bruyne returned from injury this season. Foden in that time has four goals and two assists, while De Bruyne has a goal and three assists. They have shown themselves not only to be central to their team’s goal threat but to be pretty good at it as well.



The pair are supporting United today

Martinez and Hojlund are currently sidelined with injury.




Not much has changed in two years

March 5 2022: City win the Etihad derby, leaving United fifth and a point off fourth after 28 games.


March 3 2024: City win the Etihad derby, leaving United sixth and 11 points off fourth after 27 games? If United lose today, however they lose, that unflattering comparison will be another damning indictment on Erik ten Hag. Ralf Rangnick’s heart surgery diagnosis has aged well.



Ralf Rangnick looks dejected following defeat to Man City


Doku needs to provide more

Jeremy Doku has two goals and four assists in the Premier League this season for City. Five of those came in the same game, in a 6-1 win against Bournemouth at the beginning of November. With a goal away at West Ham before that, it means Doku hasn’t contributed to a goal in the league for City in four months. If he ends that today, people will forget about the drought.



(Image: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


United’s bench is weak again

It’s become a running theme in recent weeks, but United’s bench is alarmingly weak again today. City themselves are not blessed with exceptional squad depth, but you’d much rather have Alvarez, Kovacic and Bobb to change a game from the bench than Antony, Amad and Eriksen.



(Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)


City are top-heavy with their attack

Doku’s inclusion in the XI means City are top-heavy with their attack. It’s a balance they will have to watch, especially with the fact that there’s not many options left on the bench if things don’t go to plan. There is Julian Alvarez, who has been out of form in recent matches, and then after that Oscar Bobb and Matheus Nunes. City will need to get the job done with their starting XI most likely.


(Image: 2023 Getty Images)


Mainoo returns to the starting team

A rare case of this correspondent’s panel team appearing on the teamsheet. It’s the only side Ten Hag could go with, really. Amrabat couldn’t play in this and Antony had to be sacrificed to accommodate Mainoo. They have got five academy graduates in their starting XI today.


Wayne Rooney once accompanied the squad to the Etihad in March 2016 and actually gave a speech in the dressing room pre-match. United won 1-0 and the scorer was Rashford. United would love that today.



City will be dangerous

Bernardo Silva caused havoc on the left in tandem with Jack Grealish at Old Trafford and he could do similar here. He will be down on paper as the right-winger but with Kyle Walker able to take space up the flank Silva will be free either to slot into the middle or move all the way across to help Doku out.



Doku gets the nod

Perhaps the only surprise in that City side is Doku starting. Kovacic in midfield and Bernardo wide might have been the safer option, but it maybe speaks of the vulnerability in United’s defence that Guardiola has picked the most attacking option. Lindelof at left-back and Evans at centre-back is a combination that must have De Bruyne, Foden and Haaland relishing kick-off.


(Image: Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images.)


Amrabat moved to the bench

It will be interesting to see whether Evans or Lindelof starts at left-back, but it was never going to be Amrabat after his poor performance in midweek. It will also be interesting to see what United look like in attack too. Fernandes could play on the right wing or in attacking midfield, with McTominay either in midfield or even through the middle.




XI | Onana, Dalot, Varane, Evans, Lindelof, Casemiro, Mainoo, McTominay, Fernandes (C), Rashford, Garnacho.


Subs | Bayindir, Kambwala, Ogunneye, Amrabat, Collyer, Eriksen, Amad, Antony, Forson.




XI | Ederson, Walker (C), Stones, Dias, Ake, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Foden, Doku, Haaland


Subs | Ortega Moreno, Kovacic, Alvarez, Gomez, Gvardiol, Akanji, Nunes, Bobb, Lewis



Mainoo and Evans to start

The MEN understands Mainoo and Evans are set to return to the starting team.



10 minutes until team news

We’ll bring you the official starting teams in 10 minutes.



Hojlund and Martinez could be involved

Erik ten Hag said he did not expect to have any players back for the derby who weren’t available in midweek. He was bluffing with Rasmus Hojlund and Lisandro Martinez both involved today. It will be interesting to see what roles they occupy. They are both crucial players, but it doesn’t make any sense to risk them today if it means they could miss out future, more winnable, matches.



United squad members

United squad members spotted:


Bayindir, Amrabat, McTominay, Ogunneye, Collyer, Forson, Evans, Lindelof, Mainoo, Fernandes, Amad, Antony, Eriksen, Onana, Dalot, Hojlund, Kambwala, Garnacho, Rashford.



Hojlund is with the United squad

Nobody expected the striker to be involved today.




The scene outside the Etihad

City are still persisting with this City Square live announcement of the players, despite it recently being ridiculed again online. Goodness knows who thinks it is a good idea when it reminds this correspondent of something from Phoenix Nights. Someone said on the radio this morning the Etihad can be “hostile”. As a colleague just quipped, it’s a different version of ‘Welcome to Hell’.


Be careful what you wish for if you’re a United fan. The new Old Trafford intends to incorporate a fan park, as most new-build stadiums do. Whatever it looks like, hopefully it doesn’t include an arrivals announcement.



De Bruyne is starting

The Belgian starts for City this afternoon.




City squad confirmed

Here is the City squad for today’s game.


Rodri, Dias, Silva, Stones, Lewis, Ake, Doku, Nunes, Gomez, Alvarez, Bobb, Ederson, Kovacic, Foden, Gvardiol, De Bruyne, Ortega, Carson, Haaland, Walker, Akanji.



Gvardiol returns from injury

The defender is back in the squad for the derby.




Mainoo the ‘rising star’

Kobbie Mainoo is billed as the “rising star” in the United profiles section in the programme. United could have lads from Stockport, Wythenshawe and Lancaster starting today. There may be five academy graduates in the starting line-up. That would be something to celebrate. And from United’s perspective, hopefully not the only thing to celebrate.


Phil Foden will doubtless represent the blue contingent of Stockport. In this age where clubs are prone to recruiting glamorous or exotic signings, having three lads from Greater Manchester in a derby would be a minor achievement. Bury-born Rico Lewis will almost certainly be on the bench.


(Image: Visionhaus via Getty Images)


City’s record at the Etihad is remarkable

City are on a long unbeaten run dating back to the beginning of December and their record at the Etihad goes back to November 2022. They nearly set a record for winning every single game at the Etihad in 2023 and while that proved to be beyond them they are still undefeated. United were one of the last teams to beat them here but that feels like a long time ago because it is. It may only be three points at stake today, but it would really hurt City to lose that feeling of being unbeatable at home if United were to get a win.


Erling Haaland scores for Manchester City vs Brentford


United have been unconvincing

The uncomfortable truth for United is that even their wins this season have been largely unconvincing. They have conceded far too many shots and chances in all their games, and without Rasmus Hojlund in attack, they’ve wasted opportunities at the other end as well. If they are to have any chance to win today, they firstly need to rely on Man City not being at their best. Even then, it might not be enough.



Foden has been brilliant

Phil Foden scored three in this fixture last season and will look to take on an even more important role today. Foden has had to be patient for his opportunities and there has been frustration at times from the fans that someone who understands the derby better than others has sometimes been overlooked. Being on the bench for the FA Cup game at Luton was surely a sign that the 23-year-old was being rested for this game – a sign of how important he has become to Guardiola.


(Image: Marc Atkins/Getty Images.)


Stam is at the Etihad today

Jaap Stam was in the press room earlier. His glory days at United were so glorious he played against City once in April 2001. They were relegated two weeks later.


Alfe Inge Haaland was here last season and there was more interest surrounding his presence than his son’s. Haaland was a couple of goalframes away from Roy Keane and, despite Jan Aage Fjortoft’s efforts at a reunion, their enmity ensured there was no chance of that. Haaland was doing the Poznan with City fans when they went 6-1 up that day.





Half-and-half scarves should not exist

There were a startling number of fans decorated with half-and-half scarves outside the stadium earlier. The sight of a City fan donning such an accessory at Maine Road would have been rarer than silverware back then but City are a borderline unrecognisable club. They are the best in class and any United fan that pays for a programme today and opens it up to the opening page will have to stomach City’s roll of honours.


United fans cannot sing, “Have you ever won the Treble?” and their Vincent Kompany chant is practically dead now as well. City supporters will revel in the schadenfreude and the onus is on United to defy the wide expectation that they will lose today.



Walker or Akanji?

The biggest selection issue for Guardiola today is probably going to be whether to play Kyle Walker or Manu Akanji. Akanji has probably been in better form, although is more suited to the John Stones role that Stones is likely to play than he is the one that Walker does pushing up on that right flank. Walker’s form has been up and down but his specific qualities as a right-back enable more fluidity ahead of him, and that may well be what pushes his name into the XI ahead of Akanji. It will be close though.


Kyle Walker and Oscar Bobb during Manchester City vs Brentford(Image: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)


Haaland will smell red blood

Erling Haaland already has five goals in four games against United and it would have been more but for a brilliant performance from Andre Onana in the reverse fixture in October. Haaland still scored twice that day but Onana made seven saves, including a superb stop to deny the Norwegian. United’s weakness this season has been the amount of work they ask their goalkeeper to do. They have allowed the opposition at least 15 shots in eight successive games and City’s attacking players – and especially Haaland – will be licking their lips at the chances likely to come their way today.


Erling Haaland of Manchester City celebrates scoring his fifth goal against Luton




United must avoid defeat

On the walk over the bridge to the Etihad, City fans in Mary D’s were audible as they sang ‘Champions again’ and ‘Old Trafford is falling down’. The programme cover bills them as ‘The best team in all the world’. Kick-off is hours away and blues are already rubbing reds’ noses in it.


City will intend to do that on the pitch as well and that is the simple challenge for United today: do not allow the chasm between the clubs to be so obvious over 90 minutes. And avoid defeat.



Guardiola’s programme notes

Pep Guardiola has in the past been accused of not appreciating how big the derby is with supporters as City have prioritised games more important to their pursuit of trophies, but the message in the programme from the manager is clear: “You don’t need me to tell you about how important today’s game is,” he writes.”The players, the staff, everyone at the club…we all know what this means to you. The Manchester derby is always special – an emotional occasion for our people. I have told the players this week our job is to try and forget about the emotion and focus on beating Manchester United. But one thing I know for certain is we will need you right behind us. We want to feel your energy, your noise, your passion. If we all work together, I am sure we can win.”





Who will play at left-back?

As invidious a position Ten Hag is over who starts at left-back, Tyrell Malacia was worse here last season than Patrice Evra was on his United debut in 2006. Both were hooked at half time but at least Evra went off with United only 2-0 down. Last season, it was 4-0 and Malacia was rinsed by Phil Foden.


The prospect of Victor Lindelof or Sofyan Amrabat masquerading as an auxiliary full-back must fill United fans with dread. Lindelof started there against City in October and relocating him there is inadvisable. Diogo Dalot is the most logical option but Ten Hag has been reluctant to switch his role from right-back to left-back.


(Image: Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images.)


Spurs and Villa won yesterday

Not that today needed an extra element of pressure, but late wins for Tottenham and Villa yesterday have made it even more important that United make up the points at some between now and the end of the season. Today already feels like a write off and anything other than a defeat would be a huge bonus, but Champions League football is looking increasingly unlikely.


Erik ten Hag and Unai Emery direct from the touchline at Villa Park


Ten Hag came out fighting

Ten Hag came out fighting in his pre-match press conference this week, saying that United ‘can’t accept’ City finding Liverpool their bigger game now and that while he respects City, he is confident his side can get a win and also fulfil Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ambition of knocking them “off their perch”. Reality might get in the way today, however. City are overwhelming f

avourites to claim victory and the only real narrative seems to be how many they will score.





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