London – Manchester United snapped Manchester City’s record winning streak with an impressive 2-0 victory against the Premier League leaders, while Liverpool hit a new low as relegation-threatened Fulham won at Anfield on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s side was on an English top-flight record run of 21 straight wins in all competitions heading into the Manchester derby.
But United ruined City’s 28-game unbeaten run thanks to an early penalty from Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw’s second-half strike at Etihad Stadium.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, unbeaten in its last 22 away league games, moved above Leicester into second place, but are still 11 points behind City with 10 games left.
Despite surrendering their 15-match winning league run in their first defeat since losing at Tottenham in November, City remains the favorite to lift the title for the third time in four seasons.
“We will be the news because we lost. But the news is 21 victories in a row. We played much better than the game against West Ham which we won,” Guardiola said.
“We will try to win as many games as possible to be champions.”
Barring a dramatic collapse from City in the closing weeks, United’s third win in the last four league meetings with their bitter rivals is likely to be remembered for cementing a top-four place rather than rekindling their title hopes.
“When you come away with a 2-0 win and another clean sheet and a performance like this then you are delighted,” Solskjaer said. “But City are too far ahead to think we can catch them.”
With just 34 seconds gone, Anthony Martial made a dangerous raid into the City area and Gabriel Jesus responded with a needless, clumsy challenge that sent the French striker sprawling.
Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty and squeezed his shot past Ederson, who got a hand on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
It was United’s first goal in four games.
In the 50th minute, Shaw broke from deep inside his own half, played a 1-2 with Marcus Rashford and fired a fine finish past Ederson from just inside the area.
Liverpool, meanwhie, has now lost six consecutive home league games after Fulham’s well-deserved 1-0 win.
That dismal run is all the more remarkable as Jurgen Klopp’s men had gone nearly four years without a league defeat at home in 68 games between April 2017 and January this year.
Liverpool’s best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League may now be in winning the European Cup as it sits in eighth place, four points adrift of the top four.
Mohamed Salah was at fault for the only goal in first-half stoppage time.
Mario Lemina outmuscled Salah to win the ball inside the Liverpool box before firing low across Alisson Becker into the far corner.
“We don’t have the mentality we are used to but the boys want to win games and I saw that today. We still made mistakes and that’s the problem,” Klopp said.
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