Manchester United’s success these days consists of being the spoiler as Manchester City goes on to win the league titles.
Pep Guardiola’s search for a world-record winning streak came to an end after United beat City 2-0 in the derby on Sunday.
Bruno Fernandes converted a penalty won after 36 seconds when Gabriel Jesus tripped Anthony Martial, and Luke Shaw scored five minutes into the second half to put an end to City’s 21-match winning streak in all competitions.
After scoring his 17th penalty in 13 months for United, Fernandes said, “Scoring in the first minute is great because City has to try a little bit more, we have more room to counter and the main threat we have is the counter.”
The Premier League has changed dramatically since City’s last loss at Tottenham 106 days ago, which left the team in 11th position, eight points behind the London club at the top.
After a club-setting 28 games undefeated, City’s loss is more of a matter of pride, as well as missing out on matching The New Saints’ record of 27 consecutive victories set in 2016. City has not only reached the top but has also established a lead so large that second-placed Manchester City’s win at the Etihad Stadium only narrowed the gap to 11 points.
Guardiola says: “We lost today, and we will be the news but the news is 21 victories in a row. This outcome will greatly assist us in comprehending how complicated it is. We knew it, but sometimes you have to lose a game to know how important the next one is.”
With such a large lead and just 10 games left, United has most likely only just postponed City’s dethronement of Liverpool as champion. Much as Jose Mourinho’s derby victory three years ago stopped City from clinching the title on that April day.