Foden double fires City to comeback win against United

Published March 4, 2024
MANCHESTER: Phil Foden (third R) scores for Manchester City during the Premier League match against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.—Reuters
MANCHESTER: Phil Foden (third R) scores for Manchester City during the Premier League match against Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.—Reuters

MANCHESTER: Phil Foden kept Manchester City’s Premier League title challenge on track with a superb second-half double as his side hit back to clinch a 3-1 home victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

Marcus Rashford’s eighth-minute thunderbolt gave United the lead against the run of play and it looked like the visitors might put a dent in City’s hopes of a fourth successive crown.

But Pep Guardiola’s side rem­ained patient, dominated possession and were eventually rewa­rded with Foden again proving how indispensable he is for City.

Foden arrowed a sublime effort into the top corner in the 56th minute and the England forward then produced a composed finish with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

Erling Haaland, who missed a golden first-half chance, secured the points with a late strike.

Reigning champions City, whose unbeaten run in all competitions now stands at 19, moved to 62 points, one behind leaders Liverpool who they visit next weekend. United remain in sixth place with 44 points.

Rashford’s bolt from the blue might have floored lesser sides but Erik Ten Hag’s United could have few complaints at the way City turned things around.

City had 74% possession and 27 efforts on goal compared to United’s three but it was Foden who found the key to the lock.

He was given a standing ovation as he walked off after taking a knock in stoppage time — City’s fans in buoyant mood at keeping the pressure right on Liverpool and Arsenal.

Earlier, Bournemouth pushed struggling Burnley closer to relegation from the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Turf Moor.

Andoni Iraola’s side inflicted Burnley’s 20th defeat in 27 league games this season thanks to Justin Kluivert’s early goal and Antoine Semenyo’s strike in the closing minutes.

Bournemouth had not won a game since Boxing Day and the victory moved them up to 31 points to sit 13th, 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

Burnley remain second-bottom after a fourth straight loss, 11 points from the safety zone with 11 games left. The defeat also marked the first time they had lost 11 league matches at home in a season.

In Saturday’s late game, fourth-placed Aston Villa held off a spirited second-half comeback from Luton Town to win 3-2 and move to 55 points from 27 matches.

Ollie Watkins struck twice for Villa in the first 38 minutes to take his tally for the season to 21.

Luton’s prowess from set-pieces looked to have salvaged a point as goals from Tahith Chong and Carlton Morris levelled.

But substitute Lucas Digne headed in Moussa Diaby’s cross at the back post in the 89th minute to keep his side in the hunt for Champions League football next season.

Published in Dawn, March 4th, 2024

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