April 19, 2021

Man Utd

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Paul Scholes explains Fred and McTominay vital roles in Man United win vs City

3 min read

Paul Scholes noticed the unsung but vital roles played by midfielders Fred and Scott McTominay in Manchester United’s victory over City.

United were 2-0 winners on Manchester derby day at the Etihad Stadium, as Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored early in each half.

It was a superb victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side against the odds, as United halted City’s 21-game winning run in dramatic fashion — extending their own unbeaten away streak to 22 games in the process.

And ex-United star Scholes believes Solskjaer’s two defensive midfielders played big parts in the win, in stopping the creative play of City duo Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan.

“A big thing was getting the midfield right against Manchester City,” Scholes told Premier League Productions. “I think they did that, Fred and McTominay had a big job, but you could see how tight and compact they were, there was no space for City in there.

“Fred and McTominay won the ball and managed to break as well. It worked perfectly. City’s best players are obviously De Bruyne and Gundogan, so if you stop them you go a long way to stopping City. You have to say they didn’t really have an influence on the game.

“They knew they had to keep compact, keep the middle area tight and the plan worked perfectly.”

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Henderson and McTominay celebrate at full-time

Manchester United secured a memorable 2-0 derby victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium.

Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored the goals to clinch an unexpected, but empathic, victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops against the league leaders.

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Scholes also lauded the performance of in-form left-back Shaw and wants more United players to contribute goals to take the burden off forwards like Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

“They have to, especially in the big games,” added Scholes. “Everyone seems to be thinking about Fernandes especially, Rashford and Martial I suppose as well, but it’s nice for other players to chip in.

“It wasn’t the cleanest of strikes [from Shaw] but it comes through bodies as well. People need to chip in if you’re going to win big games, you’re going to go to City, you can’t just rely on the same players all the time.

“United were very good, really deserved that. And as long as they get players chipping in [with goals], they’ll win more games like this.

“It’s a crazy bit of defending from Cancelo, Henderson takes out five or six players, and Shaw did the rest.”

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