Andre Onana demonstrated Pep Guardiola’s views were correct in the Manchester United derby loss

According to manchestereveningnews, Manchester United finished second in the second Manchester derby of the season, losing 3-1 to Manchester City on Sunday afternoon. Marcus Rashford hit a screamer to give United an improbable lead at halftime, but a Phil Foden brace and a clever finish from Erling Haaland sealed a well-deserved victory for the home side.

It means Erik ten Hag’s team has now suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats, putting their chances of qualifying for the Champions League in jeopardy. When Rasmus Hojlund and Lisandro Martinez were photographed arriving with the squad at the Etihad Stadium, it appeared that Ten Hag had pulled off the ultimate bluff. It was short-lived enthusiasm, as neither of them were in the matchday squad and were only there to show their support for their teammates.

Pep Guardiola was never going to change his lineup regardless of who United had available, but the sight of Hojlund and Martinez coming would have caused concerns if he had been made aware of it. What it does, ideally, tell us is that the important two are getting closer to making their individual comebacks. They cannot come quickly enough.

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Onana proved Guardiola correct.

Marcus Rashford deservedly received accolades for his stunning opening goal, but Andre Onana’s contribution to making it even remotely feasible should not be overlooked. The Cameroonian has largely made headlines for his saves this season, but Erik ten Hag recruited him to the club for all else he could provide.

Onana’s playmaking abilities have seldom been seen in a United shirt, but it was his superb clearing from his own box that released Bruno Fernandes behind the City backline, giving him the opportunity to set up the goal. That would have meant very little if he hadn’t done his primary job as well, with Onana making a number of key saves for his team, though he will be frustrated with the manner of Phil Foden’s second goal, and greater questions must be asked of his defenders.

Pep Guardiola memorably described him as a ‘great custodian to seize the position to build-up’ ahead of last season’s Champions League final. He was proven correct for the majority of yesterday as well.

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