April 12, 2015 18:22:06 UK
Manchester United strengthened their grip on a top-four spot in the Premier League with a 4-2 derby win against rivals Manchester City.
The Red Devils went into the game at Old Trafford looking to avoid a fifth successive defeat at the hands of their neighbours and at the same time target a sixth straight Premier League win to keep them in third position in the table.
However it was Manuel Pellegrini’s side which took the lead in the eighth minute when Sergio Aguero tapped in from close range after being teed up by David Silva.
We have six games to go and have to keep going. It’s one more step towards the Champions League, it’s a big win and a boost to the confidence.
But United stormed back with Ashley Young equalising on 14 minutes before Marouane Fellaini headed in from close range to put the hosts ahead on 27 minutes.
The game was virtually wrapped up on 67 minutes when Juan Mata beat the offside flag and raced through on goal before finishing past Joe Hart and Chris Smalling put the icing on the cake when heading in seven minutes later.
Aguero scored a consolation in the last minute of normal time when United were down to ten men after Michael Carrick went off injured with all the United substitutions having already been made.
Louis van Gaal’s side remain in third position, one point behind Arsenal and eight off league leaders Chelsea.
Afterwards Mata said: “In the first 10 or 15 minutes City were brilliant but after that we showed character and came back. It was a massive result and everyone from United is happy.
“The atmosphere was crazy, it’s something we will never forget.
“We have six games to go and have to keep going. It’s one more step towards the Champions League, it’s a big win and a boost to the confidence. But Arsenal are a great team and City and Liverpool will stay fighting until the end.”
City are now five points behind the Red Devils and, with a dismal record of five defeats in their last seven games in all competitions, they could now face a fight to finish in the top four.
United are 3.50 to finish second, while City are 1.083 to secure a top-four place.
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