Manchester City's glorious run ends with painful defeat to Manchester United

Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw score to extend their record in away games

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Manchester City's record run is over. After 21 consecutive wins and 28 games without defeat came the most painful loss of all: to Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side had been criticised for their results against the best this season but, when City could have gone 17 points ahead of them, his gameplan worked to perfection as they conjured a victory that was a throwback to last year.

They scored early in each half, defended magnificently and produced a performance to make a mockery of their recent poor form. In the process, they extended their own superb sequence. United’s kings of the road are now unbeaten in 22 away league games and their shortest journey proved one of their most pleasurable. Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored as they become the first team to overcome City since Tottenham in November.

Given United’s recent poor form and their record against their peers, this was a welcome change for them.

After a hat-trick of 0-0 draws, they were awarded a penalty after 36 seconds and scored after 101. Fernandes’ spot kick was United’s first goal in 630 minutes of league football against big-six opponents and even that came in a 6-1 defeat to Tottenham. This had a happier conclusion for Solskjaer.

It was also the earliest goal City had ever conceded in a league game at the Etihad Stadium. Both managers’ striking selections had an immediate impact, but only Solskjaer could savour that. Anthony Martial was passed fit to play and United soon had grounds to be glad he was.

The Frenchman scored home and away against City last season and made a different kind of telling contribution. As he burst into the box, he was clipped by Gabriel Jesus, chosen instead of a false nine.

Normally, the Brazilian’s devotion to his defensive duties are appreciated by Pep Guardiola. This might not have been. Jesus went on to miss a chance later before being substituted. Long before then, Fernandes converted the spot kick, despite Ederson getting a hand to it

Perhaps City were shell-shocked. They had not trailed in any of their 15 straight league wins but this was a strangely shambolic start. Shaw could have doubled United’s lead, but shot straight at Ederson while the goalkeeper was also required to save a 20-yard effort by Marcus Rashford.

Thereafter, City began to dominate possession, but that suited United. They are configured to defend a lead in games such as this, one content to sit deep, let City have the ball and to look for a chance to counter-attack. City probed in search of an opening but United’s defiance restricted the number of clear-cut chances.

Harry Maguire was overworked as he made a series of important interventions. Victor Lindelof made a fine block to deny Jesus. Ilkay Gundogan attempted three shots from the edge of the box and Dean Henderson, who may get an extended spell in the United goal in the absence of David de Gea, repelled a fierce drive by Oleksandr Zinchenko but the closest City came in the first half was right at its conclusion, Riyad Mahrez arrowing a shot narrowly wide and the sliding Jesus almost applying a finishing touch.

They got nearer still at the start of the second half, Rodri clipping the bar with a shot from the edge of the box, but soon found themselves two goals down thanks to just the second league strike of Shaw’s career.

Certainly Ederson was taken aback, scarcely moving when Rashford teed up the left-back and his low shot nestled in the far corner of the net. There was further evidence of United’s menace. Ederson made a terrific stop to prevent the excellent Martial from adding a third when the Frenchman had a clear run at goal.

City had more of a struggle to create, Phil Foden replaced Jesus and almost struck, whistling a shot on the turn wide after a pass from Kevin de Bruyne, who was otherwise below par. Raheem Sterling failed to connect with Kyle Walker’s enticing cross but it was to United’s credit how little City threatened. They became the first team to stop Guardiola’s men from scoring at home since United themselves last January. Solskjaer could enjoy the sense of history repeating itself.