MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The goals just keep coming for Erling Haaland. For Manchester United, it’s one setback after another.
Haaland scored twice and set up another as Manchester City beat United 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday and underlined the growing gap between the teams.
“Against a rival, at Old Trafford, of course it is one of the best (results) of the season,” said City manager Pep Guardiola after his team moved within two points of leader Tottenham.
The defending champions put in a dominant performance in the 191st Manchester derby to add to the growing pressure on United manager Erik ten Hag.
This was United’s seventh loss of the season in all competitions and leaves it 11 points adrift of Tottenham, eight off the Champions League places.
“It hurts a lot. I think especially because first half the game plan went perfectly,” said Ten Hag. “It is only the penalty that changes the game.”
Haaland scored a first-half penalty and doubled the visitors’ lead with a header shortly after halftime.
He then provided the cross for Phil Foden to complete the scoring and prompt United fans to leave the stadium early.
Haaland has now scored 13 goals in all competitions this season and might have had more if not for the efforts of United goalkeeper Andre Onana, who produced a number of saves to keep City at bay.
City went ahead in the 26th minute from the penalty spot after referee Paul Tierney reviewed a pull by Rasmus Hojlund on Rodri in the box.
Haaland stepped up and sent Onana the wrong way by firing low to the right.
By then Onana had already denied Foden from scoring with a header and then scrambled the ball away from Haaland before he could convert the rebound. The goalkeeper also pushed away Jack Grealish’s low, curling shot from outside the area.
United threatened on the break, but failed to make the most of promising openings for Scott McTominay and twice for Hojlund.
In first-half stoppage time McTominay came closest to finding a goal for United with a spinning shot on the edge of the box that was blocked by Ederson.
Haaland then nearly doubled City’s lead with a close-range header that forced an acrobatic save from Onana.
He didn’t have to wait long for his second, which came four minutes after the break with a powerful header from Bernardo Silva’s cross.
Rashford raced beyond City’s defense in search of a goal to pull United back into the game, but fired narrowly wide from an angle.
Onana then denied Haaland a hat-trick goal when one-on-one with the striker.
Haaland turned provider in the 80th when squaring for Foden to score from close range.
Before kickoff both teams had come together to commemorate United great Bobby Charlton, who died earlier this month. Past players from both sides of the city entered the field to join in a moment of applause.
In one stand United fans were invited to raise white paper that read out “Sir Bobby” in giant lettering. Elsewhere a huge banner was unfurled with a picture of him lifting the European Cup trophy in 1968.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer