After a brilliant first half on offence and the following half marked by their iron-clad defence, the Red Devils ultimately emerged from the Etihad Stadium with a terrific 2-1 win against Manchester City, courtesy Marcus Rashford’s first-half penalty and Anthony Martial’s precise left-foot strike.

Rashford was knocked down by Bernardo Silva in the area and the video assistant referee awarded United the penalty, which the forward duly converted to put United in the lead 1-0 in the 23rd minute.

Rashford almost scored minutes later, but his shot bounced off the bar. Martial made up for the near-miss by taking a pass from Daniel James and striking it out of keeper Ederson’s reach and into the net. This doubled the lead for the visitors only in the 29th minute.

City got some satisfaction when a header into the back of the net by Nicolas Otamendi made it 2-1 at 85th minute. The goal gave the hosts some hope, but the equaliser never came and the final whistle blew with a scoreline of 2-1.

“I think for a forward, consistency plays a big part,” Rashford told Sky Sports as quoted by the official website of Manchester United. “I’ve been playing every game in the league and have been getting regular chances in front of goal as well.

“When you feel good in front of goal, and you’re getting regular opportunities, if you miss a few it doesn’t matter because you’re confident that when the next one comes you’ll put it away.”

United host Everton in their next game on December 15, whereas City play Arsenal in an away game on the very same day.