Paul Scholes has praised Fred and Scott McTominay for their display against Manchester City, insisting that their midfield partnership was key to Manchester United’s 2-0 win.
United claimed bragging rights in Sunday’s derby clash at the Etihad Stadium through an early Bruno Fernandes penalty and a strike from Luke Shaw early in the second half.
City entered the game on a 21-game winning streak in all competitions, and unbeaten in their last 28, but their biggest attacking threats were neutralised by the Red Devils.
Scholes was particularly impressed with holding-midfield pair Fred and McTominay, with lots of United’s best work coming when their opponents had possession.
“A big thing was getting the midfield right against Manchester City,” Scholes told Premier League Productions. “I think they did that, Fred and McTominay had a big job, but you could see how tight and compact they were, there was no space for City in there.
“Fred and McTominay won the ball and managed to break as well. It worked perfectly. City’s best players are obviously [Kevin] De Bruyne and [Ilkay] Gundogan, so if you stop them you go a long way to stopping City.
“You have to say they didn’t really have an influence on the game. They knew they had to keep compact, keep the middle area tight and the plan worked perfectly.”
United’s victory – their third in a row at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions – moves them back to within 11 points of league leaders City.