Well, it was a ferocious derby that everyone was expecting. Both the teams got into the game with 100% record. But in the end, it was Guardiola’s men who came out on top in the most expensive match ever played.
The two first-half goals were enough for City to snatch three points from their neighbors. Let’s take a look at what went wrong for Red devils and how they can get back.
Wrong Choice of players
Yes, this has to be the prime reason for the derby defeat. Even Mourinho admitted in post match interview that he wanted to make changes after 20 minutes.
The selection of both the wide players Lingard and Mkhitaryan came as a surprise. No doubt that Mkhitaryan featured in all previous league victories as a substitute. But, he got injured during the international break. The medical team declared him fit before the derby. In fact, Mourinho had a full squad available to choose from for the big occasion. But Mkhitaryan wasn’t fully fit, not for this kind of intensity at least. Lingard hasn’t played any part in league games before. So, playing him instead of Martial was a huge gamble. And in the end, it didn’t work out very well.
Two mistakes two goals
City was exceptional in the first 35-40 minutes. They were almost untouchable with their slick passing with Kevin de Bruyne ruling the midfield.
All their hard work paid off and the top moment came in the 15th minute as Kolarov intervened Mkhitaryan and launched a long high ball into United’s territory. United’s defense wasn’t prepared for this as Ilenacho won the header and de Bruyne surged from behind before Blind could react to that. With two touches the ball went in the net as no United defender left to chase him.
City dominated the possession after the first goal and it was very likely that they will score again. And they did that at the 36th-minute mark. Again it was all de Bruyne’s toil as he tipped two United defenders before firing a shot at goal. The shot came off the post straight into Ilenacho’s path, who made no mistake from the close range to give City two-goal advantage before halftime. Again United’s defense should be blamed, as Blind got off position behind the defensive line allowing Ilenacho’s goal to stood after the off side appeal was turned down.
United lacked finish
United created numerous chances in the game but they’re not able to give it a required final touch.
Zlatan was playing the lone striker for them. And it seems he needs to be paired with another striker. There were many opportunities in the game when Zlatan was left alone with no one around to pass so, he has no other option except to dribble and shoot. An added forward partner will be very beneficial for United’s attacking ingredient.
Pogba needs to play more advanced role provided his terrific ability to shoot from distance, great body balance, super dribbling and passing. And finally, Rooney should get back to his old position. Playing in no. 10 position isn’t working out well for him lately. After all, United should take no regrets from the defeat given their efforts till the dying minutes. It was the poor start that cost them three points. But it’s just game week four and there are way too many twists down the long journey.