Manchester United can now say goodbyes to the title. They lost the Manchester Derby to their city rivals and the distance between two teams is 11 points. Looking from a perspective, that difference grew over just 16 Premier League matches and catching Manchester City looks impossible.
Goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi came from United’s defensive errors in the box, following set-pieces.
“They scored two very bad goals, two goals that were unbelievable to concede and when you conceded two goals like this, in a match of this dimension, you obviously feel bad. You will speak about what they did well and what they are good at but they scored two goals out of nothing, with rebounds – really, two easy goals”, Jose Mourinho claimed afterwards.
Rather than looking at the way Man City scored, Mourinho should be looking at why Manchester United conceded two goals in such manner. He also pointed out that United should have got a penalty awarded – which was debatable at the very best – instead of looking at why his team did not show everything they could.
Manchester City Did Not Bring Their ‘A’ Game
And they really could. Manchester City, simply put, did not play the way can. This was the City side we have seen in recent weeks, able to break opponents even when not playing perfectly. However, there were some periods in the game when Pep Guardiola’s team looked vulnerable.
It was also the match in which Nicolas Otamendi – for all his usefulness at the other end – resembled the man media have been characterizing as not befitting of Manchester City. He had his moments, like missing a relatively easy header prior to Marcus Rashford’s goal.
City were mostly in control, but during those periods when they were not, they were a bit chaotic. There was something that was almost inviting Manchester United to attack more, to try and exploit the weaknesses of City’s injury-hampered defence. After all, Fernandinho and Fabian Delph were the left centre-back and left-back respectively after Vincent Kompany went off due to injury.
Manchester United Did Not Play Manchester United Style
Well, there could be a debate about the statement above. If we look at Mourinho’s Manchester United, then yes, this was Manchester United style. This was expected, for the Reds to sit deep and suffer throughout, waiting for a single crack in City’s defence to exploit, not knowing if that chance will ever occur.
Instead, Manchester United could have tried to play with a more attacking-minded setup. This does not mean necessarily try and outplay Manchester City, because that would be a very wrong thing to do. Yet, it means Mourinho’s United is too negative too often, even when it does not have to be.
Man United could have tried to show what they can do in attack when they get those small time-windows when City is a bit shaky. However, with Lukaku being frustrated throughout and Anthony Martial being unable to impose himself against Kyle Walker – and with Paul Pogba suspended – it is no wonder Manchester City found a way to record their 14th consecutive Premier League win.