Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: Three Things We Learned

Manchester United could not complete a perfect week, as they lost 3-1 at Etihad against Manchester City after an important Champions League victory on Wednesday. David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan scored for the hosts in a comfortable win against the Devils, who managed to score after Anthony Martial scored from the spot.

It was a match that was somewhat expected. City were the better side, controlling the match throughout and visibly improving their game in early part of the second half, learning the lessons from last April. This time, Man United were far from scoring three goals, as they did not have single shot on target from open play.

Nemanja Matic Is Not The Player He Used To Be

So, what have we learned in this match. First of all, Nemanja Matic is not the player he used to be when he arrived at Old Trafford. This season it has been the case for the most part, but on this big occasion, it was particularly obvious. He is not the man to sit at the back of United’s midfield.

The Devils get ran over in that area of the pitch, and the tall Serbian cannot keep up anymore. When he rejoined Chelsea from Benfica, he was unstoppable, imposing and even peak-Yaya Toure had a lot of problems playing against him. Now, he seems more fitting for a ball-playing centre-back, especially in a formation with three centre-backs, as he does not possess the pace necessary for his position. He simply could not keep up with the great runners City had on the pitch.

David Silva Is Deservedly Called Magician

What a performance this was from David Silva. The Spaniard scored after just 12 minutes to put City ahead, but that is not even the biggest reason for all the praise. He was doing his usual thing, passing through the lines, waiting and then moving, finding team-mates at full speed, while still being able to keep the ball in possession of his team.

Silva was silky as always, eluding Man United’s defenders, continuously putting new problems in front of them. Often he was returning back to get the ball from defenders, progressing it forwards either with his intelligent runs or incisive forward passes. At almost 33 (will turn in January), Silva does not look like stopping. Quite contrary.

Another Slow Start From Man United

It is now hard to even keep up with all the slow starts Manchester United have had this season. It was like that against Newcastle, Brighton, Chelsea, Bournemouth, Juventus… And the list goes on. Why is that? Why Man United concede so many goals early on?

It is a tough question for Jose Mourinho to answer. The attitude of the team is often uninspiring and players seldom create anything worthwhile. In fact, it is quite telling that Man United’s best half of football this season came in the first half against Tottenham. That match ended as a 3-0 loss and ever since United were poor in the opening 45 minutes.

Lack of focus in early stages of the matches means United always have to dig deep. That is mentally and physically tough and in the long run it is never good.

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