Ratings: Terrible United fall to City defeat; Solskjaer needs to figure this out or the curtains will close


Manchester United were beaten 2-0 by Manchester City in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford in the Premier League. An own goal by Eric Bailly in the seventh minute of the match, added to a Bernardo Silva effort just before half time saw United suffer their fourth defeat in the league this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will need to find some way to come back from these toothless displays of football if he is to turn this around, but there will be fewer people on his side after this performance, which shows that United have not really moved on or bettered themselves from the Liverpool defeat.

United started well in the initial stages of the Manchester derby with Fred winning the ball from Gabriel Jesus, the ball finding its way to Cristiano Ronaldo but he was caught in possession by Kyle Walker. Bernardo Silva then got himself into the United area, skipping past a few challenges including one from Harry Maguire. The Portuguese midfielder then tried to get one over David De Gea, but his effort was not as good as it could have been. City took the lead in the seventh minute of the match with Walker in Ilkay Gundogan combining but Victor Lindelof thwarted that. Joao Cancelo then sent the ball towards goal for Eric Bailly to score an own goal.

United did not seem able to string anything together and looked dejected to a point after the own goal. Solskjaer’s side did not seem to recover much and City had them where they wanted them – and that was on the back foot under a lot of pressure which is where more mistakes could happen. Victor Lindelof almost scored another own goal in the latter stages of the half. However, in added time, City scored again with Bernardo Silva slotting home from close range with Joan Cancelo providing the assist. To overcome this, United needed to have a faultless second half, which was not looking likely, unfortunately.

At the start of the second half, Solskjaer made his first substitution with Jadon Sancho replacing Bailly, which saw United revert to four across the back with more width on the pitch going forward. The three\five at the back formation does not seem to be working for United, apart from the 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, but it would seem the manager and the coaches have some belief in it, which is strange. It’s good that the change was made with enough time to change the outcome of this match, rather than in the last 20 minutes of the match. There is much room for improvement though.

United struggled to gather anything to press City despite being 2-0 down. Solskjaer needed to see that a pathetic football team he has. They have been 2-0 down a few times this season and played better to get back into the match. City did play well though and seemed to close United down when they felt adventurous. Luke Shaw seemed to be carrying an injury half way though the second half, which was not good. Solskjaer brought Marcus Rashford on for Mason Greenwood in the 67th minute of the match, which did not seem to change much for United. Shaw made way for Alex Telles in the 73rd minute, as a concussion substitute.

Solskjaer was entitled to make a fourth substitution, which he did in the 80th minute sending Donny van de Beek on for another cameo with Fred making way. City still seemed the team to beat at that stage of the match though with United seemingly heading into another international break after a defeat, which is not going to be good for Solskjaer, his coaches or the players. I am sure the media will be on the case for a fortnight before United play another Premier League match. One thing was for sure, United would be licking their wounds again, something that they have become accustomed to, especially this season.

City did all they needed to do against United by scoring twice. In fact, I don’t think United were capable of coming back from one goal, let alone two. To see a United team this terrible shows that something is not right at all. United players had more shown on target against their own goalkeeper than they did against Emerson at the other end of the pitch. That is a major problem. United need many changes going forward, but they will never come. Having Donny van de Beek on the bench all of the time and playing cameo roles shows that he’s not respected enough by the manager and the coaches. It is all wrong.

United now face a two-week wait before they face Watford a Vicarage Road in the Premier League. Three days after that, they will face Villarreal in the penultimate match of the UEFA Champions League group stages and five days later, face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge which will see the end of the month for Solskjaer’s United. December will be much tougher. This United team has some great players, some are inconsistent, some carry the team as much as they can and others are not getting too many chances, whilst some are given as many chances as they need to continue letting the team down. Something has to give.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made five saves against City, which kind of kept United in the game at 1-0 down. Conceded a second, which was a slight mistake by the Spaniard.


2 Victor Lindelof

Could have scored an own goal, which would have been the second of the day for United. Got thought a late fitness test. Not sure what happens from here for this defence.


5 Harry Maguire

Still in a slump of form, which does not seem to be ending. Needs to stand up and be counted, rather than issuing apologies as the captain.


3 Eric Bailly

After being the best defender on the pitch against Atalanta, Bailly put in a poor performance against City, scoring an own goal after seven minutes. He was replaced by Sancho in the 46th minute of the match.


29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Seems to have regressed a bit. There will be questions as to whether he is the right-back United need to eventually kick on. Positionally, he was awful at times.


39 Scott McTominay

Works hard but was shown up by City's midfielders. Not sure he's a player that will gain the ability to be a big player for United. Squad player maybe, if United ever learn to trust players that they buy; Donny van de Beek for instance.


17 Fred

Lacked the presence to face this City side. Should have been benched by Van de Beek. Not sure why Fred is trusted week in and week out only to let United down the majority of the time.


23 Luke Shaw

Forced off with a head injury, so could be out for the international break. Created a chance for Ronaldo but was slow in averting City for the second goal. Replaced by Telles as a concussion substitute in the 73rd minute.


18 Bruno Fernandes

Sometimes wasteful with the ball. Got too emotional at times, especially after the own goal. United need to regroup and find a formation and team set up that works, not keep failing like this.


11 Mason Greenwood

Seemed to struggle alongside Ronaldo. He was a player in form on Tuesday but that soon changed against City. He was replaced by Rashford in the 67th minute.


7 Cristiano Ronaldo

Managed to draw a save from Ederson, which was the only chance he had on goal. Seemed to lack service and found himself isolated for most of the time.



25 Jadon Sancho

Replaced Bailly 46'. Brought some energy to this United side. However, lacking minutes this season will see him struggle as he needs the time on the pitch to find his form.


10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Greenwood 67'. I'm not sure his introduction made an impact at all. He will not be happy with that though.


27 Alex Telles

Replaced Shaw 73'. United were out of this match before he came on. He perhaps should have started the match.


34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Fred 80'. Got another cameo and should have started. Did all he could but United were down an out before his introduction.


Goals: Eric Bailly 7′ o/g, Bernardo Silva 45′

Assists: Joao Cancelo 45′

Manchester United: De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Bailly (Sancho 46′); Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred (Van de Beek 80′), Shaw (Telles 73′); Fernandes; Greenwood (Rashford 67′), Ronaldo

Substitutes Not Used: Henderson; Dalot; Lingard, Matic; Martial

Bookings: Cristiano Ronaldo 90′; Joao Cancelo 48′, Bernardo Silva 58′

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW