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.
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