Manchester Derby: Manchester City win with confidence as Man United struggle to keep up with the pace

By Ryan Mugera
Nov. 11, 2018

A pacey start to the Manchester Derby, with one or two key players missing from each side. But, both sides didn't disappoint in providing a high quality game of football.

From the very first minute, the stark differences in both teams was evident. Man City played with a free-flowing and confident style of play. Whereas, Man United looked rigid and fearful as they attempted to match their Manchester counterparts.

The home side were therefore awarded with an early goal in the 12th minute. The Man United defenders were left in a statue-like manner as Raheem Sterling crossed the ball into the box. The ball bounced to Bernado Silva at the back post, who whipped it back towards the 6 yard area. Leaving David Silva with enough space to steady the bobbling ball, before striking the ball into the net.

After the goal, the home side went on to dominate the affair as they graced the pitch with one and two touch football. Therefore, as Man United were blessed with the odd moments of possession, their movement of the ball was in a lacklustre fashion as they tried to stake a hold in the match.

In the closing moments of the first half, Manchester United slowly began to enjoy possession. But, Manchester City closed the half confidently with their one goal lead intact.

At the beginning of the second half, Man United were awarded a free kick. The ball fell to Ander Herera, but Bernado Silva quickly snatched the ball away. Within seconds, the ball was passed to Sergio Aguero who played a crafty give-and-go with Riyad Mahrez, before the Argentine forward thumped the ball past David De Gea for the home side to lead by 2 goals to nil.

On came Romelu Lukaku for the away team. Within minutes of his arrival to the pitch, the ball was played in front of him to chase. The striker was left one-on-one with the keeper, he tried to evade the oncoming tackle but was brought down in the penalty area. Anthony Martial stepped forward to calmly place the ball into the net from the penalty spot. 2-1 Man City with just over 30 minutes to play.

Both sides slowly began to share possession. However, the home side continued to pass the ball with fluidity. Until the 85th minute came around. With acres of space and time, Bernado Silva crossed the ball from roughly 25 yards towards Ilkay Gundogan. The German international controlled the ball in the 6 yard area, before he slotted the ball under the away side's keeper.

This season's first Manchester Derby at the Etihad ended 3-1 to the home side. The home side played with an unwavering sense of calmness and diligence throughout the match, who now go into the international break unbeaten and at the top of the league with 2 points separating them and Liverpool. As compared to Man United who struggled to find their rhythm in this game to mount any form of a comeback. Mourinho's men still sit in 8th place with 20 points and 7 points from the top 4. But, mistakes and the possible onset of mental plus physical fatigue from a tough midweek fixture in Turin against Juventus, could be the factors as to why they were off the pace in this game.