Manchester, England – David Moyes was once mocked for saying that Manchester United should aspire to be like Manchester City, but the former Manchester United manager was right when he said it in 2014 and it is still true today, after another City derby win on Sunday. – 4-1 this time – the champions restored their six-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the English Premier League.
Two goals each Kevin De Bruyne And the Riyad Mahrez – Jadon Sancho He had leveled earlier after De Bruyne’s opener – giving City a comfortable win that was more certain than the score line would suggest. At some point during the second half, City had 92% of possession during a 15-minute period as United’s players were tormented by the home team’s fans.
United were humiliated, with former captains Gary Neville and Roy Keane criticizing performances in their roles as TV pundits. Neville said United “finished like an absolute shower” and “was a disgrace in the last 25 minutes”, while Kane accused Ralph Rangnick’s players of a “shameful” performance. “They gave up,” Kane said.
Such condemnation has become a frequent topic whenever United play against a major contender. Already this season, they lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool and then lost 2-0 to City at Old Trafford in a match that could have – and should have ended – with Pep Guardiola’s side winning by an even greater margin. from Liverpool.
There was a time when United brutally defeated their rivals on a regular basis, in the days when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won 13 titles in 20 years. But those days are gone, and Guardiola said after this match that United’s decline is a warning to City and all the other clubs who believe their dominance will never end.
“A decade ago, United did not expect all these many years without titles,” Guardiola said. “But that’s a lesson we have to learn as well. You can’t believe you’re so good that what happened with United couldn’t have happened.”
“It could change like this,” he added, clenching his fingers. “I remember Milan, many champion titles and titles and after that many years went without playing in Europe. When I was a teenager, the Arrigo Sacchi team was the best in the world, but no matter how big you are, it can happen.”
It is a statistical anomaly that United had won four of their previous seven games against City prior to this defeat, but those victories didn’t amount to anything tangible. Meanwhile, City went on to win titles. In contrast, United’s last title came in 2017.
The city is always exceptional. Their players work according to a clear plan laid out by Guardiola and his coaches, and they have a squad full of very talented players who are ready to work harder than their opponents whenever they play.
United have a team that costs nearly as much as City, but while the Blues get value for money, the Reds are getting rid of it just by pushing the odds, frequently, to mediocre players. proverbs Aaron Wan-BissakaAnd the Victor Lindelof And the Harry Maguire City won’t come close, but their group transfer fee is at £165m, so it’s not as if United have done anything on the cheap in recent years.
When Moyes made his comments, it was after Derby’s 3-0 home defeat to City in March 2014, when United were defending champions, helping the Blues eventually beat Liverpool for the title that season. Moyes was sacked within a month and the upheaval that United suffered from various underperforming managers and players continued, eight years later.
Where United have changed and changed, City have enjoyed the stability that Guardiola has in leadership over the past six years. Manuel Pellegrini had been coach for three years before that, so there is a streak of consistency at City, which is now emerging on the pitch, with players performing as if they were on autopilot. Their departure is unmistakably subtle and they know how to win.
And they have players like De Bruyne, who has become an influential Premier League midfielder like Kane, Patrick Vieira, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard before him.
United had no answer for De Bruyne in this match, with unique And the Scott McTominay Not equipped to stop it. Paul Pogbawho was at United as long as Guardiola was at City, but with completely different results, he shone at times and provided a superb pass for Sancho’s goal, before being substituted in the second half after he ran out of steam.
City’s players never run out of steam, but the winning teams are blessed with players ready to run all day.
That’s what United have been missing at the Etihad, and it wasn’t the first time this season. They have a group of players who can’t be counted on when the going gets tough, and whoever gets appointed as the club’s permanent coach in the summer faces a formidable challenge to get United back in competition again.
But the new boss won’t have to look far from the perfect example of what a successful team looks like. Just like Moyes said, City is the team he aspires to.
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