It had been arguably the most talked about Football match in the Premier League for some time now. The talking probably more about the managers than the players for a change, something which was quite unusual given the quality and the talent that was comprising the two teams. The two had a tumultuous history to say the least and the record between the two clearly showed why there was an ego existing between the two. This was the first time in many years of this rivalry that both mangers on either side of Manchester were debuting in the derby, adding more spice to this already spicy affair. Let us have a look at some important takeaways from this highly anticipated derby:
- A game of two halves: The match as it turned out was evidently a game of two halves. Man City started off the better of the two sides, quicker to close down the United players especially in the midfield region and playing back from the keeper with relative ease. United started off extremely slowly , giving away possession and looked off the pace, ended up being 2 down by the thirty six minute mark in the game. A mistake from City debutant goalkeeper Claudio Bravo saw United claw back into the match which eventually lead the reds to a much better performance in the second half. High pressing up the field, plenty of crosses into the final third lead to United dominating the second ,a second half display that could’ve earned all possible three points let alone a draw. City had their chances on the counter but negotiating the United onslaught was the main target as far as Pep was concerned and the blues in the end did that pretty well to secure an important win at Old Trafford.
- United stars fail to turn up: A lot was expected of the United players coming into the big game. The likes of Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly had an impressive start to the Premier League and were expected to raise their game coming into this massive fixture, expectations were also high from the likes Jese Lingard who had looked comfortable so far in his position on the left wing. Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his first full start ahead of Juan Mata but both him and Jese Lingard looked below par and failed to have any sort of impact on the game. Resulting in both of them being taken off at half time. Both defenders who’d looked pretty mature in their approach upto this point suddenly looked lost . Which was pretty evident in both the goals that City scored, a sense of the occasion getting to the players looked like the case for most of the Manchester United players . The effect of which was pretty evident as they stared off looking nervous and it seemed it was only a half-time storm talk from their manager that got them back into the game.
- Silva and De Bruyne run the show: The result of the match was always going to depend on which of the two sides had a better performance in the middle of the park in the game. Manchester City right from the onset looked solid in the midfield, winning the ball back quickly, moving it around with relative ease, finding gaps in between the lines. David Silva played the deeper of the two and conducted the play with relative ease. De Bruyne seemed to be on a different level altogether, threading through the defense leading to both the goals happening. Not to forget he almost netted City’s third on a blistering counter attack. City’s win was pretty much the work put in by these two in the centre. Alarm bells certainly for the rest of the Premier League!
- Pep’s Manchester revolution gaining pace: The first half of the Manchester derby showcased the mastery with which this Manchester City side was bringing a style of football that is a first for the Premier League. Possession football is perhaps the most talked and discussed topic in the footballing world but very few coaches could depict it way the way Pep has with this City side in such a short space of time. The signs are encouraging for the Manchester City faithful, one which most of the footballing world has it’s eye on and with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Gundogan and Vincent Kompany yet to feature one gets the feeling that this City side can only improve from here on.
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