Manchester City full-back Danilo has hit out at Manchester United for resorting to playing ‘long balls’ during their 3-2 win over Pep Guardiola’s side on Saturday.
The hosts raced into a 2-0 lead by half time with a scintillating display of passing football and looked set to wrap up the title against Man United.
But Jose Mourinho’s men, led by Paul Pogba, responded emphatically, with pinpoint crosses from Alexis Sanchez setting up Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling to draw level and then go ahead after 69 minutes.
Speaking after the game, Danilo, for some reason, vented at the fact that United opted for the aerial route.
“If you analyse the game, we had the ball possession, we had the control, they just used the long balls and scored three goals,” he said.
“We played the same way we have all season, we keep the same level of performance, but today it didn’t work.”
What Danilo is angry about here, in other words, is that United – for the first time at the Ethiad this season – found a way to beat Man City.
Mourinho was never going to play City at their own game. That would be foolish. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur both tried that and lost 5-0 and 4-1 respectively. United, on the other hand, employed a simple yet effective tactic: get bodies around the box and float the ball in behind Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi.
Alexis Sanchez did this twice and the hosts couldn’t deal with it. City have been imperious this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s high pressing the only thing capable of stymieing the champions-elect, but Mourinho, through sheer confidence and physical threat, laid down a blueprint for all Premier League on how to unsettle Guardiola’s side ahead of next season.