Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United: Five lessons we learned

by Sam Peoples

We played better in the 6-1 loss. Manchester United were put to the sword today. Dominated. Embarrassed. City ran out deserved winners in emphatic fashion and we had no response.

It wasn’t the fault of any player but the team. Everybody played bad as a whole. As a collective, there was no real desire to take the game to City at any point. The turning point was when City scored a second just before half time. You felt that if United were able to go in only one goal down then everything could change but that goal was a killer.

And it proved to be right just after half time with City able to put themselves 4-0 up before the hour mark.

The saving grace of today? United can put it immediately in the past by beating Liverpool on Wednesday.

Punished for being passive. United set up to hit City on the counter. We played a passive formation and invited City forward with the intention of hitting them on the counter. We didn’t.

United’s first attempt on goal was Antonio Valencia‘s wayward effort after 42 minutes. City dominated the first half and United’s decision to revert away from a high pressing tactic allowed them to dominate possession and the tempo of the game.

The trend continued early in the second half until City found themselves 4-0 up. After that, they unsurprisingly sat deep and protected their lead.

Moyes should have changed it at half time. When Yaya Toure scored just before half time, it gave City such an advantage going into the second half. Not just for the fact they were two goals up but the psychological advantage of scoring just before half time.

By the time that Moyes made the change, it was too late. Taking Young off for Cleverley was the right thing to do as the last 30 minutes showed with United having far more possession but it was simply too late.

Up until this point, Moyes has made his changes at the right time and done well with his substitutes but not today.

Rooney’s performance one of the only positives. Rooney continued his fine vein of form today and it was one of the only positives that United could really take from the game.

Despite United being down and out from the game, Rooney never gave up. He had a really tough day because Vincent Kompany was all over him and gave him absolutely no space to operate in but it didn’t deter him.

Rooney chased every ball down, was committed in every tackle, showed desire to win the ball back even if it meant running back to the edge of his own box. It was a fantastic attitude from Rooney and his brilliant free-kick was the least his individual performance deserved.

Our away fans are fantastic. 4-0 down in the Etihad. Hearts have sunk. Heads are down. What do United’s travelling fans do?

“20 times, 20 times Man United, 20 times, 20 times I say, 20 times, 20 times Man United, playing football the Busby way”

Instead of cowering into their shells and simply waiting for the full time whistle, United’s travelling fans burst a lung. They sung louder and longer than the home fans and it was soon after their fantastic show that United started to actually play football. Kudos to the fans. Their singing would have helped the team.

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