Manchester City have had a good start to the season, with an impressive 3-2 win over Chelsea. They are now on top of the table, and could easily be seen as favorites for this year’s Champions League trophy. Their city rivals Manchester United also won their game 4-1 against Everton yesterday; they too sit at number one right now – but in terms of goal difference.
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Manchester City seemed to believe they had something to prove against Manchester United on Sunday, and their second-half display sent a strong message to everyone who doubted them.
This was also a reaction I expected. City was always going to slip up at some point this season because the standards they’ve set have been nothing short of incredible – it’s a credit to Liverpool that they’re still in contention for the Premier League title after Pep Guardiola’s team went on a run that ended with a loss to Tottenham two weeks ago.
So, after witnessing City lose one game – in the final minute – to Spurs and then squeak through with a touch of luck against Everton last weekend, it was no surprise to see them come out for a big game like a Manchester derby and utterly pummel United, because that is what great teams do.
United’s collapse at Etihad Stadium was terrible, and Ralf Rangnick’s side deserves to be chastised for how they completed the game, but you have to remember that they were playing against a terrific City squad with some incredible skill and a fantastic work ethic.
You can’t just play for half an hour against City, as United discovered the hard way.
United had a good start but a poor conclusion.
Man City’s starting XI against. Man Utd’s starting XI
On Sunday, I felt United played well for the opening half-hour.
On the counter-attack, they sent a large number of guys forward and even attempted to win the ball back high up the field, which was extremely spectacular to behold.
It was a dangerous approach, but it was undoubtedly what United’s supporters wanted to see: their team giving it their all and attempting to compete in the game.
It worked; United gave City issues in the first half and had a few good opportunities.
Of course, bringing the game to City of that caliber means you’ll be giving up chances yourself when they burst through your lines.
As the first half progressed, City gained more and more possession, eventually leading 2-1, but United remained threatening and in the game. It put us up for a fantastic second half, but United failed to show up.
Man City’s dominance in the Premier League is unsurprising – Rangnick
Their lack of attention was one of the most frustrating aspects of their performance after the interval. It resulted in Riyad Mahrez scoring City’s third goal, as well as a slew of other opportunities they squandered. At crucial moments, their players would turn off.
Worse than that, though, was their attitude after falling down 3-1. They didn’t appear to have the drive or fitness to get back into the game, much alone take on City.
I’m not sure whether it was due to exhaustion from playing against such a strong opponent, or if it was a sign of their lack of confidence.
In any case, United didn’t simply lose the game; they surrendered it. They seemed to have realized they were done and, for whatever reason, had nothing further to contribute. Rangnick must be worried about what he’s seeing.
It was a pleasure to see De Bruyne play.
Man City’s starting XI vs. Man United’s starting XI
Because of how dominating City had been, the outcome seemed certain even before they scored their third and fourth goals.
It’s difficult to single out individuals from a show like that since it was a team effort from some incredible players, and I admired how they never stopped working.
Bernardo Silva and Rodri’s work ethic in the center of the pitch, to constantly go back and aid their defenders while also pressing and doing everything else you need from your midfielders, was outstanding.
Man City wins 4-1. Man United’s Pep Guardiola said his team was great throughout the game.
City, on the other hand, were very impressive moving forward. It’s no surprise that Guardiola lauded Kevin de Bruyne after the game since he was at his best and a delight to watch.
When De Bruyne is on top of his game, he is like poetry in motion, and it is tough to stop him no matter how you line up, particularly when you have the offensive players around him that City has.
Again, Silva had a part in that – he set up their first goal – while Jack Grealish exuded confidence and Riyad Mahrez became more animated as the game progressed.
Phil Foden, who was playing as a false nine, also impressed me with his ability to read the game and have an effect in that part of the field.
City’s onslaught seemed to be led by Foden and De Bruyne, and United couldn’t handle with either of them.
Man United finishing fourth would be a shock.
City currently has ten league games remaining, and we already know Liverpool is the only club capable of deposing them.
We’re all looking forward to Jurgen Klopp’s side visiting Etihad Stadium on April 10th, and it’ll be a huge game with two outstanding sides going head to head once again.
That’s the major one, and I’m looking forward to it, but I have a feeling there will be a few more twists and turns along the road.
Everyone expects both teams to win every other game except when they face each other, but football isn’t like that, and it’ll be interesting to watch where they lose points in the following weeks.
United, on the other hand, has considerably more serious issues.
Arsenal are ahead of them and have three games in hand, but United are not playing especially well and have a difficult run-in ahead of them.
They still have to face Chelsea and Liverpool, and based on recent form, they will struggle against them. Finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League next season would be a massive shock right now.
Danny Murphy was chatting with Chris Bevan of Sport.
Man City is a football club based in Manchester, England. The players of Man City are the 2020 season will be their first season back in the top division since the 2013-14 campaign. Reference: man city players 2020.
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