Boychester United Bossed By Manchester City
November 12, 2018
It’s about time United fans put the Fergie era behind them. There’s only one team in Manchester right now and they play in blue.
Sir Alex might have once called them the noisy neighbours, but they’ve now bought the street and stuck the ‘for sale’ sign in United’s front garden.
Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at the Etihad perhaps showcases more than most in recent times, that United are a million miles away from lifting the title. As much as the Old Trafford faithful won’t want to hear it, they’ve fallen to the same level as Arsene Wenger’s final years at Arsenal – and they were drab.
Overpaid superstars signed for their marketing creditability rather than their force on the football pitch, namely Pogba, Sanchez and Lukaku. If United can squeeze into the top four this season, then they’ll have to deem that a success. How the mighty have fallen.
City were better than them in every department on Sunday evening. From back to front, and right to left, the blue side of Manchester taught the red side a footballing lesson. More determined, more passionate and ultimately, a side with much more quality.
Take David Silva for example. The little man from the Canary Islands is pure genius. The way he drops into little pockets to receive the ball and then cleverly gives it off again. He’s always in the right place at the right time. It’s no coincidence he found himself unmarked inside United’s six-yard box for the first on Sunday.
Hopefully, the side-lined Paul Pogba was taking notes from him at the Etihad. Too often he’s not delivered the goods for United, and although he probably thinks he could have made the difference this weekend, the harsh reality is that he couldn’t even lace David Silva’s boots. One’s a football maestro, the other is a social media superstar. We’ll let you decide which is which.
Park The Bus
If they weren’t already, the early goal put United on the back foot and from there it was about damage limitation. Marcus Rashford, supposedly United’s striker for the afternoon, made just 29 touches, with the majority of those coming in his own half of the pitch. Compare that with Aguero, a proper striker. 42 touches for him, with 75% of them coming in United’s half of the pitch. Not to mention a beautiful move and strike to clinch City’s second goal of the match.
Even when the penalty came for United, it was a stroke of luck which never looked like being built upon. Yes, it was tucked away nicely by Anthony Martial, the only United player who could stake a claim for a place in the defending champions XI at the minute, but even still, that was as much as United could offer. The celebrations tell you that. It was hardly grabbing the ball and getting it down on the centre spot.
Gone are the days of United’s passion to attack. In years gone by that penalty would have signalled an onslaught of red shirts, with the likes of Beckham, Giggs, Scholes and Ronaldo providing quality into the box for Cole, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy and Rooney.
United – the New Liverpool
Now the Red Devils fans can only dream that those days return. City’s third and final nail in the coffin is proof of that. 44 City passes were made before Gundogan, left unmarked in the six-yard box again by United, notched past the helpless David De Gea. A player who is quickly being dragged down to United’s average level.
In a nutshell, United are gone at the game of chasing Premier League titles. City have got that honour on lockdown for the foreseeable future, and it would seem almost guaranteed while the greatest manager in club football right now, Pep Guardiola, remains at the Etihad.
If United aren’t careful they could join their old rivals Liverpool in being more bothered about the past than the future.
We all know what Sir Alex would think of that.
As a qualified sports journalist, Luke has worked with nationally-recognised outlets covering events from the World Cup to the Grand National. Luke is one of the few men who has to admit that their father was the better footballer, but at least he can take comfort from the fact he got to see his Dad score at Wembley. When Luke isn’t talking football, you’ll normally find him following his other passion, horse racing and has his own horses in training with Paul Nicholls and Mark Johnston.