Pep Guardiola and his troops defeated Manchester United today with 3-1, and continued their fantastic streak of results.
The ultimate derby of the week met the expectations of the fans all around the world. We saw one energetic, dynamic and efficient match at Etihad which in the end, confirmed what we all knew. And that is that Manchester City doesn’t have a proper rival in English football. Except for Liverpool, maybe. But that is a big maybe.
In front of 55,097 spectators, they gave a memorable lesson to their biggest rivals, and got even for the defeat here during the previous season.
“We deserved the victory.” Pep Guardiola said after the clash. “The first half we played a little bit with fear but football is a game and we didn’t want to lose the ball. We didn’t want to attack and they defended well.”
Right from the start, it was obvious who is the favorite, and who will be defending. Just twelve minutes after the first whistle, and already 1-0 for the Citizens after David Silva scored. This was his third straight event in which he netted while playing for the Sky-Blues, and that never happened before.
The home team had several opportunities to double the lead in the first 45 minutes, but nothing happened. And then, two minutes since the start of the second half, Jesse Lingard made a mistake in the midfield, Aguero took the ball, played a quick one-two with Mahrez, and scored his 208th goal for the Citizens in all competitions in just 307 matches played.
United managed to cut the deficit right out of nowhere. Lukaku was brought down in the box after Ederson made a reckless challenge, and Martial easily deceived City’s goalkeeper.
Nevertheless, the hosts continued in the same rhythm, and they punished United’s sloppy defense once more until the end of the game, when Ilkay Gundogan scored in the 86th minute of the match.
Jose Mourinho spoke about many mistakes his team made in this match, and he was very unhappy with his players. However, he did find a reason for a defeat. For the Portuguese, tough schedule was the main cause for such an outcome.
“One thinking is a bad performance and one thinking is a performance with mistakes. I think ours was a performance with mistakes. It is football and for me it is even more football when we have a week where we play three consecutive matches away and Manchester City play three consecutive games at home. Our last match against Juventus left some scars in the team.” Mourinho said.
But to be honest, that wasn’t the main reason for United’s loss. City was simply dominating in all aspects of the game. The one thing which could be taken into consideration when talking about a possible factor for Red Devils’ defeat is Paul Pogba’s injury which forced him to skip this event.
With this victory, Guardiola’s boys stayed unbeaten after 12 rounds in the English Premier League, and they are still holding the top spot in the standings with two points more than Liverpool.
This was the fourth loss for United, who is sitting at the 8th place with 12 points fewer than their local rivals. Mourinho is aware that the title is far away, and that his team needs to concentrate on other goals.
“We are outside the top four, how can we speak about the title? Let’s fight to close the gap to jump into the top four. If we jump into the top four then let’s see the difference.” he said in a post-match press conference.
The match at Etihad presented a landmark for one of the best managers in the past two decades. It was his 300th Premiership game as a coach. For sure, Mourinho isn’t going to have a nice memory about it.
The Citizens are playing their next event on 24th of November against West Ham at the London Stadium. Red Devils, on the other hand, are hosting Crystal Palace at the Old Trafford.