Manchester City did well, well enough to end Jose Mourinho’s 40-match unbeaten streak at Old Trafford. The match was won in the strangest of circumstances, as it was two set pieces that set up the game for them. Jose Mourinho has now lost nine games against Pep Guardiola’s teams, which is the highest that he has lost against any manager. Without wasting any further time, let us have a look at the major talking points from this game:
Manchester United were going into the big games this season with a three-man central defence as they played 5-3-2 without the ball. However, against City, Jose went back to his favourite 4-2-3-1 with Rashford and Martial playing on either wing.
It was more of a tactical move and seemed like a show of intent before the game. Many thought they would try to win the battle on the wings by applying their two best wingers but it did not pan out anywhere close to that in reality.
And Martial’s susceptibility while playing on the right wing was quite evident and hence this is not the formation that Jose can constantly use in his games.
Romelu Lukaku was abysmal in the game and there is no denying that. However, there is a way his form could be improved and that is by playing both him and Zlatan together.
The Swedish maverick has accepted ahead of his return from the injury that he can play in the number 10 spot for United. Hence, it would be interesting and useful when both Zlatan and Lukaku tee up high on the pitch.
They have the aerial ability to dominate the box and Zlatan’s passing ability and touches will do Lukaku better than any of United’s other attacking midfielders playing behind the Belgian.
Pep Guardiola had agreed before the game that he would retire if possession-based football failed to work anymore in world football.
Subsequently, City were amazing and unforgiving with the ball on Sunday. United had conceded the possession battle quite early in the game but City’s stronghold over the ball and their tenacity while counter-attacking made United look vulnerable at the back.
Ederson distributed the ball well to the midfield and the anchors, that is, David Silva and Kevin de Bruyne sprayed the passes all the way to the final third. The Sky Blues were extremely confident of their gameplan and never gave United even a sniff of the ball.
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