How Manchester United Lost The Derby To Manchester City


Sergio Aguero Scores 10th PL Goal Of The Season – Flickr Creative Commons

The much-anticipated Manchester derby is over and done. Although it developed into an exciting game of football close to the end, it certainly did not live up to the hype. Manchester City came away with the points, but it was down to Manchester United losing more than City winning.

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The two teams lined up in the same 4-3-2-1 formation, but Manuel Pelligrini’s men seemed the hungrier from the onset. United were lucky not to have gone down early, as they played a high line which was exploited by City a few times.

Referee Micheal Oliver was also quite forgiving, the Sky Blues could have been awarded two penalties before the whistle blew at half time.Sergio Aguero was bumped in the box by Marouane Fellaini right in front of him (Oliver), and Yaya Toure was clearly fouled in the area by Marcos Rojo in first-half stoppage time.

While Fellaini’s no-call was arguable, Rojo’s was clear cut and definite, he probably got away with it because he did not see Toure coming, as his eyes were on the ball.

It would be fair to say that United gave this one away. Before the game, I was confident that they could at least leave with a point. That confidence dwindled as the first half went on; it hit rock bottom when Chris Smalling got himself sent off in the dumbest-ever fashion.

The defender intentionally got in keeper Joe Hart’s way while he was attempting to take a goal kick, even raising his leg in an effort to prevent Hart from getting it off. He earned himself a quick and deserved yellow card. He received another yellow eight minutes later for a rash and stupid sliding challenge on James Milner. Knowing he was on a yellow, and with his team in no immediate danger, he should have been smarter.

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Prior to the match, Manager Louis Van Gaal said that it was important not to let the emotions of the derby get to his team, and to not get a red card — Smalling probably didn’t get the memo. The manager was forced to throw Micheal Carrick on as a defender, and things only got worse when he had to bring youngster Paddy McNair on after Marcos Rojo was stretchered off after dislocating his shoulder.

City smelled blood and launched attack upon attack at the Red Devils, United did pretty well to hold off until the 63rd minute when Aguero broke the deadlock with a close-range shot. Gael Clichy — who has been woeful lately — found the striker in the box with a nice low cross.

The Red Devils did not lie down though, they basically owned the last 20 minutes of the game and should have probably equalized. Wayne Rooney made a wonderful run into the box, but instead of shooting when he had the chance, he tried to turn onto his right to get a better angle, losing out to the defense.

Fellaini also won two headers in the box but Vincent Kompany bothered him just enough to make him shoot off target.

Angel Di Maria… Horrible, just horrible. This was probably his worst game in a United jersey; he didn’t do much out on the pitch — which is understandable as one can’t play at 100 percent all the time — but his corner kicks were the worst I’ve ever seen (well apart from Rooney’s World Cup blooper).

The Argentine attempted three corners — all in identical fashion. They were all low, never even beating the first man; you would think that he would correct and adjust after the first two, I think that puts him in the same stupidity bracket as Chris Smalling.

All in all, I believe that the Red Devils threw this game away; they should have at least come away with a point. This isn’t to take away from City’s display; they were strong did what they had to do to get the job done, but this one is surely on United, I would be shocked if they make it into the top four now.