Saturday, 10 September 2016

Manchester United v Manchester City match analysis

It's here! Possibly the biggest game in the history of the Premier League. The eyes of the world casting their eye on Old Trafford for Jose v Pep, Manchester United v Manchester City. Jose Mourinho made two changes to his Manchester United team changing both wide players. Jesse Lingard and Henrik Mkhitaryan replacing Anthony Martial and Juan Mata to exploit the space in behind the City lines with their direct running. The height difference between the two teams was notable too with Manchester United boasting a very tall lineup compared to the lineup of Guardiola's team.

The first half began as you would expect with Manchester City dominating the ball. However what was not expected was the disorganized nature of Manchester United's play. The back four were being pulled all over the place, the City players were finding all sorts of space in between the defensive lines. The City players were everywhere and United simply could not cope with it. That soon showed when a pinpoint pass poked through to Kevin De Bryune left Daley Blind bamboozled and gave De Bryune a clear run at goal to slot it past David De Gea to make it 1-0 to City. Manchester United were all over the place and looked like collapsing just a quarter of an hour into the game.   

Manchester United simply could not get a grip on the game and soon found themselves 2-0 town after a shot from De Bryune hit the post and fell to Klechi Iheanacho who tapped it in to double City's lead at Old Trafford. United were far too defensive and it played into City's hands, United could not get on the ball and get forward. However, a long free kick floated into the box on top of Claudio Bravo caused City all sorts of problems leading to the new goalkeeper dropping the ball allowing Zlatan Ibrahimovic to smash the ball into the empty net to make it 2-1. Somewhere in Italy Joe Hart had a smile on his face watching the Bravo horror show.

Jose Mourinho made two changes at half time bringing Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera on in place of Jesse Lingard and Henrik Mkhitaryan both were anonymous in the first half. United took a much more direct approach in the second half with balls launched up to Ibrahimovic and Fellaini. United also pushed further up the pitch not allowing City to play out from the back. A controversial moment came when another mistake from Claudio Bravo allowed Rooney to pounce on the ball and Bravo slid in on Rooney bringing him down. It should have been a penalty but nothing was given. A particular highlight of the game was the constant play acting from Bravo in the City goal, falling to the floor at any given opportunity. Mourinho's men huffed and puffed but could not get the equalizer.

Overall a very disappointing performance from Manchester United. The first half was far too defensive and showed too much respect to City and made things easy for them. The second half was a bit better but United lacked any real composure with the team resorting to long balls into the City box. There was no real quality from Mourinho's team and City looked comfortable throughout and were by far the better team. This was not what we were hoping to see in Mourinho's first Manchester Derby. 

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