In a Manchester derby full of big names, Marcus Rashford grabs the headline as he scored the only goal of the game. At 18yrs and 141days Rashford became the youngest goalscorer in the Manchester derby with a goal that also stand as United 100th goal under van Gaal and the derby’s 250th goal.
Worrying times for Manchester city manager Manuel Pellegrini as his team slumped to their fifth home defeat and their third in the last five games home and away. The team also lost their first choice keeper, Joe Hart, and Raheem Sterling to injury.
With City captain Vincent Kompany and partner Otamendi out, Demichelis and Mangala started in defence. This defensive partnership is known for leaking goals and they were at it again in the 16th minutes of the game when Rashford collected a pass from Mata, skipped pass Demichelis with pace and coolly slot past Joe Hart. Demichelis was a culprit again in the second half as the veteran’s slow back pass led to Hart’s injury after the England keeper raced out to clear the pass thereby pulling an injury.
Demichelis was replaced by Ivorian Bony to give them more attacking intent while Fernandinho moves back to the defence but the changes could not produce a goal. The attack, which lost Raheem Sterling to injury earlier in the game, fired blank and the closest they went was an Aguero header that hit the upright. With 23 shots, they could only muster 3 shots on target.
With this defeat, City are now just one point above United in 4th. They are four points behind arsenal. Their title race is a forgone conclusion so I think both teams should just try to fight for champions league qualification. United have won this match but the much talked about bragging right will mainly depend on who qualifies for the champions league.
CITY LACKS IDENTITY
Most team have their style but City do not. Most times, they have relied heavily on their big names to win games. This is why they have not been able to beat anyone in the top 6 of the log. With Pellegrini reign coming to an end, I expect this will change when Guardiola arrive.
UNITED COUNTER ATTACKING TATICS
United have found it a bit easier this season against attacking teams. This is mainly due to the presence of Mr. Reliable De Gea and their ability to quickly move the ball, thanks to players like Mata, Martial and Lingard. Considering the amount of shots they muster per game, I will say they are clinical.
WHAT NOW FOR THE MANAGER
With Guardiola expected at City in the summer, Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to add to the capital one cup the team won in February. But with the amount of injury and the team’s lack of cutting edge in attack, I doubt if they will add any trophy to it.
For LVG, it has always been mix feelings. Most of the fans want him to be replaced, especially with Mourinho being linked. He has got a good record against the big teams though but I think what he will be judged on is the top four finish and maybe if they can win the FA cup. But for now, City seems like slipping and maybe United is on the rise again.