The highly anticipated Manchester derby didn’t go to plan for Jose Mourinho as a very shaky first half all but sealed the victory for City. There were definitely some positives though, as the second half showed a big increase in performance levels as we were unlucky not to equalise, especially with some questionable refereeing decisions.
Mourinho made his biggest mistake when it came to team selection. Throwing Lingard and Mkhitaryan straight into such a big game, having both just recovered from injury and having barely played recently, was a big reason to the poor start as their rustiness showed. Lingard was especially disappointing as every time he received the ball he lost it and he contributed absolutely nothing to the game.
I know Van Gaal’s possession football was extremely dull and boring, but the players could barely keep the ball for 2 minutes. It was an embarrassing display as City completely dominated, with De Bruyne causing chaos. However, despite being lucky to get a goal back at the end of the first half, the football that was played in the second half was nothing like we’d have ever seen under Van Gaal and a vast improvement on the prehistoric tactics he utilised.
Rashford and Herrera both came on and made a huge impact. Herrera came into the midfield and finally managed to take some control, with Pogba having struggled to get into the game much. Herrera’s play with the ball led to him being a calming influence in the middle of the park and the team began to finally put some passes together.
Rashford though was again the bright spark in a disappointing loss as once again he came into a game in which the team is struggling and he looked as if he had been playing at this level for years. He made an instant impact as he ran at the City defence and it led to a very strong 15 or so minutes to the second half. He also nearly topped it off with an equaliser if it wasn’t for Zlatan’s offside touch…maybe we can forgive him… Rashford has now made himself undroppable and Mourinho definitely needs to start him in more games now.
It’s never nice to lose to our bitter rivals, but despite the shocking start there were certainly some positives to take away. Herrera and Rashford must be in contention to start the next few games, whilst others might need some time coming from the bench to fight for their place in the team. Mourinho will definitely learn from this though, and with plenty of games still to go this season, I am still very confident that we will be challenging in all competitions.
David De Gea: 7.
Antonio Valencia: 6.
Eric Bailly: 6.
Daley Blind: 4.
Luke Shaw: 6.
Marouane Fellaini: 7.
Paul Pogba: 5.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan: 4.
Wayne Rooney: 5.
Jesse Lingard: 1.
Ander Herrera: 7.
Marcus Rashford: 7.
Thank you for reading!
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