It was Manchester City who earned the bragging rights this weekend, after the Citizens got off to a perfect start and punished United for their mistakes.
Pep Guardiola was the one who triumphed this weekend, as he faced his old foe Jose Mourinho. Both managers found themselves in Manchester this summer, however, Mourinho is no stranger to the Premier League.
City and United came into this match after having won all three of their previous Premier League matches. However, United have now got a dent in their perfect start to the season.
Guardiola’s side were 2-0 up just 36 minutes into the match and looked set to humiliate their cross-town neighbors. However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed to pull one back for United just before half-time.
Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho both found the net for City, much to the amazement of many fans who were worried about the absence of Sergio Aguero.
Ibrahimović scored his fourth goal for Manchester United after he capitalized on a mistake by City debutant, Claudio Bravo. But the Giant Swede still struggled in front of goal for the rest of the match.
Jose Mourinho started Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the first time in a competitive match, although the Armenian was clearly not 100% fit, after he sustained an injury during the past International break.
The Special One also started Jesse Lingard on the left wing, despite Marcus Rashford making headlines during the International break, after the 18-year-old scored a hat-trick on his England U21 debut.
Here are five things we learned from this Saturday’s match:
- Manchester City can still do without Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero couldn’t start the match after he was handed a three-match ban by the FA, because the Argentine was found guilty of violent conduct during City’s last match before the International break.
Many City fans were worried that the 28-year-old’s absence would pose a threat to their chances of getting a goal this afternoon, but De Bruyne and Iheanacho were sufficient enough for the Citizens..
Jose Mourinho mentioned during a pre-match conference that Aguero’s absence could make things ‘more complicated’ for Manchester United, because it makes the opposition unpredictable.
Guardiola’s decision to start youngster Kelechi Iheanacho paid off after he left the pitch with one goal and one assist to his name. All in all, City have proved that they are not 100% dependent on Sergio Aguero.
- Marcus Rashford should have started
The 18-year-old scored Manchester United’s late winner during their last Premier League match against Hull City.
Rashford even scored a hat-trick during his England U21 debut, however, Mourinho was reluctant to start the teenage attacker, and instead put Jesse Lingard on the starting sheet.
One reason could be because Mourinho sees Rashford as a striker, but Zlatan is already his first choice up-front, and the Portuguese manager was reluctant to throw Rashford in midfield.
Rashford came on after the halftime break, replacing Jesse Lingard, and he almost made an instant impact after he sent a cross in for Zlatan, only to see the Giant Swede fail to find the back of the net.
Marcus found the net in the 70th minute, however, the goal was ruled offside after the ball ricocheted off Zlatan Ibrahimović, who was standing in an offside position.
Mourinho should definitely consider starting Rashford next time out. This boy looks promising!
- Eric Bailly and Daley Blind need more work
Jose Mourinho started the match with Daley Blind and Eric Bailly in the heart of Manchester United’s defense. The duo seriously impressed during Manchester United’s first three matches in the Premier League, giving Mourinho confidence in starting the pair this afternoon.
However, both defenders will want to forget this match, after their mistakes were capitalized on by Manchester City.
Blind and Bailly can be held responsible for both goals.
During the first goal, Eric Bailly failed to intercept Iheanacho’s header to De Bruyne, who then skipped past Blind to score the opener. Blind was the one who played Iheanacho onside for City’s second goal of the afternoon.
Mourinho will most likely have to try out Chris Smalling next time out, as the 26-year-old has a better aerial presence to his game.
- Claudio Bravo is a contender for the worst ever Premier League debut
The Chilean arrived at Manchester City this summer as Guardiola deemed Joe Hart incompatible to his tactics.
Bravo made his debut in the Manchester derby, and will be relieved that he didn’t let City’s lead over United slip, despite having many questionable moments throughout the match.
The 33-year-old was the major reason behind Zlatan’s 42nd minute goal, after he failed to properly clear a cross and instead placed the ball in the path of Zlatan, who netted it from the edge of the box.
Bravo was also criticized for his lunge on Wayne Rooney during the second half, with many fans claiming that a penalty should have been awarded for the reckless tackle.
Joe Hart must be fuming at Pep’s decision to replace him with Bravo.
- Rooney and Pogba?
The Manchester United and England skipper has come under fire from the United fans, after he failed to inspire Manchester United to a derby win.
Many fans are calling for Rooney to be dropped, as the skipper looks slow and predictable.
Rooney scored during Manchester United’s opening game of the season, and provided two assists in the following two matches, but the fans are looking for Mourinho to start Marcus Rashford ahead of the skipper.
While Wayne is aging and is probably past his best days, he could still prove to be a crucial member of the Manchester United squad. His knowledge of the game and his ability to provide great balls will partner well with Zlatan.
Meanwhile, Manchester United record signing Paul Pogba didn’t make much of an impact in midfield. He partnered well with Fellaini, but definitely needs some more time to improve and adapt with his teammates, despite already having played in the Premier League before.
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