The 5-3 loss to Premier League newcomers Leicester City raised…
For many reasons, this derby was a massive match for both sides of Manchester. For United, it was to continue their momentum after impressive displays against Liverpool, Tottenham, and Aston Villa. For Manchester City, this was a match that could represent a turning point for what fizzled out to be a very underwhelming campaign. For the first 10-15 minutes, it looked as if Manchester City looked the EPL Champions of last season, stroking the ball comfortably which led to an inevitable Sergio Aguero goal. The old mantra of form going out the window in a derby game seemed to hold true again in this match.
Then Ashley Young scored. Then Maroune Fellaini scored within 15 minutes after United’s opener. Since then, United looked the inform side that they were coming into this match. The two aforementioned players absolutely dominated for the remainder of the match, with Ashley Young delivering two more assists after his goal. Simply put, Manchester City showed their class for 15 minutes, while Manchester United showed character, teamwork, and discipline, as well as quality for 75 minutes. United players kept finding space in the middle of the park with the big Belgian absolutely imposing himself on the likes of Yaya Toure. His knockdowns proved crucial, as it led to United’s first goal in the game. Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick rarely were pressed to misplace passes, as United dominated possession throughout much of the match. Mata added a third in the second half after Rooney played the Spaniard in (although the midfielder was offside), while City’s defensive frailties were on show again when Chris Smalling headed in with ease after an Ashley Young free kick.
Aguero scored a late consolation goal late on in the second half after Michael Carrick limped off with an injury. For Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United side, this is the perfect result to come off of to play against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next match. For Manchester City, they will be looking behind rather than ahead of them in the table as Liverpool and Southampton look to close the gap to the Champions League spots.