Luke Shaw has claimed Manchester City have ‘not been at it all’ during the first half of recent matches.
The Manchester United defender once again played an integral role as the Red Devils earned a 2-1 derby-day victory on Saturday, with goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford securing the three points for Erik ten Hag’s side at Old Trafford.
It was a game that United had to come from behind in, with Jack Grealish netting the opening goal on the hour mark after a stalemate in the first half. And Shaw claimed after the game that United expected the Premier League champions to come on stronger in the second period, making their victory even more impressive.
“We’ve watched City’s last few games and in the first half they’ve not been at it all in games and we’ve known that,” he explained. “In the second half they’ve always come back out and been more their normal selves. In the second half we knew they were going to be much better than the first.
“They played well to get their goal but, as I said, it shows where we are at the moment with the belief that we can come back and win the game. We did that and the crowd was bouncing and it’s a wonderful ground to be at when it is.
“We’re really happy. In my opinion we deserved to win. In the first half, especially, we had quite a lot of chances that we needed to be a bit more clinical with.
“But when you go 1-0 down against City it’s a long game ahead, but we stuck in there and it shows where we are at the moment with the belief and the confidence that we can come back. We did that and we’re extremely happy with the result.
“There is no denying that with the ball they are the best team in the world,” Shaw added, on City. “We have to always be concentrated because one lapse of concentration and they’re in, they’re going to score, they’ll punish you.
“From the keeper to every single outfield player, [we were] 100 percent focused today and ready for what the job was. Without the ball we know we are going to run a lot but if we do that and are compact and aggressive then we are a very tough team to break down.”
Shaw starred at the heart of defence once again on Saturday, with regular centre-backs Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof on the bench for United. Given the team’s depth in that area, the former Southampton man admitted even he was shocked to find out he was playing in the middle.
“Of course I’m still a left-back, I love playing left-back, but I love playing at centre-back too,” he said. “It’s obviously a new position and I was quite surprised I was playing there today in such a big game, but I’ve always said I’ll give everything when I’m on that pitch wherever I play.
“I’m happy to do whatever I’m doing in whatever position, if the manager trusts me there. The biggest thing today was giving everything and making sure we came off that pitch with three points.”