Manchester City came away from the Manchester derby with all three points on Saturday, thanks to a 2-0 win at Old Trafford.
They took the lead after just seven minutes when Eric Bailly accidentally diverted the ball beyond David De Gea and into his own net, and Bernardo Silva doubled their advantage just before the break, when he capitalised on some horrific defending from Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to poke the ball home from an acute angle.
The visitors dominated proceedings from start to finish and at times Manchester United could barely get a touch, let alone mount an attack. It may have been just a two-goal win, but this was still a humiliation for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who will face another nervous period before the club’s next game, hoping he doesn’t receive that dreaded call from the United board.
- David De Gea: The United No.1 played his 350th Premier League game on Saturday, the joint-most for a Spaniard, drawing him level with Cesc Fabregas. He also pulled off several great saves and denied Gabriel Jesus, Joao Cancelo and Kevin De Bruyne in the first half, as well as making a point-blank stop to deny Victor Lindelof from netting a second own-goal of the afternoon. Without the United keeper’s display, the scoreline could and would have been so much more.
- Kevin de Bruyne: It’s been a tough start to the season for the brilliant Belgian who is still trying to find full fitness and his best form. But his Old Trafford appearance was a reminder of just how talented De Bruyne is. His range of passing was excellent, he knitted the midfield together, kept the ball ticking over and his energy was infectious.
- Joao Cancelo: Three assists in midweek, the full-back followed that up by creating City’s first two goals of the afternoon. Cancelo is becoming one of City’ most reliable offensive resources, while defensively United got little joy down their right flank.
- Van de Beek: The Dutchman hasn’t had much opportunity to acquaint himself with the Old Trafford crowd due to empty stadiums last season and a lack of playing time in 2021/22, but the United fanbase showed he has their support during the derby. His warm-up on the sideline was greeted with a huge cheer, as was his introduction in the second half.
- Eric Bailly: The centre-back came into the team against Atalanta and was probably United’s best player, but in his first Premier League match of the season he had a nightmare start. The touch to net the own-goal was unfortunate, but his body shape was all wrong and it was poor defending from the No.3.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: The international break will be dominated by further speculation surrounding his future after another weak performance from his men. There were shades of the Liverpool capitulation as the visitors dominated possession, bypassed United’s midfield with ease and showed the difference between a well-coached side and one based more on hope than planning.
- Bruno Fernandes: The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder hasn’t been at his best this term, but Saturday’s game was one of his poorest performances since joining the Red Devils. He looked off the mark from the very start and failed to get on the ball or create chances. Fernandes also seemed to regularly be complaining to his team-mates, despite his own underwhelming showing.
Manchester United (3-4-1-2): De Gea 6; Bailly 5 (Sancho 46; 6), Lindelof 4, Maguire 3; Wan-Bissaka 4, McTominay 5, Fred 3 (Van de Beek 80), Shaw 3 (Telles 73); Fernandes 3; Greenwood 5 (Rashford 67;6) Ronaldo 5.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson 6; Walker 7, Dias 6, Stones 6, Cancelo 8; Rodri 7, Gundogan 8, De Bruyne 8; Jesus 7, Silva 8, Foden 7.
Man of the match
In truth, City weren’t at their very best on Saturday, but didn’t need to be. It was a solid team performance and the award goes to Cancelo as much for his contribution to the visitors’ two-goal haul in the first half.
It’s a two-week international break for both sides now, meaning there is no Premier League football next weekend. United return with a game against Watford on 20 November and a day later City host Everton in a 2pm kick-off.