There’s not many results that are more sickening than a derby day defeat at home but for once you can imagine Saturday’s result stung the manager just as much as it did the Red Mancunian hordes dejectedly trudging from Old Trafford.
The game was billed somewhat accurately as Jose Mourinho versus Pep Guardiola, regardless of the importance of the match without the two managers, their recent employment in Manchester had guaranteed an even bigger audience for the season’s first derby clash and with both moulding their sides in their own image it was surely a question of which manager rather than team would succeed. Painfully it was Pep who prevailed as Jose’s reluctance to place his faith in youth, backfired spectacularly. The score may have read United 1 City 2, but for large parts of the game it was the visitors who were streets ahead- and Mourinho knew it.
The United boss got his selection drastically wrong- and it was too late to rectify it by half time. Here’s how the Reds fared against Guardiola’s side.
David De Gea- Had his manager screaming at him to release the ball sooner as the Reds chased the game, but the goals were hardly his fault. 5
Antonio Valencia- Probably United’s best defender on the day, got forward well and did his defensive duties without too much drama. 7
Daley Blind- For once his reading of the game let him down and it was costly. If it is going to be a choice between him and Smalling to partner Eric Bailly, it’s looking like the Englishman will get the nod from now on based on this performance. 4
Eric Bailly- Like Blind was a bit all over the place at times but still managed to put in the odd derby day-esque challenge the fans love. He’ll have easier afternoons – and better ones. 6
Luke Shaw- Looked off the pace as he struggled with City’s tempo – for once he didn’t look like the player he was at the beginning of last season. 5
Paul Pogba- Huffed an puffed and showed the odd glimpse of class but this wasn’t his day and if he’s to justify his price tag he needs to do more against the top teams not just the struggling ones. Moving further up the field for the second half proved ineffective. 5
Marouane Fellaini- Whisper it quietly but the Belgian was arguably United’s best performer, got stuck in where needed and one of the few Reds willing and able to break up City’s play. Wasn’t helped in the first half by often being outnumbered. 7
Henrikh Mkhitaryan- Many Reds wanted him to start- less will next time round as it was a half he’ll want to forget. 4
Wayne Rooney- He’ll get stick off a lot of fans but he wasn’t THAT bad, an easy target for the haters but on another day would have and should have got a penalty. 6
Zlatan Ibrahimovic- Took his goal well but should’ve done much better when handed a golden chance at the end of the first half. 6
Ander Herrera for Mkhitaryan – Was everywhere for the Reds and should’ve started, a strong performance by the Spaniard. 7
Marcus Rashford for Lingard- Put the ball in the opponents net but it was ruled offside after it went in off Ibrahimovic. Why he didn’t start will haunt the Red half of Manchester and Mourinho for years. 7
Anthony Martial for Shaw- Too late to effect the game with ten minutes on the clock. 6
Jose Mourinho- Bonkers not to start Rashford and even more ludicrous to give starts to Mkhitaryan and Lingard. Poor from the manager. Made the right change at half time, but when Guardiola countered that by bringing on another midfielder, Mourinho seemed to dither again. Not good enough by a long shot. 4