Another disappointing derby for United fans. The game ended in a 1-0 defeat at the home of our bitter rivals. On another day, and with 10 men, United could have easily come away with a point or even three but it wasn’t to be. It was a much better performance than recent derbies. My man of the match would go to Luke Shaw who was superb at the back.
Wayne Rooney returned from his suspension, replacing Juan Mata, and Valencia came in at right back replacing Rafael who picked up a knock in training. There was derby debuts for Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw, as United looked to build on the impressive draw against Chelsea.
It was an even start, with no team having any real chances. United were seeing a lot of the ball early on but were misplacing simple passes. City had the first attempt on goal from Aguero but De Gea saved easily, and then 5 minutes later, United’s first attempt came when Adnan Januzaj struck a shot wide after some neat build up play. The reds started the better team, and the opening 20 minutes were easily ours, we were knocking the ball around well and were very organised, the only thing lacking was a goal.
Against the run of play, City carved out the first real opening through Jesus Navas, but De Gea saved superbly, and a minute later, the Spaniard saved again, coming out bravely to deny Aguero. City grew into the game after these chances, and started to see more of the ball but never really threatened.
Chris Smalling picked up a silly yellow card for blocking Joe Hart’s goal kick, and paid the price on 38 minutes when he dived in taking out Milner and was sent off. Michael Carrick came back from injury replacing Januzaj, and the Englishman filled in at centre back but United managed to hang on until half time.
As expected in the second half, City started the better team with the man advantage, and had chances early on. On 55 minutes, Marcos Rojo was withdrew with a dislocated shoulder, with Paddy McNair replacing him for his derby debut. The defence consisted of a midfielder, a winger and 2 teenagers, and it looked inevitable that we’d lose the game.
On 63 minutes, the opening goal finally came, and it was Sergio Aguero with the goal for City as he smartly finished, leaving De Gea with no chance. After the goal though City never threatened, and looked to switch off. United’s best chance of the half came on 77 minutes, when Rooney ran through the team, and Di Maria eventually shot producing a save from Hart.
A minute later, Fellaini had a golden opportunity to equalise but mistimed the header massively which ended up hitting his shoulder. It was encouraging signs for United in the final 10 minutes, as city dropped off, but we never found the opening to equalise. On another day, with 11 men, we could have easily snatched a draw or a win. Another away defeat though leaves us in 9th place, with a mountain to climb now. But we did well with a makeshift defence!
What did you think of the match? Leave your answer in the comment box below!