Manchester has, unfortunately, been painted blue after Manchester City, our bitter rivals stopped us from setting a new club record 41 matches unbeaten at Old Trafford, after the Citizens defeated us 2-1. The game was undoubtedly the biggest in the league this season, and it lived up to the hype, with goals from Otamendi and Silva gifting City all three points despite Marcus Rashford equalising before the first half ended.
United, heading into the clash were in high spirits, as we had won our last four matches in the league, but the gameplan by Jose Mourinho was not ideal. Yet again, the Portuguese set up to negate Pep Guardiola, but our players made a mess of things as they couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
Our last game in the league was a 3-1 victory over Arsenal, in which we set up the same way but we were saved in the league by a masterclass from David de Gea. The win was a pyrrhic victory; the effort we put into the game at Arsenal has accounted for nothing as we are now 11 points behind City, who have set the pace for the rest of the league this season.
City have won 15 and drawn just 1 in 16 league games, which has never been done in the history of the league. United knew that a victory over City would have cut the lead back to 5 points, but at this stage, the title is City’s to lose and it is considered as one of the best betting football offers 2018 has to offer as we go into the second half of the season.
The absence of Pogba affected our team chemistry as his suspension ensured that we had nobody that could move from box to box and dominate the opponents with his physicality. Yet again, Jose Mourinho proved that his tactical supremacy that used to make him invincible is starting to leave him.
We had the chance to make a statement with a victory but Jose put the handbrake on his players, instead, trying to negate the opponent with a defensive, pragmatic approach. Guardiola outfoxed him with his unerring tactics but as Pep said, the title is not won in December. Winning against Arsenal elevated our morale, but we came back crashing down to earth with a forgettable performance.
Our last loss at Old Trafford was a 2-1 loss to City last year September and we have been beaten yet again by the same opponent. Pogba missing the clash was painful, as his stupid red card cost us a player that could have changed the course of the game. There are still 22 matches to be played, meaning that there is still a lot to be played for.
However, the question that will linger on is, “Why did we beat Arsenal if it would have still kept us 11 points behind”. Jose needs to ask himself serious questions.
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