Demolition Derby. A game that one of the Manchester sides would rather forget. A Manchester derby even more disastrous and miraculous than that 1-6 drubbing. This one comes as a second major defeat to the ‘noisy’ neighbours in the space of two years. Thankfully, away from home this time. A rampant Manchester city side beat a team that looked totally out of place and disinterested, ever so comprehensively (4-1) on a warm Sunday afternoon. Where did it all go wrong for the visitors? Well. There are so many things that did. Right from the absence of RvP to intent to tactics to playing Welbeck up top as the lone striker. On the other hand, it looked like Man City fielded their best team barring Edin Dzeko who was not really missed at all.
Talking about intent, the home side looked really up for the fixture as skipper Vincent Kompany in his post-match interview rightly said,
“Maybe the game meant a little bit more to us than to them. We’ve been looking forward to it, our fans have been speaking about it for a long time and we needed to win.We have a fantastic home record and we know there is no reason we should fear the opposition.”
Manchester City probably played their best game of the season so far. And this derby win would definitely boost their confidence as the team heads to the coming weeks that prove to be tougher when they face Bayern (Champions League), Everton and Chelsea in the space of 6 weeks. They played this game the way they played Newcastle few weeks back and Pellegrini looked upbeat in the post-match interview. He said,
“I’m very happy. The way we played is the way I want this team to play, very similar to against Newcastle. We played the way we work all week. We will enjoy this. It gives the team a lot of confidence. We are just starting another style of play and I hope to keep improving.”
While Manchester United should look to do what they always do. Bounce back after 2 defeats in the first 5 games. If you look at it, this situation is no different to last season’s when we lost 2 of the opening 6 games – Everton on the opening day and Tottenham in the 6th week despite the fact that we beat Liverpool at Anfield on the way, a fixture we lost this campaign around.
Moyes sounded dejected but hopeful in his post-game interview. He seemed to have given the infamous ‘hairdryer’ in the dressing room after the game for the first time since he took charge and rightfully so. He unsurprisingly stressed on the team’s bad fortune for having gotten the toughest start among the top six teams in the league. He said,
“The way they have been brought up, the way they have been bred with the manager previously, they react, and that’s what we’ll do here. We’ll make sure we react. Every manager has bad results. I’m no different. I just told the players the way I would have told players at any other club if I don’t think they’re doing it. They’re good players, they’re good pros, they know when they’re bang at it and when they’re not. Any manager who had been given that run of fixtures when they took over at this club would have found it difficult. We played very well in midweek. There was no reason for us not to perform well today but it’s one game, there is plenty more to come and plenty of time for us to try to fix it. I’ve made them aware of that. If ever there was a group of players I’d expect that from it would be a group of Manchester United players.”
That last line is Sir Alex material. On the brighter side, Wayne Rooney’s performance stood out markedly on a day when all the others failed. A player who’s been accused of not being committed to the club, Rooney is indeed proving his worth on the pitch and his hard work needs appreciation. He never deserved to be on the losing side. Having faced Chelsea, Liverpool and now City already, the fact that we are just 3 points behind Manchester City/Chelsea, needs notice.
With the Capital One Cup tie against Liverpool coming up at Old Trafford, we have been handed the best way to kick-start our campaign with a morale-boosting win. David Moyes and co will have realised it, learned from the mistakes of the defeat against both City and Liverpool and take the game to the Kop. Looking forward to it as much as Robin Van Persie’s return to action. Alarming signs already? Only time will tell.