Manchester United are beaten by Manchester City at the Old Trafford as the Blues tightened their grip at the top of the table with four wins from four games.
The match was also viewed as a personal battle between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola. And this time too, the Spaniard defeated his “special” rival.
Kevin De Bryune, who scored one and set up another for Kelechi Iheanacho, starred in the game. Ibrahimovic pulled one for the home side, but they were beaten deservedly by a strong City performance.
Manchester United started the match with De Gea in front of the goal, and shielded a back four of Antonia Valencia, Eric Bailey, Daley Blind, and Luke Shaw. In midfield, Mourinho fielded Marouane Fellaini and the club record signing Paul Pogba. Rooney played in No. 10 position behind Ibrahimovic, who was supported by the wide forwards, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jese Lingard.
Guardiola opted to field new signing Claudio Bravo in goal despite the Chilean having little time to gel with his teammates. Bacary Sagna was preferred to Zabaleta in right-back, and John Stones partnered with Nicolas Otamendi in the heart of defense. Serbian international Alexander Kolarov played in left-back position to complete City’s back four. Further forward, Manchester City fielded Brazilian international Fernandinho with David Silva, who was given a free role. In attack, Kelechi Iheanacho replaced the suspended Sergio Aguero. The youngster was supported by the trio of Nolito, Raheem Sterling, and Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City started the game brightly, dominating possession with their precise passing and movements.
However, the first chance of the game went to Paul Pogba, who sky-rocketed his shot from 30 yards in the 7th minute.
— Kaztin Bieber (@f_karres) September 10, 2016
Kevin De Bruyne, who was awarded the man-of-the-match, scored on 15th minute for Manchester City to silence the home crowd. Kolarov cleared the ball from the left, and the ball was headed by Iheanacho into the path of De Bruyne. The Belgian outsmarted Luke Shaw and fired a clinical shot past De Gea to provide City a deserved lead.
After the first goal, City played with more class and composure as United lost theirs. They dominated the game completely and soon they were rewarded with the second goal. This time, the goal came from the Nigerian international Iheanacho after De Bryune, once again, did a brilliant job in United’s penalty box fooling Man Utd’s defenders.
However, when the game was going very well for Man City, Claudio Bravo made a howler after Rooney put a cross from the right into the box. Ibrahimovic capitalized on this mistake by Bravo, who was deemed an upgrade to Joe Hart by Guardiola, and he ensured Manchester United to have an opportunity of a comeback.
But Jose Mourinho’s men could not score any goal in the second half, which meant Pep Guardiola recorded an impressive win over Mourinho in his first derby game as a Manchester City manager.
Speaking after the game, the outspoken Portuguese manager hinted his players are to blame for this defeat, as reported by Goal.com. Mourinho said, “In the first half they were much better than us. We started the game bad.”
“We started the game with some players really below their normal level in terms of their concentration and mental availability to play a game of this speed.You need to be sharp the way you think and the way you play.”
“One or two players were below that level and the team paid for it.”
“Honestly, I have two or three players in the first half who, if the game is now and I know what is going to happen, I don’t play them, but this is football and sometimes players disappoint managers and sometimes players give us great surprises.”
The defeat ended Mourinho’s winning streak since his arrival at United as had won four out of four games before meeting Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Watch the full highlights of the Man Utd vs. Man City game in the youtube video below.
[Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images]