Sir Alex Ferguson did it before. He knows what such a Derby means in the Premier League and how fantastic it is when you win an away game. Sir Alex’s joyful face and the big smile after Manchester United smashed the second only indicated, his former club achieved something special. For this current Red Devils, it was a red-letter day!
Your team reserves a small section of the crowd and are outweighed by the buzz of the home team. It is never easy to silence the home crowd when you are playing against the defending champions at their own den. And for this Manchester United unit under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, doing such things have not been easy – it would be near-unthinkable. And why not? Against teams like Aston Villa, Southampton, Newcastle United or Sheffield United, Ole’s men were just ordinary. How could such an ordinary side topple Pepe Guardiola’s big boys remains a moot question.
But you know what, in five league matches against their traditional big six rivals this season, they are unbeaten, winning three and drawing twice. Again, they have beaten Chelsea in the League Cup as well. Just when things start to fall apart, Ole fins a way to get going. While the stormy wind is blowing around him, threatening to tear him apart, Ole outclassed Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. He witnessed the sacking of Marco Silva and he knew, his days as a manager would be outnumbered if he fails to deliver in the next few matches. Well, he gunned down the mighty Manchester City at Eithad.
Something strong certainly binds this Man United side – ordinary against below-par sides, special against top sides. Especially, against top sides, they play without any fear.
Last night, City dominated. They had more control over the ball and orchestrated more attacks. Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bryune and Raheem Sterling poured into that area since the game started. Ole’s defence did the best thing – block them as much as possible and then give the best shot during the counter.
With two full-backs of Pep pitching high-up a bit more, Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford advanced like a Hare. During the transition periods, the pace of Manchester United’s forwards is unmatchable. The Brazilian took full control over the midfield, and set free the forwards – Rashford and Martial tore Manchester City defence into pieces with the little opportunities they achieved. As soon as the opportunity to counter came, United exploited it fully. Two goals were scored in the first half and it was enough to bag full points.
Pepe’s team is missing Leroy Sane, Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero. The decision to play Rodrigo in the central midfield instead of Fernandinho – who is positioned as a centre-back is not helping City at all. Angelino as left-back has been average while Gabriel Jesus is consistently failing to link-up with the guile and pace of Silva, Sterling and de Bruyne.
But still to beat Pep’s team at the Premier League is not at all an easy task. And that also at Eithad stadium. Ole stunned City. Yeah, simply outclassed them despite not being in full control.
Strong defence, a young unit ready to give their best and attack at pace whenever there is a chance to counter.
Let’s see how Manchester United deliver after taming Mourinho and Pep.
Note: this article has been posted at Cricketsoccer as CSdesk on 08/12/2019 Manchester United fly at Eithad stadium