Manchester United have had another shocker of a game against their arch-rivals Manchester City. A victory against Guardiola’s men would have set the tone for Manchester United on what has been another mediocre start to their league season. At the theatre of dreams, the Sky Blues drew first blood as Erling Haaland opened the scoring for his side with an easy spot-kick past United’s Andre Onana. In the opening minutes of the second half, the Norwegian striker added his second goal of the day.
Three points were sealed in the end as Phil Foden added City’s third and finished the game on a high, thanks to another inch-perfect performance at Old Trafford.
What went wrong for Manchester United?
Erik Ten Hag’s men started the game very well as they were energetic in the opening minutes of the game. Bruno Fernandes stitched up a couple of good passes inside City’s half and was United’s leader in the middle of the park.
However, their first setback was caused by Haaland as he neatly slotted the ball into the net after VAR intervened to award a penalty to the visitors.
The second half was again thoroughly dominated by the Sky Blues as United’s defensive woes saw them concede two goals. On a day when City’s forward line showcased their offensive acumen, the narrative unfolding on the United side seemed to manifest as a stark antithesis.
Marcus Rashford had again put up a horrendous display upfront – with many fans even terming his presence as, “invisible.” As unkind as it may sound, it was a day to forget for the England international.
There has also been a lot of criticism regarding Rasmus Hojlund’s role in the Manchester United side. His performances up front have been disappointing and against City, his numbers hit a low as he again failed to open his account in the Premier League. The Norwegian is in the early stages of his PL journey, and as he gains more match experience, we can expect him to make valuable contributions in the attacking third of the field.
What next for Manchester United?
For now, the clear and positive path to recover from this setback is to achieve success by winning games. On Wednesday, United will face Newcastle in the Carabao Cup, followed by consecutive away matches against Fulham and FC Copenhagen.
United boss Erik Ten Hag will focus solely on victories in the coming two weeks, hoping to put his squad into top form for the rest of the season.