Premier League

Embarrassing Man Utd drop further behind Man City in every way

Graeme Bailey
The gap is bigger than ever
The gap is bigger than ever / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages
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In March last season, Man Utd put in one of the most abysmal performances in derby in recent memory, losing 4-1 to Pep Guardiola's Man City side at the Etihad Stadium.

Seven months on and, well, something impossible happened: yes, United managed to put in even worse performance as they were smashed 6-3 on Sunday in the 188th Manchester derby.

The two teams lined up with identical systems, but that is where the similarities ended between the arch rivals.

One of the worst 45 minutes in recent Man Utd history was to follow, with City taking a 4-0 lead into the break - a lead that did not flatter them in the slightest.

New City star Erling Haaland was the fulcrum of everything, while Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva - as they did back in March too - embarrassed their counterparts both on and off the ball.

So what do we really take from this game?

It is a case of City getting better?

United not improving?

In truth, it's probably a bit of both.

City with Erling Haaland have added the final string to their bow, the ruthless goal-getter they've been lacking in recent seasons under Guardiola.

Erik ten Hag
Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

On the Man Utd side of things, clearly new manager Erik ten Hag has to shoulder some of the blame for the performance at the Etihad Stadium.

It's clear that the decision to start Scott McTominay again, while a notably world class Casemiro sat on the bench, isn't the greatest idea in the world. While, more generally, playing two creative midfielders in the centre of the park didn't work either as City simple picked them a part at will.

And while Ten Hag should, and will, shoulder some of the blame, the effort and performance from some of his players was simply unacceptable too - particularly his captain Bruno Fernandes.

The issue for United is that they now need to show who the real United is.

Is it the one which beat title challenges Arsenal only a few weeks ago? Rr is the one which turned up at the Etihad and produced one of the worst performances any United fan would have seen in their lifetime?

Let’s hope for Ten Hag’s sake it is not the latter.

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