Manchester United have been horrible against Manchester City. I could probably sit here and identify whatever was wrong with the performance, but we would literally be there all day.
Of course, there really isn’t much to shame in being beaten by a team like City, but when you consider the fact that United were undefeated in their previous four league outings against the Loud Neighbors before Loss 2 -0 from Saturday, you have an idea of the rut in which the club is at the moment.
Lack of desire, lack of effort, lack of direction, the list goes on and on, but one statistic really highlights just how wrong Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in his game plan.
Since Opta started recording such stats in the 2003/04 season, no team has recorded more assists at Old Trafford in a Premier League game than City on Saturday (832).
City are undoubtedly at their best when allowed to dictate the tempo of a game and can tire teams out, so for United, allow them to do that and apply no pressure while registering only 400 passes. themselves is frankly shocking.
United were passive and more focused on maintaining defensive form than pressuring their opponents and trying to force them to make mistakes.
Kevin De Bruyne has been hailed by pundits as having returned to his best level, but I think the main reason was not a sudden resurgence in form, but the time and space United gave the Belgian playmaker .
It’s hard to misplace a pass when no one is forcing you to do it earlier than you want and the opposition is not scoring any of your possible waypoints.
It’s like Tom Brady is playing in the Super Bowl, but the defensive team have decided to stand on the goal line and not defend wide receivers.
Fred and Scott McTominay might as well not have been on the pitch. The pair essentially acted as an auxiliary center-back in a chaotic backline and it was clear from the start that Solskjaer was completely wrong in his game plan.
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Last season, United drew 0-0 with City at Old Trafford, then won 2-0 in the second leg at the Etihad. To achieve these results Solskjaer went 4-2-3-1, he didn’t give City any time on the ball and forced them to make multiple mistakes and the team actually created a certain number of occasions.
Compare these performances to the one we saw on Saturday and it’s basically day and night. In a season where United were supposed to continue with their “project” and build on last season’s work, it feels like the club are backing down.
It’s unclear what the next step is for Solskjaer, but if he remains at the helm of United he will have to use the next international break to resolve major issues within the squad or the squad could risk regressing further. more.
Do you think Solskjaer can find a way to fix United’s problems? Follow our writer United On My Mind Casey evans on Twitter and join the discussion in the comments section below.