Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat by Manchester City was down to Kevin De Bruyne’s brilliance and the visitors’ poor performance at the Etihad
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This was right up there with one of De Bruyne’s best performances, single-handedly destroying Manchester United at Etihad.
De Bruyne was substituted in the 80th minute, his job done with two goals and an assist for Riyad Mahrez Manchester City sent out a clear statement of intent in the title race while embarrassing United in the process.
It was actually a fairly balanced first half, hard fought and a tough derby. But towards the end of the second half the gap between the two Manchester rivals had never felt wider.
City ended up playing with United, with fans enthusiastically going through their repertoire of songs. Even the shrimp sandwich brigade at the Tunnel Club did the Poznan, while the guests just sat there in stunned disbelief at the end.
Guardiola’s men are six points clear at the top again – admittedly having played a game more than Liverpool – but if this is any test of their mettle there is no sign of them cracking any time soon.
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The bigger concern for United has been the absolute mess in defence, Harry Maguire is suffering badly and Ralf Rangnick will be even more worried about how his players just waved the white flag when they were 3-1 down.
It was shameful.
United looked dangerous in the first half, sad after half-time and that was partly due to City’s dominance, partly to their own mistakes. Now their place in the top four seems in danger.
In contrast, City looks unstoppable. Any notion that United could do Liverpool a favor was pure fantasy. They are nowhere near good enough. This was a throwback to the dog days of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign.
Back in November, Guardiola won 2-0 at Old Trafford, where the goal line failed to reflect City’s dominance. This time the score underscored an old-fashioned beating.
Every time De Bruyne got the ball at his feet he looked unstoppable, galloping from midfield to attack.
It was a pleasure to watch him. City’s first goal came after five minutes after Mahrez’s low cross found De Bruyne, United’s defense slow to react and the Belgian midfielder swept home.
City weren’t in full swing while United looked dangerous on the break. It was an odd formation, no Cristiano Ronaldo, but it meant they all took turns coming up front. Paul Pogba played in Jadon Sancho, the United winger sliced inside and rolled into the far post.
City took the lead again after 28 minutes. Anthony Elanga played United in trouble, Phil Foden was denied by David de Gea, Bernardo Silva had a follow-up shot blocked and there was De Bruyne coming home amidst United’s defensive chaos.
But the second half was a different story. City took complete control – and United had no answer. The third city gate was a peach.
De Bruyne’s corner caught Mahrez on the edge of the box and his sweet shot deflected off Maguire and past de Gea.
De Gea saved it from becoming an even bigger maul with some super saves. Then, in the 90th minute, Mahrez raced through to score a fourth goal – his 21st in all competitions this season – and finally it was made up after a lengthy VAR check showed Alex Telles’ boot put him on the side played.
That just rubbed salt in United’s wounds. And gave City even more reason to celebrate.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/man-utd-derby-shambles-rangnick-26400494 Ralf Rangnick's shameful Man Utd waved the white flag as top 4 truth revealed - John Cross