Jose Mourinho fell to his 8th defeat against Pep Guardiola as his Manchester United side were outclassed by a slick Manchester City outfit over the 90 minutes at Old Trafford. All the hype and anticipation leading up to the derby seemed justified as the match lived up to it’s billing. The corresponding fixture last season was a damp squib but with two radically different managers and the stakes higher than ever, there was little chance of a repeat. City got off the blocks quickly and their crisp passing allied with gegenpressing when without the ball, caught the shell-shocked United players unawares as they were slow to come to grips with the play, seemingly caught up in the occasion.
Manchester City deservedly took a 2-0 lead by the 35th minute with De Bruyne scoring one and laying an assist for Iheanacho to score the 2nd. A costly mistake from debutant Bravo enabled the otherwise ineffective Zlatan to raise a glimmer of a comeback which ultimately fizzled out in the face of Guardiola’s excellent in-game management decisions.
We have become accustomed to Jose Mourinho’s post-match rants about the unfair treatment meted out to him after every loss. His flustered excuses and rants are a part of managerial folklore and it was no surprise to see him laying out the causes for the loss. Though there has been a marked change in his demeanor since taking over at United, it is down to the positive results that he had been enjoying till now.
Mourinho started off with a scathing attack on his players, who he believed were caught in the enormity of the occasion and failed to turn up on the pitch. He went on to individually point out the flaws in the players criticizing Baily for his passing and questioning the big game mentality of his defenders. But he seemed to go for damage control as he tried to shift the blame onto himself, saying as the manager he was the one responsible for the selection of the players. Which virtually did no good to the player’s morale at all.
He was not finished yet, as he also helpfully pointed out that Mark Clattenburg had got two decisions wrong which hampered their chances of winning. While the decisions can indeed be debatable, it is high time Mourinho looks to get back to the drawing board and restores normalcy in the dressing room and work on his tactics and man management. Even he would be knowing Manchester City were deserving winners on the day and it is down to themselves to put up a better fight next time around.