Good luck trying to pick out the positives from that performance. In fact we are not going to. Let’s look at United’s 2-0 loss and what we learned.
First of all it should be acknowledged City are a terrific side, even without Kevin de Bruyne. But United were architects of their own downfall.
City’s goals were too easy, and David de Gea has lost his air of invincibility. Both strikes were attempts a fully confident goalkeeper would have saved.
Pointing the finger at De Gea of course is an easy option, so let’s leave that there.
The 10 players in front of him and the substitutes were no better.
There was plenty of effort, at least for the first hour, but no real quality.
Jesse Lingard missed an open goal which could have equalised, and Marcus Rashford’s attempts failed to hit the target.
Romelu Lukaku’s one effort when he came on was an embarrassing effort.
Pogba tried in midfield, with no cutting edge. Fred was totally anonymous, taking a real backwards step on fleeting moments of promise.
This was a Manchester derby where not one United player came out with their reputation enhanced.
City were better, but you would expect one or two United players to rise up and stand out amongst the malaise.
Not a single one did, and that’s remarkable, for the wrong reasons.
Let’s now clutch at straws
Really the chase for the top four should be all over by now. But it’s still very much on, with Arsenal losing 3-1 at Wolves.
The following permutation will clinch a top four place for United…
- Beat Chelsea, beat Huddersfield, beat Wolves.
- Arsenal lose away at Leicester, at home to Brighton or away to Burnley
- Chelsea draw or lose against Watford, home, or Leicester away
This is clutching at straws we realise, but it’s still very possible, especially with Arsenal and Chelsea inconsistent and playing in the Europa League semi-finals too.
Of course to win our games, we need to start remembering how to score again.