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Three Crucial Lessons Learnt From the Derby Day Humiliation For Manchester Derby

Manchester City vs Manchester United, Man City, Man United

We learnt three things as Manchester City thumped Manchester United 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League.

New United manager Erik ten Hag got humiliated in his first Manchester derby and was surprised by the way his team started the match and blamed it on the lack of belief among the United players for the disastrous showing in the first half.

After going on a winning spree in the Premier League which saw them beat table toppers Arsenal, Manchester United have been brought crashing back down to earth.

The Old Trafford club were poor in all departments particularly in the first 45 minutes, going into half-time 4-0 down. They managed to recover and get a few consolation goals from Antony and Anthony Martial but the game was already finished by then.

City had just two scorers with hattricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden, a combination that can be a danger to any team in the Premier League. City exerted their superiority and United succumbed under the pressure ensuring Ten Hag that there is more work to be done.

1. Antony Martial’s Comeback Was The Only Positive From The Game For Ten Hag

Anthony Martial scoring a goal in the Manchester Derby, City United things learnt
Image Obtained Via SPORTbible

It is not often that a player can walk with his head held high after losing 6-3 to their rivals, but Antony Martial came back from injury in the 59th minute with United 4-1 down and scored two goals. He and Fred had a positive impact on the game which gave some hope for Erik ten Hag in upcoming games.

After an excellent pre-season and strong display in the derby, the fans will be excited to see the Frenchman get a proper run in this team. Martial will thrive under Ten Hag and it all comes down to Martial’s ability to stay fit. If that can be achieved, then United have a top-class forward in their hands.

2. United Gave Up The Plot Too Early And Allowed City To Dominate

The yellow cards to Diogo Dalot and Tyrell Malacia in the early part of the game felt like the main reason for United’s downfall. Jack Grealish and Foden were able to run riot in the United defensive third from the flanks.

United came into the game with an impressive run of results and hence this could be a blip and the fans need to trust this part of the process. Look at top managers like Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp. Both needed multiple seasons before their managerial qualities were on full display.

It’s disappointing to lose in this manner, but it’s all part of the learning curve. The gap with Man City remains despite the small improvements made by United under Ten Hag. It’s hard to remain patient, but this squad is going to continue to change as Ten Hag slowly builds a dressing room that is perfectly aligned with his footballing philosophy.

3. Casemiro Or Fred Needs To Come Back Into The Lineup

Erling Haaland and Casemiro vying for the ball, City United things learnt
Image Obtained Via Sb Nation – The Busby Babe

United lost the game in the midfield with Kevin De Bruyne giving a stellar performance. The second goal by Haaland was set up by De Bruyne being completely open in the centre of the pitch.

With a Champions League-winning defensive midfielder sitting on the bench, there will always be questions as to whether Casemiro should have started, having previously dominated games against Pep while playing for Real Madrid.

Casemiro has been given time to adjust to Ten Hag’s system. Now following on from this result, United need to bring him into the team. Despite arguably being United’s most impressive player last season, Fred has found himself on the bench in recent weeks with Scott McTominay being chosen to partner Christian Eriksen instead and doing it well.

In his substitute appearance, Fred brought his usual intensity and a change is needed, and in United’s next league game, to utilise a midfield duo that play at the international level – Fred and Casemiro.

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The Red Devils are going to have more games like that this season. Ten Hag needs time, money and patience to get this side up to his philosophy. City are just way further along in their process with Pep Guardiola. Manchester United travel to play Omonia Nicosia in Europa League while Manchester City face FC Copenhagen at home in the UEFA Champions League.

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