5 Key Observations from the Manchester City vs Manchester United Derby

The most recent Manchester Derby gave fans an intense, action packed match. The derby provided even more importance and both clubs are competing for the Premier League title. In the end, Manchester City showed its championship mettle as the noisy neighbors pulled even with Manchester United in points and ahead of them in the table based on goal difference. Going forward, it looks as if it is City’s title to lose.  After taking some time to digest all of the action from Monday’s match, there are a few interesting topics that became quite evident.

  1. Even the great ones make mistakes. Sir Alex Ferguson decided to employ a defensive 4-5-1 formation that left out in form players like Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck. Instead Ferguson subbed in veterans Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung, both of whom looked out of rhythm the entire match.
  2. The spine of Manchester City. For all the money that Manchester City spent on players during the transfer window, their most important players remain to be Vincent Kompany, Gareth Barry, and Yaya Toure.  Those three players used their strength and speed to dominate United.
  3. Manchester United’s youngsters may not be ready for prime time. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were inserted into the starting eleven after being out injured for weeks. Smalling was beaten on the decisive goal while Jones added little to United’s attack down the right side. Both players have shown promise at times this season, but this match might have been too big for them.
  4. All those people who think that Manchester City winning the Premier League title would be a bad thing for football need to rethink their stance.  It would have been easy for City to fold their tents three weeks ago when United went past them in the table. But City regrouped and came charging back. They dominated in their wins at Norwich and against United. City deserves to be where they are at.
  5. Ferguson stayed with his defensive tactics too long. Manchester United’s attack stalled all match long, but Sir Alex hesitated until the sixtieth minute and by that time it was almost too late. It sounds sacrilegious, but Ferguson got out managed in the derby.

The Premier League title race isn’t over yet. With two matches left in the season, there is still a lot undecided. From the title race, Champions League spots, to the relegation battle there are many exciting moments left to come.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @thehackreport


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