It was inappropriate, to name the Manchester derby between United and City in the 12th round of the English Premier League, a top match, because it was devoid of the footballing fun’s elements demanded by the fans of English football, especially the fans of the two teams.
The match ended in a disappointing negative draw for both sides, but its events suggested that United and City wanted to avoid losing more than win, which was clearly noticeable on the visions of coaches Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Josep Guardiola, after the match ended.
The result disappointed the two teams, because they will move further away from the people of the summit, but the season is long and crowded, and it may carry with it many surprises, which will return City and United to the competition.
For Solskjaer, coach, there are many questions about his play style, as well as some options regarding his line-up.
It appears that there is a consensus among United supporters about the incorrectness of the step to include French midfielder Paul Pogba in the starting line-up, a few days after his agent Mino Raiola admitted his desire to leave at the end of the season.
Solskjaer wants to make the most of the Pogba’s presence, but there is something that the Norwegian coach cannot understand, or rather he does not want to believe, and that is that Pogba, and over the past four years, has not provided conclusive evidence that he deserves a stable place in the squad, which is what Fans were made to believe the player was overrated and would not be able to deliver a world-class performance, even if he departs from United.
This is what appeared in front of City, where Pogba lost the ball many times, and the opponent’s players easily overtaken him, and the moment in which Manchester City player Kyle Walker dodged him may summarize the situation of the deteriorating French player now.
In the 4-3-1-2 gameplay, it was logical for United to have an increase in numbers in the middle of the field, but an increase that did not reflect positively on the offensive side, as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford were present on the wings, with the aim of penetrating into the penalty area, but they did not receive enough support at a time when the Portuguese, Bruno Fernandez, tried to play the role of a fake striker, which made him losing his advantage in being in the maneuvering area.
Despite the protection provided by Fred and Scott McTominay, Pogba did not come up with anything new, which made the task easier for City’s defense and Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson, and perhaps it is better for Donnie Van de Beek’s Dutch business agent to declare that the player’s future is over with United, hopefully he will have a greater chance to compete Matches.
But it was never different at the other end of the field, and what was most striking was that Manchester City was more inclined to hand the ball over to his opponent before trying to extract it and launch quick rebounds.
We have not seen this in Manchester City since Guardiola’s arrival, but the only convincing argument for resorting to it is the Spanish coach’s belief in the inability of his players to implement the usual method of controlling the ball and running around the stadium due to the season’s crowding, in addition to his awareness that United will do the impossible for Avoiding loss and toppling Solskjaer’s head is basically required.
The way of playing 4-3-3 did not change, but what actually differed from the players’ approach to the meeting, instead of pressuring the ball carrier, City center allowed Fred and Pogba to progress to the middle of the field comfortably, before trying to recover the ball before it reached the penalty area.
But what Guardiola clashed with, was Solskjaer’s failure to gamble, as if he was betting on United’s exaggeration in moving forward and launching attacks in order to achieve victory because he needed it most, which did not happen.
Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling are still far from their level, and the latter failed to score the net for United for the 22nd match, meanwhile Riyad Mahrez performed less than normal, to be replaced in the second half.