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Manchester United faced off against arch-rivals Manchester City in the Carabao Cup semi-finals first leg on Tuesday. They ended up falling to a disappointing 1-3 loss and now have a formidable task ahead in order to turn things around to their favor when they travel to the Etihad Stadium two weeks later.
Despite starting the stronger side, the Red Devils fell behind in the 17th minute after Bernardo Silva’s beautiful strike from outside the box gave the visitors the lead.
City then doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, with Riyad Mahrez scoring from Bernardo’s defence-splitting pass. Pep Guardiola’s side poured on the misery, as a 39th minute swift counter-attack resulted in an Andreas Pereira own-goal to make it 3-0 before half-time!
United starting showing more desire after the break and netted one in the 70th minute after Marcus Rashford finished off a quick swift-break to make it 1-3. They were unable to get another one, meaning they now have to score two(minimum) goals at the return-leg and keep City quiet to even have a chance of making the finals. Going by today’s showing, that’ll take some doing!
Here are the Manchester United vs Manchester City ratings.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4.5) –
Honestly, if OGS starts with an underperforming Lingard in midfield, Jones in defence, he can’t expect anything else. The former decision was especially baffling. He was tactically outwitted in the first half, with City exposing how poor their midfield line is. United couldn’t counter-attack well either, so his last-resort tactic failed too.
OGS did inspire his side to show more effort in the second, but his ineffective tactics in the first perhaps sealed their fate in the tie. Still no win in 2020 for him. Unless he makes signings quick, things can(will) go from bad to worse soon.
David de Gea (4.5) –
De Gea’s taken Romero’s Cup duties today. Nothing to do saving Bernardo’s stunning effort, but his distribution’s been under par again! Mahrez went around him too easily for his goal. Made a decent save from De Bruyne, only to see it ricochet off Pereira for an OG. Made a few clutch saves in the second period, but still pretty disappointing considering his standards.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (5.0)-
AWB gave a MOTM performance last time against City. Not as commandeering in the early minutes. He wasn’t at fault for either goal, but was constantly hassled by Sterling’s presence and couldn’t get in his spider-like challenges. Non-existent going forward once again.
Phil Jones (4.0) –
Last time he started a game, United conceded 3 goals! Does his reputation no favour sitting idly like a duck allowing Bernardo to swing in his goal. Fluffed his line in the 24th minute resulting in Sterling’s shot, but made a crucial block to redeem himself. Embarrassingly fooled by De Bruyne leading to the second goal.
Looked nervous with his defensive work throughout and seemingly picked up ANOTHER injury towards the end. Shouldn’t start a Manchester Derby after this.
Victor Lindelof (4.5) –
Lindelof doesn’t have Maguire at this side today. Big job commanding United’s backline. Solid goal-saving block off Sterling’s 24th-minute shot. But his questionable heading ability costs him again, as it was his poor header which allowed Bernardo to play the through-ball he failed to clear! Lost all track of Sterling, almost allowing him to score in the 43rd.
His distribution was pretty precise and more creative than United’s midfielders, but Lindelof looked pretty exposed with his partner-in-crime to help him.
Brandon Williams (6.0)–
Brandon’s first-ever Manchester Derby appearance. Been a lively figure early on. Unlucky to be shoved off by Mahrez leading to the 3rd. Gets United first shot-on-target in the 47th with a tame effort. Occasionally outwitted by Mahrez, but he showed a lot of spirit with his sparky defensive work, putting in strong challenges & refusing to be bullied.
An inspired figure romping forward and showed a lot of spirit in the face of defeat.
Fred (5.0) –
Fred’s looking refuelled with energy, pressing City hard in the initial stages. Looks United’s best midfielder, distributing the ball well but being boxed down by City’s packed midfield. The Brazilian tried revitalizing his side with his energetic demeanor, working the hardest again, but was ousted by his steely opponent midfielders throughout. Needs to seriously work on his set-pieces/crossing.
Andreas Pereira (4.0)-
Pereira’s looking to be United’s enforcer in midfield today. Slacked off during the goal. Clueless defensive work resulted in his own-goal. Skied a pitiful shot over before half-time. Put in a couple of decent passes forward, but his creativity was a bare minimum today. He just isn’t cut out to control from a deeper midfield role.
Jesse Lingard (3.5) –
He was actually pretty decent against City last month. Bit sloppy linking together moves early on. Showed no effort or energy to get anything started for his side. His first-touch, creativity were invisible. Subbed at half-time after another pathetic performance. Shouldn’t start big games anymore.
Marcus Rashford (6.0) –
Marcus’s first game as United captain! Making some fiery sprints to get Old Trafford roaring from the get-go. He was frustrated by City’s marking throughout, but broke his marker before sweetly slotting past Bravo to pull one back. Powered a shot at him in the 88th, almost causing an error. Unable to inspire a comeback, but his goal at least salvaged some pride for United.
Daniel James (4.5) –
James looks packed with pace, but unable to make good use of it in the first half-hour. Tried making some vintage electric runs in the second, but frustrated by City’s instinctive defensive work. Subbed after the hour-mark after another ineffective outing.
Mason Greenwood (6.5) –
Greenwood’s chance to gain bonified star status. Moving all over the attack trying to get things done. Linking together some promising chances, but fluffed a shot wide in the 36th minute. Cleverly set Rashford through to score. Perhaps United’s most influential attacker on the day.
Nemanja Matic (5.5) –
Makes a botched miss-pass minutes after coming on which almost results in a goal. Unable to create much, often making frustrating backpasses and crumbling to City’s tempo.
Angel Gomes (6.0) –
The youngster brought spice with his introduction, pressing hard to kick-start the swift-break resulting in Rashford’ goal. Indecisive in the final third, though.
Anthony Martial (N/R)
Martial linked up some decent chances, but couldn’t get a sniff of goal.
This comes down to Greenwood/Williams. Both showed loads more desire than the rest of the lot. But I’ll have to give this to Greenwood as he assisted the goal. Overall, Bernardo Silva’s brilliance grants him today MOTM.