Manchester City embarrassed their rivals Manchester United in a lopsided derby as two goals from Sergio Aguero and one apiece from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri put the Red Devils to the sword at the Etihad.
United proved extremely wasteful in front of goal as nine of their 14 shots missed the target; this statistic was in sharp contrast to their ruthless rival’s, who finished four of their five efforts on target. Another interesting statistic is that 13 of Moyes’ team’s shots came after the Citizens scored their final goal – this indicates that Manuel Pellegrini’s team eased off once their lead became somewhat insurmountable. Furthermore, in the second-half, Man City completed just 75 passes, in comparison to the first-half where they completed 188 passes.
Man of the Match:
Samir Nasri has received criticism for his role in the Manchester City squad since his move from Arsenal, but during yesterday’s game he was pivotal. As well as getting on the scoresheet with a skilful volley, 91% of his passes were successful and the Frenchman proved to be a persistent thorn. Nasri made 2 key passes and his movement saw him drift into the middle of the pitch to enter the space which had been created by Aguero and Negredo ahead of him – by doing this, the Frenchman also created room on the left-flank for Aleksandar Kolarov to burst into, thus making Man United vulnerable from wide-attacks.
As you can see from the graph, there was a huge gulf in class between the two sides on the day. After City’s first goal on 11 minutes, the Blues accelerated away from their cross-city rivals, and this is reflected in the graphic above. Pellegrini’s side were comfortable throughout the game and, if it wasn’t for Wayne Rooney’s fantastic free-kick, it is unlikely that United’s Performance Score would have finished in positive numbers.
Man City were completely at ease from the moment Aguero’s first goal passed David De Gea’s furious eyes – whilst Man Utd’s Score did rise once Moyes made changes to his midfield, there was no way that Pellegrini’s men were ever going to allow them back into the game.
Man City completely overran their rivals on the flanks, and this was partly because of the Red Devils’ wingers’ reluctance to track-back. As you can see from the graph below, Antonio Valencia left Smalling exposed to Kolarov and Nasri, which opened up a plethora of opportunities for City. This occurred for the Blues’ first goal – Valencia failed to track Kolorov’s run whilst Smalling was occupied with Nasri, allowing the full-back the time to cross to Aguero.
In attack, Manchester United looked completely devoid of creativity and urgency; Rooney and Welbeck were isolated and in the first-half. Furthermore, in the first-half Man United did not have a single shot on target, nor did they create a chance. However, when they did get the ball into promising positions, the brilliance of Kompany stifled any hopes they had of coming back into the game.
Man United cried out for Marouanne Fellaini to be pushed higher up the pitch, to support of Rooney, the gulf between the Belgian and his new team-mate was far too wide for any significant attacks to take place. When this was eventually corrected, it was too late for Man United to comeback into the game. Pushing Fellaini higher up the pitch, or simply starting the game with a more creative minded midfielder such as Shinji Kagawa, would have offered United more attacking options.The statistics highlight this too, looking below at Man United’s key passes from the derby, it is clear the champions lacked creativity from central areas in the final third.
Man City’s tempo, intelligence and desire to win was incredible on Sunday. Both on and off the ball they showed great maturity and looked completely in control, even when they did not have the ball. However, for Man United, Moyes must learn from this result. His side’s lack of defensive cover in wide-areas, was a key component in a number of City’s goals. While going forward, United lacked a central creator, this hindered the likes of Welbeck, who thrive from through balls, rather than crosses from out-wide.
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