Pep Guardiola once again gets the better of Jose Mourinho. The historic Manchester Derby was headlined by the two newly appointed managers, with focus on their storied history. A huge first half propelled Manchester City to a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester United, giving Guardiola his eighth win to Mourinho’s three.
Four takeaways from the Manchester Derby
No Aguero? No Problem!
Sergio Aguero was suspended for the big derby match due to elbowing West Ham’s Winston Reid in their previous match. Without Aguero, City put their attacking depth on display. Iheanacho proved that he is capable of performing in big games and that he can bang in the goals. Sterling was solid, Nolito convinced that he is a versatile threat on the outside. Leroy Sane made his debut and nearly got an assist with a lovely pass that De Bruyne hit the post with. The depth in Manchester City is amazing. Their ability to win even without Aguero is even more.
Marcus Rashford needs to start
Marcus Rashford should not be on the bench and the Derby proved it. Once he came in, the United attack immediately improved. Sagna was having to come back way more than he did in the first half. Rashford adds a new element to United’s attack that needs to be there every week. Rashford, if used properly, will not just be great in the future, but is a really good option right now for United.
De Bruyne haunts Mourinho
In January 2014 De Bruyne was sold from Chelsea, ending a transfer saga where the attacking mid was ousted from Mourinho’s side. Now back with Manchester City De Bruyne has effectively removed his “flop” status he had when he left Chelsea. He was world class in the Derby, scoring a goal and almost bagging a second.
Manchester United’s center backs were exposed
Eric Bailly, as seen in the games before the Derby, has been an instant impactful player for Manchester United. He needs more time to fully adjust, however. Bailly was exposed a bit by the first goal, but not nearly as much as partner Daley Blind. Blind is a stopgap centerback who cannot start at center back for a team looking to win the Premier League. He was exposed by De Bruyne and was often dragged around by the Manchester City attacking line. Center back will most definitely be a position of need in the January transfer window for Manchester United.