Manchester United vs Manchester City: 3 things that we learnt from the game
Manchester Derbies of late have almost always been high scoring matches, with the likes of Rooney, Aguero, Mata or Silva gracing the occasion with a spectacular goal or an assist. However, this game turned out to be quite opposite from the recent trend, with both teams trying to play it cautiously, with the result being a drab draw.
1. It’s Time To Drop Rooney
Wayne Rooney has been a phenomenal player for Manchester Unites over the years, and Louis van Gaal made him the captain since his arrival from Netherlands. This season, however, Wayne has looked very poor. The Manchester Derby was the one shot he had at really correcting his faults, but even in this game he failed miserably as the lone striker up front, with 0 touches in the opposition box, 0 take one, 0 chances created and a passing accuracy of only 55%. Maybe it is time for van Gaal to bench his captain, reshuffle the squad and give the English International sometime to get back into his game, and make him realize that football isn’t only about running and working hard, that the club and the fans expect much, much more from someone of his stature.
2. Play Martial Up Front
As part of the move that would see Rooney on the substitutes list, van Gaal can afford to play Anthony Martial upfront. The young French forward had been utilized as a left winger in place of an inconsistent Memphis Depay, and he has impressed one and all in the 2 games he has played in that position. Last night, he had 81% passing accuracy, 13 take one and also created 1 chance. However, most people feel that the no. 9 role is where we will truly flourish even better, and with Rooney squandering chance after chance, Martial’s pace and skill will offer a much more potent threat. He already has 4 goals playing in that position, so no one can really doubt his ability there.
3. The Defence Look Sorted
This was the 11th game on a stretch that United didn’t lose having Chris Smalling and Phil Jones as the centre-back partnership. Smalling has been immense this season, marshaling the troops at the back and snuffing out almost any danger down the middle. Last night, however, both the fullbacks also put in excellent shifts, with Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo both snuffing out the threat City’s players, especially De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling offered on the wings. Rojo so far has been brilliant in covering up for the long term absentee Luke Shaw, while Antonio has been good in covering up for the slightly off-form Matteo Darmian. The defence was United’s Achilles heel last season, but it finally seems set now.