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Work rate

In their 4-2-3-1 system City needed to move the ball forward quickly, get strong support out wide from full-back and flood the grass around the lone striker when the ball entered the box. But they never tested United, who passed the ball better, used the width well and had greater work-rate, particularly from Carlos Tevez, Park Ji-sung and Darren Fletcher.
>>David Pleat

My brother was at the match yesterday and one of the stark observations (much easier 'live' rather than watching TV) from his viewpoint was the contrasting work rate between our midfield and attack in comparison to United's.

At home, this of course will not be such an issue as opposing sides are less likely to press us (naturally being more cautious) and we possess the attacking quality to be able to win at home more often than not. Away from home however, this will hurt us where naturally, a stronger work ethic is required going up against a side whose (in theory) should be taking the game to us far more. All of this may well be a likely explanation of why we have struggled so much away from.

If we are to progress next season, and realistically challenge the top four (which has to be the aim) this area is the one Hughes must not only address in the summer, but find a resolution to.