Manchester City drubbed Manchester United 6-3 at the Etihad on Sunday. It was an utter dismantling that was not as close as the final score implies. Let’s look at where the arrows were pointing up and down. First, the positives.
Hat Tricks - City’s two young stars both bagged three goals against the Stretford Reds. Haaland’s hatty was the first by a Manchester City player in the Derby since 1970. Not to be outdone, Foden became the second just 8 minutes later. Erling also became the first player in the history of the Premier League to score hat tricks in 3 consecutive home matches.
Manuel Akanji - Akanji is making a strong case for being a nailed-on starter at centre-half for Pep Guardiola. Since being added for £15 million at the end of the summer transfer window to alleviate some injury concerns at the position, Manu has surpassed all expectations. His calm, cerebral defensive play at the back against United was just the latest example of his quality.
Sergio Gomez - Kyle Walker, who was making his return to the City lineup, went off injured just before the halftime whistle. Gomez was subbed on for Walker and swapped sides with starting left back Joao Cancelo. Gomez was steady at the back of Guardiola’s formation and made strong contributions to the attack as well. Sergio had the assist on the third Haaland goal and let it be known he can be counted in if needed.
Defensive Health - Aymeric Laporte made his season debut as a second-half substitute after his return from last season’s knee injury. But with John Stones coming back from England duty with a hamstring problem and Walker coming off injured in the first half on Sunday, City’s back line continues to have health issues. Throw in the surprise scratch of Rodri and Kalvin Philips’ shoulder in the defensive midfield, and City may need to piece it together over the next few matches.
The Away End - Not to pour salt in an open wound, but City’s 4-0 first-half outburst had many United supporters headed for the exits before Michael Oliver blew the halftime whistle. If travelling City fans left a match before the break, surely social media would be ruthless in its criticism. United fans were optimistic that Erik Ten Hag’s side could a get result ahead of this tilt, but they were witness this day to just how far they still have to go.
There you have it Cityzens, What did you see as the positives and negatives from City’s dominant Derby day performance? Let us know in the comments, and stay with us for more here at Bitter and Blue.