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Sky Blue News: Cleaning Up the Derby, Erling Breaks Expectations, Young Guns, and More...

Tuesday headlines from BnB

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Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

It's Tuesday and it's time to tuck away the 188th Manchester Derby. Manchester City are in preparation to host FC Copenhagen in the UCL on Wednesday night. Lucky for us, we still have time to take another look back at the glorious events of Sunday here at Sky Blue News.

Five Things We Learned: Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United (Premier League) - Nathan Allen - City Xtra

Five Things from Nathan, and he saved the absolute best for last.

The Gap is as Big as Ever

The most striking thing about this thrashing is that it hardly registers as a surprise anymore.

United’s demise has been well-documented since Sir Alex Ferguson departed and, though they’ve had a few encouraging results in recent weeks, it’s telling that a 6-3 drubbing is barely considered unusual in a Manchester Derby anymore.

Just think how often City fans bring up the 6-1 at Old Trafford eleven years ago - will we still be talking about this win as much in a decade?

Probably not, because City have become so dominant in Manchester that the element of shock has completely vanished from these big scorelines.

It was especially pleasing to see City win comfortably at Old Trafford, which has typically been a fairly happy hunting ground for United. What I’m trying to say is this: even if they’ve managed to bag a competent manager and a couple of good signings, the days of United being genuine title challengers are still some years away from a return.

3 Up & 2 Down: Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United - CITYZENDuck - Bitter and Blue

So many positives for City, but of course the headliner is the onslaught of goals form Pep’s 2 young dons.

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.

3 Up

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.

Haaland makes Premier League hat-trick history - Sky Sports

What can be said to capture the utter force that is Erling Braut Haaland? He makes it look all too easy.

Haaland had already written his name into the history books before kick-off, with his competition-high nine goals in his first five Premier League appearances.

And he followed his home hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest with an historic treble against Erik ten Hag’s team.

Haaland was also the first City player to score a hat-trick in the derby in the Premier League, and the first in the top flight since Francis Lee in December 1970.

His feats are underlined by the fact that he eviscerated Michael Owen’s mark of being the fastest player to score three Premier League hat-tricks. While Owen needed 48 matches to get a hat-trick of hat-tricks, Haaland required only eight.

Erling Haaland becomes only the 14th player EVER to score a perfect 10/10 rating in L’Equipe after ripping Manchester United apart with a hat-trick and two assists as Man City embarrassed their arch-rivals 6-3 - Sam McEvoy - The Daily Mail

Haaland receives a rare helping of the highest praise from le journal Francaise.

French publication L’Equipe are notoriously picky when it comes to player performances and do not give high marks to players too easily - often severely punishing players with dreadfully low scores if they do not meet par.

But they could not find any fault with Haaland as he, and Foden, walked away with the match ball on Sunday afternoon.

Messi is the only player in history to have achieved the rating twice, getting it against Arsenal in 2010 and again against Bayer Leverkusen two years later.

Alban Lafont was the most recent player to have been awarded a 10/10 before Haaland, with the Frenchman becoming the third goalkeeper in history for getting the score for his efforts against PSG last season.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden React to Manchester Derby Win, Hat tricks - Saul Garcia - Bitter and Blue

Our lads had a day to remember against United. Saul has it for us in their own words.

Two local lads and supporters, Phil Foden and Erling Haaland ran roughshod on the United players and fans. From the shushing of the haters by Foden and the incredible maneuvers by Haaland to score, this game had it all.

Now, both players react...

Haaland reaction

“Yeah, not bad! We scored six goals, what can you say?

“It’s amazing, to win at home and score six goals, yeah, it’s nice.

“I felt it a little bit before the game that something special is going to happen and we saw today that some special things happened. It was nice.

“This is what I love about this team. In the end it’s amazing.

“Confidence is good, it’s always been good. After we played against Liverpool in the Community Shield it was still good after. I think it was good that match happened, that something happened and [I thought] I have to be a bit more ready.”

“We get one ball each, one for the first half and one for the second half!”


Phil thinks the arrow is still pointing up for his partnership with his large Norwegian friend.

The pair dovetailed superbly on an afternoon that will long be remembered by every City fan.

And Foden believes that Sunday’s demolition derby only scratched at the surface of the pair’s potential and understanding with Haaland having only joined the Club from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

“We are definitely getting more used to Erling within the team, and I am building a connection with him which is nice to see,” Foden reflected.

“He’s such a big talent and I am just enjoying playing with him.

“He is such a new player and we are all still getting used to playing with him.

“It’s scary to think what he has already done in the team, and he is not even settled yet. It is still a new partnership.

Erik ten Hag invites Man United players to ‘criticise each other’ after Man City thrashing - Rob Dawson - ESPN

And finally... Some schadenfreude from Carrington on a beautiful Tuesday morning.

Ten Hag branded the result as a “hammering” and put the performance down to a lack of belief among his players.

“It’s an open door,” Ten Hag said. “This performance is unacceptable. As a team and as individuals we will criticise each other and then we will learn the lessons and we have to do better, starting the next game.”

Ten Hag was equally critical of his team following the 4-0 defeat to Brentford in August.

In response to the performance at the Gtech Community Stadium, the Dutchman cancelled a planned day off for his players and forced them to make up the extra running recorded by Brentford’s players during the game.

However, Ten Hag suggested the problem against City was a mental one rather than an issue with work rate.

“The punishment had a reason; they [Brentford] out-run us and we didn’t work hard enough,” he said.

“[Against City] it is also mental but it’s a different mental issue. It’s belief. “I also told the players [in the dressing room] it’s a lack of belief.

There you have it. City are back in UEFA Champions League action tomorrow against FC Copenhagen. Stay with us for all the latest at Bitter and Blue.