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3 Up & 2 Down: Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City

Trends from the loss at Old Trafford.

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

Manchester City suffered defeat at the hands of their bitter rivals, Manchester United. Here’s a look at the trending storylines after a controversial loss in the 189th Manchester Derby.

3 Up

Super Jack - In one of the brighter spots for City, Jack Grealish came on early in the second half. Grealish nearly immediately influenced the match from his position on the right. In the same minute that he came on the pitch, Jack found his way onto the end of a beautifully placed Kevin De Bruyne cross which he headed past David De Gea for the opening goal.

Fatigue - It was bound to be a story one way or the other, but with 16 of City’s first-team players having participated in the World Cup, they look tired. The usual pace and tempo seem to be missing at the moment. Even when they score, they look more relieved than exuberant. This squad needs rest, and they are unlikely to find it soon.

Questions - What is wrong with City’s defensive setup? Have the league figured out Erling Haaland? Will the Sky Blues be able to recapture their top form in time to challenge for the title? So many questions that need answering. A derby loss can often bring these types of questions to the fore, but these don’t seem to have easy solutions.

2 Down

Defending - This has been a growing concern for some time. Pep Guardiola’s defenders have not lived up to the standard set in recent years. Early in the season, City were banging in goals at such a rate that teams were bludgeoned into putting everyone behind the ball to avoid being run off the pitch. Now the goals have slowed down and the opposition is emboldened to test the defences. The results have been poor for the Blues.

Offside - Okay. It was offside. So clearly offside. Marcus Rashford interfered with the Manchester City defence’s ability to play the ball and he did so from an offside position. City played poorly defensively as well, but the goal had to be disallowed. If that goal wasn’t given, City had just 12 more minutes of regulation time left to hold on for all three points. A poor decision by the referee changed everything.

There you have it Cityzens. An absolute gut punch from the Rags. All that is left for City to do is pick themselves up and go again.