Manchester United have endured a difficult start to this season’s campaign having lost six times in all competitions and managed to stumble their way to 15 points in the Premier League, these performances have prompted considerable criticism and concern.
Red Devils limped over the line against Copenhagen in the Champions League on Tuesday night, after Andre Onana’s glorious stoppage-time penalty save.
Manchester City inflicted more pain on Manchester United with a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford to close the points gap between the Premier League leaders Tottenham.
Manchester City striker Haaland opened the lead through a penalty spot midway through the first half and headed in a second just after half-time before setting up Phil Foden for City’s third.
The Cityzens were outside the top four after an indifferent start to their title defense. But Pep Guardiola’s men were the favorites for an unprecedented fourth consecutive English top-flight title as they moved up to third.
This fifth defeat in 10 league games this season has left the Red Devils down into eighth position and 11 points off the top four.
The United legend Bobby Charlton, was remembered again today before the kick-off as legends from both clubs that played with and against the 1966 World Cup winner were introduced onto the pitch before a minute’s applause.
United had won their previous three games after their miserable start to the season, in a dramatic way against Brentford, Sheffield United, and FC Copenhagen in the UAEF Champions League.
This derby was a litmus test by Erik ten Hag’s men and they were found wanting despite City taking 45 minutes to hit the net.
Andre Onana’s penalty glorious save in midweek could have proven to be the turning point in the Cameroonian goalkeeper’s career at Old Trafford but the United skipper has suffered an even more embarrassing afternoon.
However, the former inter-Milan keeper could not repeat his heroics from the penalty spot when VAR intervened to award City their first penalty at Old Trafford since 1992.
Hojlund had a huge chance to correct his blunders which led to a penalty as he pounced on a slack Foden pass to burst clear on goal post.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was visibly furious and frustrated as his side’s poor passing gave United chances to counter-attack with Scott McTominay’s strike as a big chance to equalize.
Onana denied Haaland’s powerful header if not visitors would have led 2-0 by the break but his remarkable stop was brilliant.
City took complete control but Onana’s fine save denied Haaland his second Manchester derby hat-trick.
The city’s third goal made thousands of United fans head for the exits and many showed their displeasure with Ten Hag’s decision to take off Hojlund.
Martin Keown has blasted the United’s displays under Erik Ten Hag and feels the manager could be just a few more defeats away from the sack if he is treated like some of his predecessors.
The Arsenal legend, Keown told TalkSports when asked if he thought Ten Hag was still the right man for the United job, he said: “Not from what I’m seeing right now.”
“If this was Mourinho in situ then I’m pretty certain all the former players would be on the bandwagon now and saying they want him out.
I don’t know whether or not his public relations are very good but what I’m seeing with my own eyes, I don’t see a convincing performance.
Now, because he’s getting results, he’s in there fighting, he’s got a chance. ‘It doesn’t matter what people believe or what they think, it’s about turning around results.