Manchester United vs. Manchester City: 5 Things We Learned
It has been some time since a Manchester derby has meant so little to United and so much to City. The home side, the champions, had nothing to play for but pride, whilst City are chasing down Chelsea for their second Premier League title.
When comparing the two squads, it is clear that City's is the strongest but when rivals play against each other you can never predict what will happen.
However, it turns out that last night's match actually was a very predictable occasion, with City easily beating United 3-0. But what did we learn from the game?
City Are so Much Better Than United
You probably didn't need a 3-0 scoreline to prove it, but the gulf in class between City and United is huge. Despite United looking stronger towards half-time, after the shock early goal, City stepped it up in the second half.
United had more possession but the game was played on City's terms. They dictated play and created good chances when they had the ball. United, in contrast, did very little with it when in possession.
Mata Isn't Leaving His Mark
If Vicente del Bosque was watching last night's derby in a bid to help him make his selection for the World Cup, there's no doubt that David Silva will have a seat on the plane to Rio. Juan Mata, in contrast, who left Chelsea to improve his chances of going to the World Cup, didn't do enough to impress.
Mata should be United's Silva but it was the City man who pulled all the strings, whilst Mata remained on the periphery. He saw plenty of the ball but didn't do much with it, unlike Silva.
Mata had a great chance to level the score just before half-time but blasted the ball over the bar. We can only imagine how many times he will play that over in his head.
Rooney Putting in Decent Bid for Captain's Armband
Wayne Rooney put in a shift for United, putting in as much effort going forward as he did tracking back and making crucial blocks or tackles. He spent the evening chewing the ear off referee Michael Oliver, too.
Rooney has more Manchester derby goals than any other player and will obviously have been keen to add to that tally. He barely threatened Joe Hart's goal, with just the one shot on target which resulted in a tame save, but he was one of the few United players who played with any passion.
With Nemanja Vidic leaving in the summer, Rooney does his bid for the captaincy no harm with performances like that.
United Need a Fernandinho
Marouane Fellaini's second half substitution was met with ironic cheers from the Stretford End. Truth be told, he wasn't that bad, but he certainly wasn't the imposing figure that used to play at Old Trafford against United for Everton.
In contrast, Fernandinho was an impressive and composed figure for the Sky Blues. What United would give to have a midfielder who could put in a performance like that.
Moyes Is a Dead Man Walking
Moyes has led United to two 3-0 defeats against hated rivals in less than a fortnight. United have now lost seven of the 15 games they have played at home. Against the top three teams they have played six games, won none of them, drawn just one and lost all the others. Against teams in the top half of the table they have played 15 and won just two, losing nine.
He will probably have until the end of the season but there is surely no way the Glazer family will give him a second season in charge.