Manchester Derby: 6 Things Learnt from the Manchester United Massacre
The score read 6-1 at the "Theatre of Dreams" in full time.
Roberto Mancini's squad of superstars had led to waste Sir Alex's dreams of doing an Invincible like the Gunners. Goals from Balotelli and Aguero had already decided the fate of the match, but then Dzeko applied the topping to the sweet revenge for City as he scored a brace to guide United's cross-city rivals to their biggest win in over a century.
The scoreline was only a spectacle for the eye and its implications were even greater than what the scoreline provided. In the following slides, we take a look into the half-dozen things (an ode to City's six goal treat) that we learned from City's humiliation of United.
Fergie's Days Are over and Mancini Is the New Boss in Town
As proved by the scoreline, Sir Alex was completely outclassed by his counterpart Roberto Mancini.
The Italian tactician got his formation and tactics completely right as his team of richly-paid superstars tore apart Sir Alex's not-so-impressive Red Devils'.
His 4-2-3-1 formation gave Balotelli freedom to move around behind Aguero, causing mayhem in the United defence. Balotelli did just what was expected from him. He took his chances, scored the opener and sealed the match with his 60th-minute strike. As was proved in the Chelsea-United match, the 4-2-3-1 formation gives Sir Alex a lot of headaches, as it exploits the gaps in his midfield quite easily.
Mancini used that same formation, which ultimately led to United's end of dominance over their derby counterparts.
United Are Dependent on Luck Most of the Time
In most of the previous times United had scampered past their crosstown rivals on favored refereeing decisions or sheer luck.
Though the United fans vehemently deny the fact that their club owes most of their success to lady-luck, it is undeniable that Sir Alex and his squad are extremely lucky. In their past meeting, United had scored the winner against City on an extended stoppage time.
On Sunday, though, luck seemed to have left the Red Devils, as they were crushed 6-1 by Balotelli & Co. United had dominated the first half of the match, but failed to score any goals. By the time Balotelli scored his second, there was an uneasy feeling that United were going to be humiliated.
The scoreline proved that United wins many of their games purely on luck—and not all the motivating trash talks that they speak about. As had been evident against Chelsea and Norwich, it was a lucky United who had won, and not some tireless and motivated team. So with Sir Alex out of luck, Roberto Mancini's superstars shattered United's dreams in their "Theatre of Dreams."
Not Every Premier League Referee Is a Webb or Foy
As was proved again, the refereeing this time did not go in United's favour—much to United's dismay.
Mark Clattenburg did not let the Old Trafford crowd force him to make mistakes in the Red Devils' favor, unlike his idiotic colleague, Chris Foy, whose stupid decisions cost the Blues more than three points. The referee had the match in his control all the time, and was very strict on both sets of players.
It was a different picture from regular scenes of Webb and Foy (they are United's paid servants) acting as United's 12th man in the field. There was no partial decisions nor any unfair calls against the Red Devils. Evans could have escaped the red-card miraculously if Webb or Foy had been there at Old Trafford. But Clattenburg did not even wink before welding the red card to Evans.
With neither the referee nor luck to help them, the Red Devils fizzled out without a whimper.
Johny Evans Is More of an Over-Rated Star Than a Real Gem
As has been said over the seasons, Evans has been more of Sir Alex's blunder than a prized catch.
The youngster has, over the past two seasons, done very little to be judged as the replacement for Rio Ferdinand. His mistakes have been regularly occasional over the past years. At 23 years of age, he has already got loads of chances to prove his worth, but he has failed each time except his debut season.
His red card not only destroyed Fergie's faith in him, as he was preferred ahead of Phil Jones, but also might have become the start of his United career's end. It has been proved that the Irishman does not have the quality to play for a club of United's stature, and it is better if Sir Alex starts giving the more-talented Jones more playing time.
The red-card in Sunday's derby only underlined the critics' judgement that Evans is highly overrated.
United Fans Are Worse Than Their Rival Counterparts
A few weeks backs the electronic scoreboard in Old Trafford read:
The match was not yet over but you could still hear the Gooners singing out loud trying to cheer and motivate their team for a last minute resurgence.
A couple of weeks back, the scoreboard read:
Manchester United 3
The match was not yet over and the Blues' fans, who are often blamed for lack of passion for their club, could be heard singing songs and club chant to motivate their impressive team, who were giving the fight back to United.
On Sunday, when Balotelli scored the first of his brace, the "Theater of Dreams" went into complete silence. Only the ecstatic City fans could be heard. There were no chants, no songs, no cheers from the United fans to motivate their team who were reeling under immense City attack. The handful of fans still chanting went silent too when Balotelli scored his and City's second.
Old Trafford resembled a cemetery, except for the howling City fans, with several United fans leaving the stadium much before full time.
It only brought to light that Red Devils' fans are worse than their rival fans in passion for their club.
City's Rise Is Bad News for England's Top Clubs
Mancini's squad of highly-paid superstars have already started proving their worth in gold from the start of the season.
Their 6-1 demolition of United not only underlined their superiority, but also sent out a warning to the top clubs in England. They look like a team with a purpose, and their confidence is now sky-high. Given the momentum they have generated, it will really get difficult for the other top teams to keep up pace with them.
The way they demolished United must have caught the eye of the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. City are now definitely a title-favourite, and the other teams have a lot of work to do if they are to stop City from winning their debut EPL title. But with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all looking frail this season, it might get too much for the traditional Top Four to handle.