Sergio Aguero, Manchester City Dominate Manchester United in 3-1 Derby Win

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistNovember 11, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City scores his team's second goal past David De Gea of Manchester United while being challenged by Victor Lindelof of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Manchester City reclaimed top spot in the Premier League after a 3-1 derby win over Manchester United on Sunday. David Silva, Sergio Augero and substitute Ilkay Gundogan got the goals for last season's champions at the Etihad Stadium. 

United had made it 2-1 in the second half when Anthony Martial scored from the penalty spot after Ederson felled Romelu Lukaku in box.


Mahrez's Form Must Make Him 1st Choice Over Sane

He made way for Leroy Sane just after the hour mark, but Riyad Mahrez had done enough to prove why he should continue to be first choice ahead of the Germany international.

Mahrez disrupted United's gameplan.
Mahrez disrupted United's gameplan.OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

The former Leicester City man has added a new dimension to City, namely genuine width. It caused United a host of problems, with the Red Devils setting up a team to flood the central pockets between the midfield and forward lines.

United's approach was intended to deny central schemers David Silva and Bernardo Silva the room to create. Yet the away side couldn't get near either Silva, particularly on Mahrez's side of the pitch.

His ability to stretch United's defensive block out of shape by hugging the touchline meant there was more room for Bernardo Silva to roam. It also helped wreck United's man-marking brief:

James Ducker @TelegraphDucker

Herrera tasked with man-marking David Silva, but loses him then. Matic looks like he's tasked with keeping tight to Bernardo, too

Mahrez added more variety to his movement after the break, and his perceptive runs centrally ruined the balance of United's back four. It was most obvious for City's second goal when Mahrez drifted infield and took left-back Luke Shaw with him.

Shaw going into the middle meant centre-back Victor Lindelof was forced a little wider to track Aguero. Lindelof was uncomfortable moving laterally and couldn't get near Aguerowhen the striker received Mahrez's cute layoff and slammed the ball past David De Gea.

An assist and a pattern of movement United couldn't decipher proved Mahrez's increasing value. His less fashionable contributions are one more reason why he should keep Sane on the outside looking in:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

Mahrez has been winning the ball back in his own half loads recently. With that kind of approach, as well as his creativity in attack and the fact he can cut inside, it’s not a huge surprise that he’s starting instead of Sane

City paid £60 million to bring Mahrez to Manchester. It's time to justify the fee with regular starts for the 27-year-old.


Lukaku Gives United an Identity in Attack

United have been winning without him recently, but even in defeat, Romelu Lukakuproved why his team needs him in attack. The Belgium international gives the Reds an identity up top.

Lukaku briefly made a difference for United.
Lukaku briefly made a difference for United.OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Specifically, Lukaku offers United a focal point, an obvious target man for more direct passing. It may sound predictable, but United can go long more often with Lukaku's pace and aerial power to aim for.

One ball over the top and into the channel set Lukaku free and caused panic in the City defence. The confusion saw Ederson bring the former Everton star down and concede the penalty Martial tucked away.

Lukaku's introduction gave United brief hope of snatching an unlikely and undeserved point.

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

Well done Romelu Lukaku. Huge impact as soon as he comes on, should do his confidence the world of good. Classy penalty from Martial.

While playing Alexis Sanchez or Marcus Rashford through the middle offers United greater pace and fluidity along the forward line, this team has a more coherent way of creating chances.

Going long to Lukaku and having runners from wide and central midfield areas link with him is the Red Devils' most effective route to goal.


What's Next

United host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford following the international break on November 24. City will be away to West Ham United on the same day.