No one was confident going into the game and the 90 minutes reflected the chasmic gap between the two Manchester clubs. City started like a house on fire with De Bruyne’s opener. Sancho levelled after a great bit of play but we didn’t see much of that after. De Bruyne added to his tally and Mahrez would grab a double too. Once the third went in the 70th min, those that were in a red shirt essentially threw the towel in. While there was competition in the first, the second was a battering. A scoreline befitting of the performance that they put in with that second half.
Rangnick has been changing the full backs but it did seem that the two full backs that were stalwarts under Ole, Shaw and Wan Bissaka, had lost their place to the understudies, Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot. The absence of Shaw today with COVID, Varane as well, meant that Telles would come back in after he had his own COVID case a few weeks back. Wan Bissaka’s recent inclusion has been inexplicable considering the fact that Dalot, whilst not offering anything as much as want from a full back, hadn’t played badly enough to warrant losing his place.
The two who started today had a wretched time of things. In the case of Wan Bissaka, the poorness began with others around him and it eventually fed into his performance. The pass that started Sancho’s goal came from a nice lofted one into Pogba from Wan Bissaka. However, the usual things that Wan Bissaka does that makes him such a grating figure was littered throughout the game. If there is one position where intensity is incredibly important and really should be a necessity it is the full back area. How Wan Bissaka has managed to make at this level while playing as sluggishly as he does is the main wonder I have about him. The Foden moment where he barges him off the ball is a good summation of the issues Wan Bissaka has and will continue to have if he thinks he can play football at that low ebb he currently does.
As for Telles, as much as he is intense, or tries to be, the lack of physicality in his game is such a huge cap on his game that there is a now way there is a future where a capable team has him as their starting LB in the Premier League. The fact that he usually looks to cross first or does so from such deep positions is because he knows that once he is closed down, he won’t be able to get a yard through good feet or a change of pace. Technically, his main prowess lies in that he can strike it very well but his passing isn’t great in the first or second phase. Defensively, he is regularly all over the place. He covers the back post well and does win a lot of headers but that’s pretty much the only redeemable feature. Yes Wan Bissaka should stop the cross on the first goal but the lack of awareness to be on your toes when De Bruyne is in the middle of the box is criminal. City played almost exclusively on their left hand side and somehow you’ll still come out of the game thinking Mahrez had the better of the duel. It shows how badly the Brazilian played
Rangnick’s set up was working well but once City figured it out, essentially block the passes into the two false 9s, then it fell flat. It seemed like plan A was the only plan and it wasn’t a thing where we kept going at it, we just stopped playing. Even more sobering was the fact that even when the changes came in Rashford and Lingard, it actually got worse.
Bruno Fernandes in the big games is such a non factor that he manages to stay on the pitch is just based on the idea that he can fashion something out of the 1000s nothing he tries in a game. When he is playing as bad as he did today, it becomes such an eyesore to watch him try to play football.
I spoke about the substitutions before but really it was quite embarrassing that Rashford and Lingard were walking around as much as everyone. In a Manchester Derby, the two youngsters from the academy, their work rate was what made the fans love them but now, it looks as if they couldn’t give shit anytime they step on the pitch.