Leaders Manchester City beat arch rivals Manchester United 3-1 in the all-important Manchester Derby. Goals in both halves from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi were enough for the City to seal the three points. This win has extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points. Despite almost half the season completed, City has only dropped points in one game so far.
KEY TALKING POINTS
Title race over?
Whether you Call it Manchester City’s ruthlessness or the inefficiency of the chasing pack, by all means, the title race is over. It’s hard to imagine a gulf so big being made up. Adding to that the league champions normally lose up to 3-5 games in the season, the nearest in the chasing pack Manchester United have already lost three games. It would take a miracle for the Premier League title to not return to Etihad.
Huge gulf in quality
Last season both United and City appointed two super coaches. Both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola came with high expecations to Manchester. Both have massively invested in their club. It can be quite confidently both underachieved in the league last season. This season, however, there is a massive gulf of quality which was visible tonight. It was evident that City is a team good enough to compete for top honors, while United still only for a top 4 place.
Lukaku’s poor form
Manchester United’s big summer signing Romelelu Lukaku had hit the ground running with 7 goals in his first 7 games. Since then, the Belgian has hit a massive blip. Things only got worse for him on Sunday night with him having direct contributions in both City goals with poor defensive work. Off the five games against the top 6, Lukaku hasn’t scored a goal and assisted only one. He has scored one league goal since the start of October. It is now something that has become a serious concern for the Red Devils. They need better more from their no 9. Perhaps its high time for Mourinho to bench Lukaku.
The difference in quality in the United side without Paul Pogba was visible once again. Without him, the teams lack any sort of creativity or attacking force from midfield. There is nobody in the side except for him who can change the course of a match by himself. It is an area Jose Mourinho will have to find a solution too.
Guardiola v Mourinho
Pep Guardiola vs Jose Mourino is probably the biggest managerial rivalry of all time. Many had claimed their tenure in Manchester to be the decider in determining who the greater manager is. So far, Pep Guardiola’s team seem to be doing much better than Mourinho’s. In their 3 meetings, Mourinho hasn’t won a single game. Their overall head to head stands to 4 wins for Jose in 20 games. Surely Guardiola has got a massive edge on Mourinho. Has he proved to be the superior manager?