WOW what a game that was. Truly lived up to the status of being a derby game. There was disappointment, joy, excitement, aggression, everything. It was a joy to watch considering this being the least build up we’ve had to a derby game in a long time.
With the title practically won, City needed just one more win to seal the earliest ever title in Premier League history. At halftime, the celebrations had begun in the Etihad, only for us to spoil it. Because of our win, City will no longer have the earliest title win, most points accumulated or a double over Manchester United. Not to forget the once in a lifetime opportunity to win the league against your local rivals.
Anyway, to begin with, I shall be doing this player ratings in a new way. Since this game was played in two huge contrasts, I’ll be giving two ratings for each player – One for the first half, one for the second. So lets begin.
David De Gea – 4/10, 10/10
He was at fault for the second City goal to begin with. He gifted the ball to Sane and he started the surge forward. However, in the second half he saved a close range header from Aguero and cleared a ball of the line.
Antonio Valencia – 3/10, 7/10
Tony kept getting turned inside out by Sane and didn’t act as any sort of protection on his flank. In the second half he was much more solid and though he didn’t particularly stand out, he got the job done.
Mike Smalling- 3/10, 10/10
In one sentence, Chris Smalling turned up in the first half and Mike Smalling in the second. The first goal we conceded was a carbon copy of the goal Kompany scored against us in the 2012 season. On both accounts, Smalling was at fault. He did redeem himself by scoring the winner and spoiling City’s party in their own home ground.
Eric Bailly – 4/10, 8/10
The first half was one of Bailly’s worst in a United shirt. He did have trouble keeping up with City’s false 9 movements. In the second half however, he dealt with the likes of Aguero, Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne. He also made some key interceptions.
Ashley Young – 5/10, 9/10
One of the better defenders in the first half, Young, was alive throughout the game. He made really key challenges and at times was lucky to not get booked. Though I still believe we need new fullbacks, I respect how Young always turns up when we need him.
Ander Herrera – 6/10, 9/10
Easily the best player in the second half. He kept the tempo up and did a half decent job of taking David Silva out of the game. In the second half he completely played the City midfield out of the park. An extremely passionate and spirited performance by Ander. Won plenty of hearts.
Nemanja Matic – 3/10, 9/10
Another player who had one of his worst halves in a United shirt. He got turned brutally for the second City goal. But he made sure he didn’t repeat any of his follies in the second half.
Paul Pogba – 4/10, 10/10
Paul Labile Pogba! He received tons of hate and abuse from everyone including our own fans for turning up with blue hair. He tried a lot in the first half but it just wasn’t coming through. In the second half he completely upped his ante and inspired one of the best derby comebacks of all time. His two successive goals were a testament to his mental strength. This is what happens when you don’t play him as a holding midfielder.
Jesse Lingard – 3/10, 6/10
He didn’t really make much of a difference in either half but his forward runs and constant pressing often worried the City centre backs
Alexis Sanchez – 4/10, 10/10
As ineffective as any forward player in the first half. His second half heroics were one of the main reasons for the comeback. He completely took charge of the front line and provided two assists. That’s why we traded him for Mkhi. I can not imagine Mkhitaryan taking responsibility under so much criticism and pressure and turning up with a second half performance like that.
Romelu Lukaku – 3/10, 6/10
Again, largely ineffective throughout the game. He had the job of swinging De Gea’s long shots over to Lingard. He did it most of the time but not with the precision from the Liverpool game.
So those were my ratings for the derby game. Let us know if you agree with it and leave your ratings in the comments. Looking forward to some more interesting football from United in the closing games. GGMU!