Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Man Utd were “obliterated” in the Manchester derby by Pep Guardiola’s City, according to Gary Neville, but the Sky Sports pundit has insisted United should stick with the increasingly-beleaguered Erik Ten Hag.

Erling Haaland’s penalty separated the sides at half-time before City turned on the style to seal an emphatic 3-0 win.

“It was a footballing lesson. Manchester United didn’t know what to do,” concluded Micah Richards.

Even the scoreline, one-sided though it was, flattered United; City’s end-of-game XG stood at 3.94.

“The first half was a contest,” observed Neville. “The second half wasn’t a contest. It became a shambles. United went missing in the second half.”

Rasmus Hojlund’s second-half substitution was widely booed by the Old Trafford crowd as Erik ten Hag’s selections, which included replacing Sofyan Amrabat with Mason Mount at half-time, came under a harsh spotlight.

“It wasn’t a great day for his substitutions,” reflected Neville. “They were incredible last season but they made the team worse today.

“He went too early. He opened up his midfield and got exposed.

“But my anger isn’t with Ten Hag. I don’t think he is the fundamental problem. The toxicity at this club is eating alive every manager and every player that comes here.”

However, United’s lack of recognisable playing style under Ten Hag drew further condemnation from Jamie Carragher.

“He has been here 18 months and none of us here can explain what Manchester United try to do with how they play. They play underdog football. They play counter-attack and long balls – no other top team plays that way.

“It’s really shocking when you see them try to play out from the back.”

Neville: Performances haven’t been good enough but stick with Ten Hag

United are currently eighth in the Premier League after losing five of their opening 10 matches.

Their only wins this season have been against Wolves, Brentford, Sheffield United, Burnley and Nottingham Forest.

“The level of performances have been really, really poor,” said Neville. “Changing the manager? Absolutely not. But there’s no doubt that he is having issues.

“They have allowed another manager to come in and dictate policy and let the tail wag the dog on recruitment. They have brought eight players in [who have played in the Eredivisie at some stage] from basically a league that Erik ten Hag thinks he trusts.

“But they did the same thing with Ole and the same thing with Jose and Louis van Gaal. I’m not saying he is not culpable for the mistakes that he is making. He has got injuries to [players like] Martinez, and Varane, who is only just coming back so there are issues in terms of playing out from the back. He has not got Casemiro in midfield so he hasn’t got three players who are fundamentally his connection from defence.”

What the media said about the Manchester derby

Your views on the Manchester derby

Malone Gibbs: “There’s no longer excitement before Man United games anymore, just passive and lacklustre for the last year. We have been a shambles since that Camp Nou performance.”

Dejected Red: “Why is the manager persevering with Rashford when there is no output? He just looks so disinterested at the moment, he needs to be taken out of the team to regain his hunger. The signings have been poor too, if they were picked by Ten Hag then I think he has some explaining too.”

Jake Wilson: “What’s the idea at Man Utd? What are the players trying to do? No style or identity. Lucky to have 15 points on the board, it could easily be six.”

Dan Griff: “Utd got outclassed today, it’s that simple – if McTominay has been your main goal scorer lately what does that say?”

Andy C: “We played a better style of football under Ole.”

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