The 6 – 1 mauling from the blue half of Manchester had been coming for a while. United have been merely covering the cracks for a good few weeks.
The Reds came out of the traps flying this season with emphatic wins over Arsenal and Bolton. Cruising, playing at a quick and scoring for fun, it’s as if we have become complacent lately.
We were lucky in beating Chelsea who had a hatful of chances, poor in picking up a point at the Brittania with only De Gea to thank for that, had to resort to a last gasp equaliser having given up a two goal lead against Basel, Norwich City had a host of chances in losing 2 -0 at Old Trafford, fortunate to get a point at Anfield with De Gea again the hero and likewise we were un-inspiring in Europe on Tuesday evening.
That is a pretty long list so you could say this result today was expected. However, no-one could have predicted a 6 -1 home defeat, United’s biggest home league defeat for 85 years.
People including myself will point out the fact that the sending off of Jonny Evans (of which no-one can have any complaints) completely turned the game and of course it did. With 11 verses 11 on the field it would have been a tighter affair, but United definitely deserved to lose.
We were very, very poor and as I said, have been for a while.
Jamie Redknapp quite rightly pointed out, he hadn’t seen United give the ball away as much as we did today. The tempo of our play was just not quick enough; often we were playing at walking pace – a shadow of ourselves in the opening games of the season.
We were especially poor at the back yet again. Oh how we miss our leader, our skipper, our foundation Nemanja Vidic. We look all at sea without him. Nobody picking up runners, nobody communicating, nobody taking charge.
The fourth City goal summed it up, a complete mix up between Rio Ferdinand and David De Gea.
Don’t get me started on Patrice Evra. He was once regarded as one of the best if not the best wing back in Europe, but I wouldn’t even put him in the top ten now. In my opinion, he’s a winger not a defender. I see more of him going forward than I do defending. He forever ambles back to his position when the oppositions on the attack and never seems to track his runner – schoolboy stuff.
Fergie often makes me wonder to. Why oh why not start Hernandez in such a big game. His goalscoring record is phenomenal, his movement is top class, yet Sir Alex starts him on the bench?
Maybe because he was worried of City’s height, so he opts for Welbeck for that extra physical presence. Hernandez, came off the bench to good effect last weekend at Anfield, perhaps Fergie had that in mind again today. But to me Chicharito has got to start.
Some of you may think I’m being a tad harsh, but we need to realise we aren’t unbeatable and we have been very poor of late. With Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs and now of course Man City we can’t afford to be so poor if he want to retain the cherished possession in English football.
But you have to give City credit. They were excellent. Although United started the brighter of the two teams, City defended well. It’s often tough against ten men, but City made it look easy and picked United off for fun. I can’t pick one United player out of that team today that played well.
I also can’t fail to talk about their little magician, David Silva. This lad is a different class. His movement, trickery and creative play is so difficult to defend against and he makes City tick. He plays in the hole and floats around with freedom – this is certainly something United miss in their midfield.
When I saw Mario Balotelli’s name on the team sheet I must admit I was rubbing my hands together with delight. He was sure to be sent off in my eyes, but give the boy credit he took his two goals very well and is certainly a character – “Why is it always me?”.
Sir Alex said: “This was our worst ever day.” And who can disagree? It was tough to take, but we must all take it on the chin and move on. We must improve. We have another tough league game away to Everton on Saturday. United, as we always seem to do, must bounce back and show City that we are up for the fight.
After all, we are the champions and champions never lie down.
You can also follow Jamie on twitter: @Jamie_Journo