#2 Lack of goals and inadequate supply from the bench
The stark contrast in the bench strength of both Manchester clubs was staggering, to say the least. While Pep could afford to bring on the likes of Leroy Sane, Riyadh Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, and Phi Foden, Solskjaer didn’t enjoy that luxury, with most of his forwards in woeful form and awfully short on confidence.
This lack of adequate quality from the bench to change the game played a significant role in their defeat.
Fernandinho’s injury played Pep Guardiola’s hand in sending on the electric winger, Leroy Sane, in place of the injured Brazilian. The substitution meant a change in City’s shape, with Leroy Sane accommodating the left wing position and Raheem Sterling switching to the right, thereby allowing Bernando Silva adopt a central role alongside his other namesake, Silva, with Gundogan slotting into the Fernandinho role.
This changed the entire game as Guardiola’s side looked much more fluid & threatening, and were edging closer to an elusive opener at Old Trafford. The goal inevitably arrived shortly after the change, when Bernardo Silva glided past Luke Shaw and slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner to give City the crucial lead. Leroy Sane killed the game when he finished brilliantly after being played in by Raheem Sterling.
Meanwhile, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku had little impact over the proceedings and failed to have any influence on the game.Published 25 Apr 2019, 14:22 IST