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Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City: 5 Talking Points

Modified 25 Apr 2019, 08:49 IST
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#4 Solskjaer's squad selection proved puzzling

Ole's men threatened early on but wilted as the match wore on and looked bereft of ideas at times

It's a team that he's inherited but not exactly one that he's utilising to the best of their capabilities and again on this occasion, Solskjaer's tactics were puzzling as United started brightly but faded after an encouraging half-hour display. Matteo Darmian made his first league start since mid-December as an auxiliary centre-back, while Fred partnered Andreas Pereira and Paul Pogba in a midfield trio.

So the hosts were lining up against their local rivals in a 5-3-2 formation out of possession, and a 3-5-2 with the ball. Ashley Young and Luke Shaw providing width, while Jesse Lingard surprisingly partnered Marcus Rashford up-top - with varying degrees of success.

Fred, despite encouraging flashes, was disappointing. Pereira worked hard and did okay despite some frustrating moments, while the same could be said for Pogba. His individual brilliance was on display but he found himself on the periphery too often.

Why choose Lingard over Martial in a more attacking role? Nemanja Matic was poor against Everton so his omission is justified, but why play a five-defender formation when your biggest rivals come to town?

After an energetic 30-minute burst of pressure, it invited unnecessary danger and forced players back behind the ball too often, which can be easily exploited if one of the midfielders - often Fred or Pogba - isn't disciplined enough to hold their position. It's how they conceded the Sane strike and if they had a more positive mindset, perhaps they'd have created more clear-cut opportunities to test Ederson.

Published 25 Apr 2019, 08:49 IST
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