Big match verdict: Manchester derby

Tom McDermott looks at what the future holds for David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini after Man City's 3-0 win at Man United.

Last Updated: 26/03/14 at 12:14 Post Comment

David Moyes: Under increased pressure

David Moyes: Under increased pressure

Tom McDermott looks at what the future holds for David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini after Manchester City's 3-0 win at Manchester United.

Verdict

United were outclassed by City at Old Trafford and once again David Moyes accepted that he was to blame for the embarrassing defeat.

Manuel Pellegrini's side were superb, but were allowed to be. The former Everton manager was out-thought and outclassed by his opposite number and that wasn't just on the pitch.

After the defeat, United's tenth in the league this season, Moyes admitted that their opponents were at the level his United side were "aspiring to".

The trouble with this latest bizarre post-match remark is that Moyes took over the reigning champions of England and a squad that won the league by 11 points.

On top of this, Moyes has spent the best part of £70 million on Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini; you could argue that he is in possession of a stronger squad than this time last year.

Whilst at Everton, the Scot was renowned for building strong defensive sides that were almost unbeatable at home.

Having already suffered six defeats at Old Trafford, United have slipped into a pattern of predictability and opponents no longer fear the trip.

The result should provide City with confidence but they will be mindful that claiming three points at their Manchester rivals is far from the accomplishment it used to be.

Players

How many of last night's United starting eleven would get into City's side on current form? You could probably argue a case for Rooney but after that it's a struggle.

The blue half of Manchester have pace and are dynamic. They are capable of playing more than one way. All their star players play in their favoured positions and a look to the bench means that if they aren't performing they will be replaced by someone of equal ability.

Moyes' side lacks all of the above and on top of this they lack an identity. There is no Plan B because the players are scratching their heads at Plan A.

United supporters have suffered defeats before but are used to going down with a fight. To lose goals at the start of each half indicates that whatever is being said in the changing room isn't being transferred onto the pitch, and it's not the first time.

The quickest way United can improve is by throwing money at the problem in the summer. But can the board really trust the current manager with substantial funds?

One thing is for sure, City won't stand still and with the acquisition of one or two defenders in the window they are bound to be stronger next campaign.

Targets

For Pellegrini it's simple: add the Premier League to the League Cup they already have and it will go on record as City's most successful season ever.

With games in hand on Chelsea you wouldn't bet against them finishing as champions but they must follow up last night's demolition with three points against Arsenal. If they do, then City fans will start to believe once more.

The feeling around Old Trafford is that targets need to be revised. Instead of planning ahead, Moyes needs results to secure his own future.

With Bayern Munich approaching in the Champions League nothing less than a win against Aston Villa at the weekend will do. It might not secure Moyes' long-term future but it may just buy him some much needed time.

The question is, has Moyes already lost the supporters?


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