Nev: I knew United would struggle after five minutes

Date published: Monday 12th September 2016 10:27

Gary Neville claims that he knew after just five minutes of the Manchester derby that Manchester United could struggle.

United were beaten 2-1 by bitter rivals Manchester City on Saturday, with Jose Mourinho tasting his first defeat as manager.

Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho scored for the visitors, rendering Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s strike a mere consolation.

De Bruyne was particularly impressive for City – as 16 Conclusions noted – and Neville knew he could pose a “problem” after just five minutes at Old Trafford.

“What we’ve seen today is Pep Guardiola coming here with his team and answering a lot of questions,” he said on the Gary Neville podcast.

“They showed in the first half that they can dominate like he had done previously at his other clubs, but in the second half they withstood enormous amounts of pressure and long balls.

“It was the first five minutes. There were the two runs down the left channel where you thought, ‘there’s a problem there’.

“You look at De Bruyne today. The question has always been whether he turns up in the big matches. He’s quality on the ball; he’s fantastic. He always seems to have time, he always seems to play the right pass.

“He reminds me a little bit of David Beckham in the sense that when he gets into the last third he almost sets himself, and then a cross is almost like a pass.

“He was influential in all the big moments. Maybe in the second half if they had counter-attacked and got the ball through him, they would have scored the third. They nearly did.”

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