Neville believes Mourinho made one key tactical mistake

Date published: Monday 11th December 2017 10:05

Gary Neville was surprised that Jose Mourinho did not man-mark David Silva or Kevin de Bruyne in the Manchester derby.

United were beaten 2-1 by City in a game the visitors largely dominated. Read 16 Conclusions to find out how.

City had 65% possession and more shots than their hosts, with goalscorer Silva and De Bruyne running the game in midfield.

De Bruyne had a match-leading 102 touches, while Silva was third with 81.

Neville was shocked that neither were tightly marked throughout, with Mourinho having previously attempted to nullify similar threats by man-marking them.

“After about five minutes I thought ‘this is going to be a long day’,” he told Sky Sports. “I’ve watched City numerous times this season and if you let Silva and De Bruyne get on the ball and control the rhythm of the game you’re in trouble.

“I thought Mourinho would have man-marked them and got in their faces. Let them go to Fabian Delph, Otamendi, Kyle Walker or even Fernandinho but those two shouldn’t be getting the number of passes in the game.

“To me, when they influence the game you are having a nightmare and they influenced the game far too much.

“Have Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera got the legs to do it? I wondered whether Jesse Lingard would go and mark Silva and if Herrera would go and man-mark De Bruyne and stop those two.

“They are so exceptional those two, they are at a different level. Follow them and stop them.”

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