A one-sided Manchester derby has delivered a 2-0 win for City at the Old Trafford home of United further adding to the pressure on the latter’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
A fortnight on from the embarrassing 5-0 home humiliation at the hands of rivals Liverpool, the Red Devils were again easily beaten, the scoreline flattering their impotence in the 186th Manchester derby.
Pep Guardiola’s men cruised to victory with Eric Bailly’s own goal and a preventable Bernardo Silva effort more than enough to ease past United.
“The players deserve my pride, my admiration,” Guardiola said. “We played a really good game from the beginning until the end. The best way to silence Old Trafford is to have the ball, and make pass, pass, pass.
“They have some amazing players, Cristiano (Ronaldo), (Marcus) Rashford, and the only way to stop them is more passes, more passes. We will have a lot of chances in this way, but the chances will be more clear and that will win games.
Solskjaer had called the loss to Liverpool the darkest day of his near three-year reign and the meek manner of this loss to their neighbours will lead to renewed pressure during the international break.
“For me, it’s a way of losing that we don’t like,” he said. “When you lose a game against a good team you want to see a better Man United team than that.
“We needed to be more front foot, aggressive up there, but then of course we’re playing against a very good team that made it hard for us to do that.”
“We got a couple of good results, Atalanta and Tottenham, and today was a big step back.”
Only three points separated these sides before kick-off but the gulf in quality and application soon became clear as Joao Cancelo was given time to swing in a cross that Bailly turned into his own goal inside seven minutes.
A string of superb David De Gea saves prevented things getting as ugly as they had against Liverpool, but dominant City deservedly added another before the break as Silva got behind Luke Shaw to turn in a ball from Cancelo, who again crossed without hinderance.
United’s only shot on target was a sharp Ronaldo volley which was beaten away by Ederson. By the end the Portuguese star cut a frustrated figure and was booked for a late lunge on Kevin De Bruyne.
“We have to come out against Watford [in United’s next match on 20 November] like a proper hurt animal,” added Solskjaer. “We’ve got to get back to what we know we can be.
“That’s your only way to approach this and attack this situation.
“The short answer is I think (the international break) has come at a good time for us now because as a group we’ve had a difficult spell, we’ve come through it but this was a big step backwards.”