City came out as winners in the Manchester Derby against arch-rivals United. The Premier League champions won 2-0 at United’s iconic Old Trafford and add even more pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s shoulders. The Norwegian is now at +150 to be sacked as Manchester United manager.
Solskjaer was reconfirmed by the Red Devils’ board on two occasions in the past month, with the last vote of confidence coming after the 5-0 trashing from Liverpool two weeks ago. Despite limiting the score to decent proportions, Man. United were dominated throughout the game by City. Pep Guardiola’s tactical plan worked to perfection, with the champions being rarely bothered in their own box.
Cristiano Ronaldo only came to light with a shot on target in the first half, then limited himself to supporting his teammates’ efforts to recover the ball from a dominant Manchester City team. City ended the game with 67% of the possession. Guardiola’s team had 16 shots (five on target), compared to United’s five (one on target). City had nine corners, compared to United’s only one, and smashed the passing numbers: 832 to 400.
Bailly put the ball into his own net after just seven minutes to make it 1-0 to City, then Bernardo Silva doubled the visitors’ advantage with a strange goal in the last minute of the first half. De Gea, who was United’s hero in the opening 45 minutes, avoiding at least four more goals, couldn’t do much to stop Bernardo’s soft touch in front of him. The Portuguese squeezed the ball between De Gea and his left post to silence Old Trafford. You can watch a video with the game’s highlights here.
Odds for Solskjaer to be sacked have been slashed after another discouraging home defeat, going from +450 to +150. Only Aston Villa’s Dean Smith is now doing worse, at +100.
Solskjaer: ‘We never got to the level we need to be at’
Commenting on the game, Solskjaer acknowledged his team’s performance was far from the one expected.
“Probably, for me, it’s a way of losing that we don’t like. When you lose a game against a good team you want to see a better Man United team than that,” Solskjaer stressed.
“Of course when you concede the first goal as early as you do in an unfortunate way, it makes the game a lot more difficult,” the Norwegian added.
“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. Then we had the ball, they pressed us really well, we couldn’t get the angles that we knew we had to get and the quality that we knew we had to get,” Solskjaer said before concluding: “So, we never got to the level we need to be at to win against good teams.”
21% of Man Utd's home defeats in PL history have come under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) November 6, 2021
United star Bruno Fernandes had a tough speech after the game.
“We have to speak less and do more,” Fernandes told Sky Sports. “I am saying the same stuff. We have to change because this has happened many, many times already. What we did was not enough.”
“If we want to be at the same level as them we have to do more because they showed we are not at the same level. Everyone has to look at themselves.”
“You have to look in the mirror at what you are doing wrong. You cannot change the mentality of anyone else, you have to look at yourself and understand what you can do better,” Fernandes argued.
Asked if he feels on ‘borrowed time’ as United manager, Solskjaer said: “I don’t feel, that, no. I always had very good communication with the club, we’re upfront and honest. I work for Man. United, I want to do the best I can for Man. United.”
With three defeats in their last four Premier League games, Manchester United now sit fifth in the Premier League table, with 17 points from 11 games, already nine behind leaders Chelsea.