The aftermath of the Manchester derby
Obviously, United’s performance at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday was poor. But there’s no point talking about how bad United were, just admitting that City were very good.
It’s inevitable that there will be a discussion about whether David Moyes’s side had a bad day at the office or if City are serious candidates for the title after Sunday’s display. Let’s just concede City were superior on the day.
United were overrun in midfield. Swapping Ashley Young for Tom Cleverley in the second half helped somewhat, but by then City were out of sight at 4-0.
I still haven’t lost faith in United having a good season, but Moyes must turn this around quickly. The current team relies heavily on Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, with the former set to miss out on the Liverpool game.
Manchester vs Liverpool – what it means.
During my six seasons at Old Trafford we played Liverpool 12 times in the Premier League with a record of 7 wins, 2 draws and 3 painful losses. So on the most part I have good memories of this fixture. Walking out against Liverpool always had a special sense of occasion. It was a game I always looked forward to - even if it did mean trying to stop the likes of Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen in their prime!
Despite the fact that Liverpool beat United as recently as three weeks ago, it’s worth recalling that United last lost to Liverpool at home in a cup competition in 1921, which bodes well for the home side tonight.
The United players need to get the City game out of their heads – and what better way to do that than beating Liverpool. The Merseyside club is a rival on par with Manchester City – perhaps bigger even for some fans.
I really hope Moyes sends out his strongest Xl. After all we’re talking about prestige here. Like the City game, this is a match people are dying to see. The players are obviously aware of what it means to the fans.
I’ve never said this before but the League Cup is important to Manchester United right now.
Daniel Sturridge put Liverpool ahead after just four minutes last time the two sides met, and such a start to a game was bound to affect the rest of the match. I don’t think we’ll see an early goal tonight, though.
Like the goalless Chelsea game earlier in the season, it’ll be ‘Safety First’ to begin with. But, there are no replays in the League Cup, so this match will be decided on the night. As a result, we should expect goals at some stage, but Van Persie’s injury is a blow to United, naturally.
A player that’s back and raring to go is Luis Suarez. He’ll be keen to prove himself after his 10-match ban. He’s scored three in four games versus Moyes (when he managed Everton), so I fear that he could cause Moyes problems again. The script is written, and Suarez to score at any time tonight can be backed at 2.45.
Brendan Rodgers is a very good manager. He’s been given time and money to put his continental stamp on the team. He’s turned a few heads, and I also think he might be the manager to get the best out of young players like Jordan Henderson, Jordan Ibe, Raheem Sterling and Andre Wisdom, all of whom look like talents for the future.
I would like to see Marouane Fellaini score. He was heavily criticised in the wake of the City game and a goal would do him good. With RVP sidelined, United must once again rely on Wayne Rooney to deliver.
As I wasn’t even in the ball park with my Manchester derby prediction, I’ll keep it conservative and boring: 1-0 to Manchester United with Fellaini notching the winner.
Ronny Johnsen’s tips:
Manchester United to win 1-0 at 9.00
Marouane Fellaini to score at 3.95