Jose Mourinho reveals how Paul Pogba’s absence hurt Manchester United against City

Ruben Hill
November 12, 2018

"It was a performance with mistakes and we paid for it", stated the United manager.

City looked like they could cut through United at will down their left, with Benjamin Mendy, Sterling and David Silva combining well to make life hard for makeshift right-back Ashley Young. The ex-Monaco man then knocked it back into the box to his namesake David, who showed great composure to cut inside a slot past David De Gea.

The lack of a truly world-class creative player in the United squad stands out when they are up against a quality opponent like City, but Mata is the best that they have and he should be used more often.

It was the last talking point of an otherwise comfortable first period for the Blues.

It took City just three minutes to double the lead after the re-start.

The City striker took the ball to the edge of the box, played a one-two with Riyad Mahrez before firing a powerful angled drive past De Gea for his 11th of the season. They were tough tacklers whereas the two City have - who are the only two centre-backs that Pep (Guardiola) has bought - are completely within his profile of ball-playing defenders.

"You can not lose the ball where we lost it", he added.

But Ilkay Gundogan put the result beyond doubt four minutes from time with a third goal that crowned a sublime 44-pass move.

In contrast, Dunne pointed to City's most regular central pairing, and suggested John Stones and Aymeric Laporte could go on to dominate in a style different to that seen before.

United have now conceded 21 goals in their first 12 league games for the first time since 1966 and are the only team in the top half of the table with a negative goal difference.

It's been a stunning start by the champions who look determine to at worst repeat last season's heroics - if not better them.

For the City clash, instead Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho opted for a starting front-line of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Jesse Lingard.

Aside from that, he worked hard and always made himself available throughout. The first half we played a little bit with fear but football is a game and we didn't want to lose the ball.

Had the goal not been given, it is likely the referee would have awarded a penalty after Chris Smalling had pulled down Aguero.

"I am just sorry we don't play the next match soon and have to wait 13 days for that, but we are improving, we are together and go together until the end".

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan's 86th minute equaliser salvaged a 1-1 draw for Arsenal at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers as the Gunners extended their unbeaten run to 16 games in all competitions.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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