English Berita

Man United vs Man City: still a thriller

The Manchester Derby is here, this Sunday, at Old Trafford.

This derby may seem quite meaningless for City, with Liverpool so far ahead on the horizon. Also, for the first time in more than a decade, neither team is in contention for the title going into this game.

But the stakes are high for United, as their uneven, desperate battle for 4th place is still very much underway. They need to get 24 out a maximum possible remaining 30 points just to equal their points total from last season. And if United win, they would have done the League double on City for the first time in a single season since Sir Alex Ferguson waved goodbye. But the elegant Pep Guardiola has never lost a match in England in March: he has won 6 and drawn 2. And the away team has won the last 6 of the 7 Manchester derbies.

United enter the Theatre of Dreams with some momentum, having gone unbeaten in their last 9 matches in all competitions, winning 6 and drawing 3. Ever since the arrival of the magnetic Bruno Fernandes, who seems to have single-handedly saved Ole Solskjaer’s job, United are on their best run in over a year, and Paul Pogba, that stormy character, seems destined for a departure which few will lament.

An aside that could become the headline story: there is severe scrutiny on keeper David De Gea. Since the start of last season, no one player has made more errors leading to a goal in the Premier League than erstwhile dependable David de Gea’s seven. His howler against Everton was a moment that had fans cursing and tearing their hair, and spawned many mocking memes.

Is the man who was United’s best player for many years post 2013, now finally losing his touch? A clownish error in this always intense fixture may be an unforgiveable sin and a mistake too far.

City is not overconfident. Guardiola says “From what I saw they follow him (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer) absolutely. They’re getting better. Right now is maybe their best moment of the season.”

If United, lose, they would have lost four consecutive home games against City in all competitions for only the second time in their history. Not a statistic Ole wants to chalk up. Guardiola has won all three of his Premier League away games at Old Trafford – no visiting manager has won more there.

The Manchester Derby promises to be feisty and mouth-watering.

City is guaranteed a raucous reception from the rowdy Stretford End when they make the short ride across town to Old Trafford.