Manchester United boss paid the price for his selection decision in Man City defeat.

The strategy used by Erik ten Hag was so backwards-looking that it could have been mistaken for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s. The Etihad triumphs were only overseen by him.

In reference to how simple it seemed to get tickets at the Etihad, Manchester United fans temporarily chanted, “If you go down to Man City you’ll buy one get one free.” Prior to halftime, there were several empty seats in the away section. They missed five more goals in total.

The early departures filed out of the away area like a swarm of ants, as seen from a helicopter hovering overhead. United had already given up four goals at the same venue this year, and in the previous twelve months, United had lost at least four goals in eight of its games.

The fact that a derby does not decide United’s season shows how low they have sunk. Astonishment by City’s victory in the past was a dramatic outcome. It occurs almost annually now.

🗣 Ten Hag: "A lack of belief. I am surprised why we didn't bring it on the pitch, I have seen a different team, spirit and we did not look convinced. I have to talk to my players and find out why." 

😔 "If you don't fight - which we didn't - you are going to have a problem against Man City. This is different to Brentford, that day we didn't run. Today we wanted to run but there was a lack of belief." 

🧐 "I will show the team tomorrow we could have been on the front foot. In the first goal, we won the ball and could have created a chance and gave it away. That is unacceptable. It is a process, when you are not concentrated against Man City you get hammered, that is what happened. You cause your own problems, you get hammered." 

🔴  "I wanted to change the attitude of the team, we were braver in the second half, created chances and scored three goals. Only from mistakes you learn, we have to do better in the next game." 

🤝 "All the credit to Man City but it is nothing to do with City, our performance was not good. As individuals, they were not convinced and did not support each other. A lack of fight and spirit in the team."  

☑️ "There are also positives, but in this moment I can't think like that. We let the fans down, we let ourselves down and I am hugely disappointed. We have to live with that and learn from it."

(Shamoon Hafez - BBC)

United skulked off at the halftime break behind 4-0 for the second time this season alone. Due to City’s dominance, this was by a wide margin incomparable to the Brentford.

Before Antony’s magnificent goal, United lacked substance, and seeing Casemiro and Martial waiting in their uniforms on the sidelines gave them an extra boost. Problematically, the score was already 4-1. It became worse.

United’s strategy was regressive, relying on a breakaway or one of the four forwards to create something out of nothing. The starters did absolutely nothing.

This result, which had the potential to be United’s joint-worst in the Premier League era, requires Ten Hag to make serious adjustments in response. The domination of their neighbors over the previous 11 years is neatly generally marked by the two thrashings that City is responsible for.

It’s puzzling and now absurd that Casemiro, a £70 million investment, the only defensive midfielder in the team and a five-time Champions League champion, has been refused inclusion. During City’s initial attack, Scott McTominay valiantly blocked a shot that was heading towards the goal, but he is merely a stop-gap player rather than a specialist.

The unstoppable Erling Haaland used every effort to score his third hat-trick of his City career.

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