Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Manchester United’s Sunday 3-0 defeat to Manchester City is that United weren’t terrible.
Unfortunately, they weren’t very good, either. City barely got out of second gear, yet still had more than enough to control the game and were rarely troubled by the Reds. United’s best chance came from a Scott McTominay shot near the end of the second half that forced a good save from Ederson. Their next best chance was a giveaway that went right to Rasmus Højlund, who used his speed to go through on goal. Unfortunately for the next Erling Haaland, he was unable to get his shot off before being blanketed by two defenders.
As for the real Haaland, he didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but still ended up with a brace and an assist and could have two more goals if not for some great saves from Andre Onana.
Indeed, the fact that this game didn’t end up another 6-1 or 7-0 thrashing is probably the one thing United can be somewhat pleased about. Erik ten Hag’s peculiar lineup and decision to bench Raphael Varane may have raised questions before (and even after) the match. But let’s face it, we could have used a time machine and brought an in-prime Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand into present day and we still wouldn’t have won.
Either way, it’s another reminder that this season is probably already lost. At least the cup tournaments are still there for the taking. (EDITOR’S UPDATE: Oops. Nevermind.)