Premier League: 5 talking points from Manchester United vs Manchester City

From the United player who ‘assisted’ City’s goals to the penalty incident, we have it all covered!

Premier League: 5 talking points from Manchester United vs Manchester City

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo (L) and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling square off (Photo: AFP)

The 175th Manchester Derby was fiery affair, as usual Manchester United vs Manchester City clashes are, but what were the main talking points from the Sky Blues’ 2-1 win in the Premier League on Sunday?

Don’t miss: Manchester City win derby clash with United, go 11 points clear

The Statesman has picked the five topics that have sparked debates across the world below:

Title race done and dusted in beginning of December?

The first (and the most important) point has to be the fact that an 11-point lead is extremely hard, if not impossible to blow.


Sixteen games have been played and it’s safe to say that City have one hand on the title, even if they don’t want to admit it.

Apart from Tottenham Hotspur (who they play on the weekend), City have beaten every single one of their direct rivals and most of the rest as well to have opened up such a massive lead despite it not even being halfway into the season.

Raheem Sterling, Manchester City F.C, Premier League, Manchester United vs Manchester City
Good luck trying to catch Sterling and co! (Photo: AFP)


Football and the Premier League in particular, can be capricious, but Pep Guardiola is a serial winner and so are the most of his City players. While they are human and talk of a ‘Invincibles’ season is premature, don’t expect complacency to creep in anytime.

Unless a defensive crisis (Nicolas Otamendi and Eliaquim Mangala are their only fit central defenders) can derail them, the Sky Blues are effectively Premier League champions-elect.

Romelu Lukaku heavily involved in two Manchester City goals

It’s easy to pick on a player when he’s down, but Romelu Lukaku was awful over the course of 90 minutes at Old Trafford, at least from Manchester United’s point of view.

For Manchester City were rubbing their hands with glee after the Red Devils forward effectively ‘own-assisted’ two goals and it’s safe to say his overall displays left a lot to be desired.

Jose Mourinho, Romelu Lukaku, Manchester United F.C., Premier League
Lukaku (R) had another outing to forget on Sunday! (Photo: AFP)


Aerial balls weren’t won as much as the United faithful would have liked, neither was his hold-up play on point and when push came to shove, Lukaku just couldn’t beat Ederson from close range.

Signed for £75 million in the summer, Lukaku was acquired to make the difference in games such as these and while the supply to him was limited, great players decide big games and till now, there’s not been a single standout performance till now.

Time is ticking for Lukaku, for there’s no point for United if their striker scores 20-odd goals in the season but it’s all for nought come May.

Pep’s Manchester City can win gritty against big teams

City have now their last four games with a 2-1 scoreline, but this one was season-defining in ways more than one.

Beating the likes of Huddersfield and West Ham is one thing (without any disrespect meant to the two) and beating your derby rivals on their home turf is another.

The Blue Moon is rising in England and perhaps, Europe for Pep’s revolution isn’t just one dimensional, as many previously thought it was.

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City F.C., Premier League
Pep was an animated figure throughout! (Photo: AFP)


When teams ‘park the bus’ eking out these close wins is what champions are made of and the Sky Blues certainly have looked the real deal.

Jose Mourinho comes a cropper against his nemesis once again

Headlines around the world would have been screaming ‘Death of football’ had Jose Mourinho outwitted his nemesis but Pep Guardiola proved he’s got the ‘Special One’s’ number with another well-deserved win.

Yes, the famous 3-1 win over Pep’s all-conquering Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League will forever be etched in memory, but Mourinho has struggled to beat his ‘twin’ and that’s a fact.

Jose Mourinho, Manchester United F.C., Premier League,
Mourinho wasn’t happy after the game! (Photo: AFP)


Their rivalry has transcended even the Manchester Derby, with both sides emerging as the dominant sides in the Premier League this season, but once again Pep has managed to beat the surly Portuguese.

Luck or coincidence?

Nine wins in 20 meetings cannot be put down to good fortune and it seems Jose will have to up his game if he is to turn this around.

Ander Herrera incident: Penalty or simulation?

There was clear contact. Going by the book, that’s a penalty.

However, referee Michael Oliver utilised his common sense and decided the Spanish midfielder had tried to act smart and promptly booked him for simulation.

Otamendi’s poor first-touch enabled Herrera to beat him to the ball, but that in itself is not worth of conceding a penalty is it?

Ander Herrera, Manchester United F.C., Premier Leauge
Herrera (L) couldn’t believe it! (Photo: AFP)


As Herrera got to the ball, he put it past the Argentine defender while leaving his leg dangling and of course there was contact. And the Spaniard was down in a flash as United players crowded Michael Oliver in a bid to win a late penalty, but to no avail.

Not the first time the Spaniard has done that and probably not the last and while he is a fine midfielder, this habit of his needs to go for while his manager may take his side, a majority of the neutrals were unimpressed.