‘Shameful derby defeat’ – National media react to Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat to Man City

Harry Maguire would be best-advised not to pick up any copies of the national newspapers after Manchester United’s defeat in Sunday’s derby.

The Reds fell to a dismal 4-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium as Manchester City brushed aside their neighbors with ease. Kevin De Bruyne’s double either side of Jadon Sancho’s strike had come amid a decent showing in the first half from United as they clung to hope that they could claim something from their short journey.

But they simply had no answer to Pep Guardiola’s side in the second half as City well and truly controlled proceedings. Riyad Mahrez’s brace secured a well-deserved victory, and in truth it could have been much worse for the visitors.

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Here’s what the national media made of United’s 4-1 defeat at the Etihad, with captain Maguire in particular coming in for heavy criticism.

‘Chasm laid bare’ – The Guardian

“With a few minutes to go and the victory secure, thousands of Manchester City fans momentarily turned their backs to jig up and down in a joyous Poznan celebration. It was an occasion when they had once again laid bare the chasm that has opened up between themselves and United and they were going to enjoy it.

“United were better than they had been in that hideous loss to their neighbors at Old Trafford last November – the one that was pretty much the final straw for Ole Gunnar Solskjær. They had a few flickers in the first half here and scored a nice goal to equalize at 1-1 through Jadon Sancho.

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“But City are simply on another level. In what was Ralf Rangnick’s first Premier League game against opposition from the so-called big six, City led 2-1 at half-time – both goals coming from the superlative Kevin De Bruyne – and the hard truth was that it could have been more .”

‘Shameful derby defeat’ – The Telegraph

“This may well go down as one of the most shameful derby defeats in Manchester United’s long history. They are the Damned United on this spineless evidence. By the end it was a capitulation, a collapse, a collective embarrassment with Manchester City utterly humiliating them.

“It really did look like United had given up or maybe, more charitably, they were just run ragged and although their former captain, turned pundit, Roy Keane is never slow to use harsh language his verdict of “unforgivable” had resonance. This deserves a reckoning and yet another realization of how far they have fallen behind.

“United now find themselves down to fifth, not just a point behind Arsenal but having also played three games more and if this was a good day for De Bruyne it was a wretched one for the man wearing the United armband. Harry Maguire’s season has fallen apart, he looks forlorn, bereft of belief and he was ‘nutmegged’ for two goals with a third deflecting off him.”

‘Maguire’s ropey contribution’ – The Mirror

“It had to take a flick off Harry Maguire, of course it did. The Riyad Mahrez strike that gave City a 3-1 lead and put this contest to bed was sweet but still kissed Maguire on its way past David de Gea.

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“Which was a bit unusual … because a lot of other stuff went through the Manchester United captain’s legs. It was another testing day at the office for Maguire, that is for sure.

“Phil Foden was like the little kid poking the big lad because he knows he’s too slippery to be caught. And Maguire was booked for a foul on Kevin de Bruyne that was shockingly late.

“It was a wonder Maguire had enough energy left to regularly harass Michael Oliver. Nope, apart from one excellent tackle on De Bruyne, it was another ropey contribution from the skipper.”

‘Reckless, deliberate and desperate’ – Daily Mail

“Midway through the second half of what was becoming a deeply one-sided derby, Harry Maguire saw Kevin de Bruyne knock the ball beyond him by the touchline and brought the Manchester City player down with what could only be described as an extraordinarily reckless, deliberate and desperate challenge.

“It was, on reflection, entirely representative of what we witnessed from these two teams throughout the course of this game.

“In that moment, Maguire knew he was beaten, that he wasn’t quick enough or good enough to deal with his immediate opponent. Over the course of this game, United came to learn that about themselves also.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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