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Manchester United vs Manchester City LIVE Football Score 6 Nov 2021

Manchester United vs Manchester City LIVE Football Score 6 Nov 2021

 

It should be noted that Solskjaer has an impressive record against his cross-town rivals. While as a player he found himself the Goliath felled by City’s David, in the dugout he relishes the role of underdog. As Manchester United manager, he averages a remarkable two points per game in meetings with Guardiola. At their best, as in the 2-0 win at the Etihad last time they met, the Red Devils offered something of a benchmark for how to stifle an in-form City.

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Hit them hard early on and if a goal comes your way defend with Spartan ferocity as wave upon wave of attacks come at you. Flood the central areas, forcing them wide and making sure you are ready for the cutbacks that they will inevitably attempt. Then wait for frustration to take a hold, hit them on the counter and your task becomes altogether easier. That game was up there with the best performances of Solskjaer’s tenure. His players worked for each other off the ball and snapped into explosive shape on the counter without it.

So why can they not repeat it? After all, last time out against City they left one striker up forward to chase down long balls but not really press all that much. Cristiano Ronaldo could probably do that more effectively than Anthony Martial. In theory, they could just run this approach back but start drilling into the specifics and it is hard to see it working as effectively. The switch to a back three brought a win against Tottenham but that looked like something of a false dawn when it was pulled apart so easily by Atalanta. United are still relearning this particular approach and they paid for it in wide areas, with Duvan Zapata continually finding space in the channel between Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Eric Bailly.

The latter is a likely starter at the Etihad Stadium despite his low standing on the depth chart. Raphael Varane is out for a month with a hamstring injury sustained in the Atalanta game that Victor Lindelof missed with a minor knock. Harry Maguire is playing like a man who returned from his own fitness issues much too soon, something which is reportedly the case. In such circumstances, Solskjaer could stick with a back three but it would not look as impressive as a week earlier if it were to be comprised of Bailly, Maguire and Luke Shaw. It might not take much to make a 4-2-3-1 more

cohesive defensively. Last season, Solskjaer’s wingers would drop back when out of possession yet this time round, whether through in instruction or otherwise, they are all too often bystanders to the troubles at the other end. Returning to that system would likely also rob the Red Devils of Edinson Cavani, one of the few forwards who presses the opposition on a consistent basis.

United’s issue, ultimately, is that they are going into this derby attempting something akin to tactical whack a mole, constantly adjusting to the vagaries of fitness and (particularly) form of a squad that is yet to coalesce into a convincing XI. Last season, he took his team to the Etihad with a clear identity and approach, one that only needed tweaking for this toughest of tests. Now, he seems to have little if anything to underpin his side. More often than not, City mete out harsh lessons to such opposition.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their four most recent league games against Manchester City (W3, D1), their longest such run since a six-match sequence between 2008 and 2011.
  • Only three of the past 16 Manchester derbies in all competitions have been won by the home team, compared to 10 away victories. The visiting side kept a clean sheet in four of the previous five encounters, including all three meetings last season.
  • City are chasing an eighth Premier League win away to United, which would be the most by any club. They have won six of their last 10 top-flight matches at Old Trafford (D2, L2).

Manchester United

  • United are in danger of losing eight league and cup home games in a calendar year for the first time since 1989.
  • They have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their past 13 matches at Old Trafford, their longest such run since 1964.
  • The Red Devils are the only side yet to score a Premier League goal from a set-piece situation this season, excluding penalties.
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has won four of his eight meetings with Pep Guardiola, the best ratio of any manager to face the Catalan at least five times.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight goals in 16 appearances against teams managed by Guardiola, which is bettered only by Jamie Vardy’s total of nine.
  • David de Gea is poised to make his 350th Premier League appearance, which would equal the record for a Spanish player, set by Cesc Fabregas.

Manchester City

  • Manchester City were unable to score in three of their 10 Premier League games this season, matching their final total in 2020-21.
  • City risk failing to score in back-to-back league fixtures for the first time under Pep Guardiola.
  • They last drew a blank in consecutive top-flight matches in March 2016, when Manuel Pellegrini’s side were held 0-0 at Norwich then lost 1-0 at home to Manchester United.
  • Raheem Sterling could make his 300th Premier League appearance – the 26-year-old would become the fourth youngest player to reach the milestone, behind Wayne Rooney, James Milner and Gareth Barry.
  • Sterling has made a career-high 23 appearances against Manchester United in all competitions but has never scored against them – despite playing 1,662 minutes and attempting 38 shots.
  • Phil Foden has been directly involved in 14 goals in his past 16 Premier League away matches, scoring 11 and assisting three.

 

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