Sometimes in football you need to just take a step back and applaud your opponents, regardless of whether or not you’re rivals. Last night a great deal of Manchester United fans would’ve been forced to do just that, after Manchester City proved themselves to be the superior club from Manchester once again with a 3-1 triumph over the Red Devils at the Etihad.
While it certainly wasn’t smooth sailing from the first minute until the very last for the reigning Premier League champions, they definitely felt in control of the game throughout the majority of the afternoon with David Silva opening up proceedings with a cool finish early on. It took until after the break for Sergio Aguero to double their advantage before Anthony Martial pulled one back from the penalty spot, but after one of the best moves of the season, Ilkay Gundogan ensured that City would finish the weekend at the top of the table.
We’ve spoken about the gulf in class between City and the rest of the league before, but when you consider the fact that United are arguably their biggest rivals, it becomes even more clear that they’re capable of doing some extraordinary things on the pitch. There’s still work to be done if they want to extend their dominance to Europe, kind of in a similar manner to Paris Saint-Germain, but they’re certainly on the right path towards greatness.
United, on the other hand, have some pretty big questions to ask themselves. They know, and we know, that they aren’t going to challenge for the Premier League title this season, but they need to figure out what their true goal is from a domestic standpoint. Jose Mourinho is still capable of doing some big things at Old Trafford, but it’s just a question of whether or not he’ll be given the time to do so.
What’s the next step for City and United respectively?