Manchester City humbled Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday in Manchester derby.
Before the Manchester derby, Erik Ten Hag’s side had won four consecutive Premier League games including beating Liverpool and Arsenal. The Red Devils are sixth on the Premier League table with a game in hand.
The Citizens were four goals up by the first half through Phil Foden (2) and Erling Haaland (2). Manchester City won the goals by 6-3 with both Foden and Erling Haaland scoring hat trick.
However, Gary Neville has slammed Manchester United attacking players for lacking composure when they had the ball.
What did Gary Neville say?
Gary Neville said on Sky Sports on the Gary Neville Podcast:” I don’t think if you’re analyzing Manchester United’s performance you should be saying, ‘why didn’t Casemiro start alongside McTominay?’ I don’t feel like that was a mistake from Ten Hag at all.
“I know there’s been the disruption of the international break and the Queen passing, which isn’t helpful when the team are on a good run, but the players he put out on that pitch were confident together.
“It was the unforced errors, the anxiety on the ball, and the lack of composure. I’m not talking about the defenders at the back who are being pressed but the midfielders and the forwards: Rashford, Eriksen, Fernandes, McTominay.
“They were all giving it away in that first half unnecessarily. It just then brings further negative vibes throughout the team when your best players aren’t handling the ball well. They should’ve been better, a lot better.
“They were forcing it far too early. It’s almost like they got into their heads, when they get it they’ve got to counter-attack, they’ve got to put the ball in behind City, but to do that you’ve got to play those two or three passes in midfield and through midfield to set it up. You can’t just think you get the ball, play one pass, turn and knock it over the center-backs, even if they’re not City’s best center-backs, they’re going to read that. It just became really simple for City’s defenders to be able to cope with it.
“There were problems with Dalot in defense, there were problems at center-back with Varane and Martinez, there were problems with Malacia at left-back, there’s no doubt they didn’t have their best day. But the standout thing for me was just how badly Manchester United’s players in midfield and up front handled the ball in the first half.
“The teams I’ve seen here do well have had to cope with defending a lot during the game, but they’ve also had to demonstrate that they can punch through City and hurt them to make the crowd nervous. United never did that in the first half, they just encouraged the City all the time by giving the ball away in really poor areas. It was from players you wouldn’t expect it from.
“I said United bottled it. They froze, they were nervous. Whatever word you want to use, the performance was it in a bucket, really. You’re playing against a top team, City had players missing, but up front, you’ve got Grealish, Foden, and Haaland, fed by Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne, with Gündoğan who’s a brilliant passer in midfield as well.
“It’s a lot to ask of the United back four, but I expected them to handle it better. Varane and De Gea are experienced while Martinez has played in plenty of big games in the Champions League with Ajax. Grealish really got on top of Dalot in the first few minutes. Malacia never really handled Foden.
“It’s difficult. I expected them to handle it better, but I wouldn’t put the blame for today on the back four. I was more disappointed with how Manchester United’s midfield and forward players were. I thought it was really poor in that first half. They didn’t turn up and you’ve not got a chance if they don’t.”