City vs United: Predicting the Manchester United XI for the derby

But Anthony Martial's equaliser from the penalty spot on 57 minutes, after substitute Romelu Lukaku had been fouled by goalkeeper Ederson, gave United a flicker of hope.

Working as co-commentator for this afternoon's Manchester derby, United legend Gary Neville was probably at his happiest reflecting on the build-up to City's third and decisive goal. United ended this game in eighth position, 12 points behind their cross-city rivals and with a negative goal difference after 12 games.

Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez has been linked with a route out of the club after an underwhelming start to his United career since moving from Arsenal; the Chilean's frequent scintillating man-of-the-match moments with the North London club simply have not been replicated up North.

Jose Mourinho's worst nightmare is a porous team, a wonky defence, a hefty goals-conceded column.

Mourinho's hand was certainly weakened on Sunday by the absence of Paul Pogba through injury, but it is an indictment of United that they do not have a player capable of stepping in to fill the void left by the inconsistent and, at times, infuriating French midfielder.

"If United start like they did against Bournemouth, then the game will be over inside 15 minutes". We made mistakes, we were punished for these mistakes. They had 6-0 wins, no pressure, relaxed. We played two matches away, hard ones, the second was a final against one of the best teams in Europe (Juventus), which demanded everything we had to give, physically and mentally.

"It's sobering to say, but we shouldn't compare Manchester United to Manchester City actually", Neville claimed.

"For me it was more important to get three points but it's always nice to score", said Aguero.

What is at the end of this season remains to be seen, but United's slim chances of winning the title are now over and a top four would now be a remarkable achievement. "I can imagine when the result was 2-1, if we bring a fresh Fellaini on, I think they (Man City) would be in big, big trouble". But instead he was making an incredible effort to stay on the pitch.

Paul Pogba, meanwhile, did not arrive with the squad at the Lowry hotel and looks set to miss out completely.

  • Marlene Weaver