Man U fall 2-0 to Man City

It barely took seven minutes of the Manchester derby to leave no doubts about United’s dangerous state.

When Eric Bailly clumsily intercepted a João Cancelo cross and diverted it to the nets, it was the start of another agonizing encounter at Old Trafford with a now far superior opponent.

The only surprise of the Saturday derby was that Man United escaped with a 2-0 loss to Manchester City after Bernardo Silva edged goalkeeper David De Gea off the post in injury time.

Two weeks after being crushed 5-0 by Liverpool at home, Manchester United escaped yet another humiliation, but the encounter underscored how much the team has fallen behind the English Premier’s elite.

City and United have the two most expensive payrolls in world soccer – each armed for more than $ 1 billion – but that wouldn’t be obvious from watching Saturday’s game.

On the table, six points now separate defending champion City from United, who finished second. The gap in quality, tactics and style is much greater, with City walking to victory.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under great pressure, with just one win in six league games. The only success was the week before against Tottenham, who acted quickly, firing manager Nuno Espirito Santo and signing Antonio Conte, who some saw as a potential replacement for Solskjaer.

The Norwegian has been saved several times by Cristiano Ronaldo, but on Saturday he was frustrated, with the team’s lack of intensity leaving him isolated at the top.

Cristiano came close to scoring only once, in the 26th minute, with a volley that was stopped by Ederson.

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That encouraged the crowd in a way that was not seen in the game. But boos were again the dominant sound at Old Trafford.

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