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Rio Ferdinand outlines big disruption that cost United the derby

He may not be the fastest or most mobile but his communication and willingness to throw himself in front of every shot kept us afloat for the better part of the game. 

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Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand highlighted how defender Jonny Evans coming off proved a big disruption to United’s setup.

‘Evans going off was a big disruption for our team because he’s a cool, calm, collected defender with experience,’ Ferdinand told Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE.

Manchester United suffered a rather embarrassing defeat at the hands of their noisy neighbours on Sunday. The scoreline was perhaps not as disconcerting as that 6-3 demolition last season, but the contrast in performance was shameful to say the least, especially in the second half.

Like United legend Roy Keane likes to say, it was men vs boys in that second half.

The Red Devils started fantastically well, with Marcus Rashford’s rocket of a right foot blasting one off the crossbar into the top corner in the eight minute. Erik ten Hag came to the Etihad with a plan: defend well and catch City on the counter.

As retrogressive as it is to his usual possession-based philosophy, one cannot fail to acknowledge the numerous injuries depriving him of the freedom to play as he does. In all fairness it is impossible to go toe for toe with Man City with the available players.

The plan worked fantastically well especially in the first half, and we could have been 3 up at the half were luck on our side.

Fortunes changed in the second half when Man City starlet Phil Foden equalized in the 56th minute.

Part of why he had defended so well was the partnership of Rapha Varane and Jonny Evans. With a combined age of 66, the two old heads once again proved there is no substitute for experience. Their calmness and leadership at the back kept perhaps the league’s most potent attack at bay for a while.

Evans in particular was magnificent, especially considering he was playing whilst slightly injured. He may not be the fastest or most mobile but his communication and willingness to throw himself in front of every shot kept us afloat for the better part of the game.

He came off in the 69th minute shortly after City took the lead for young French-Congolese defender Willy Kambwala, and it was downhill from then on.

The 36-year-old, Evans, was starting in the Manchester derby for the first time since December 2012, and he did fantastic all things considered.

The result means United remain down in sixth, 11 points adrift the Champion’s League places. Man City on the other hand put them a point behind league leaders Liverpool ahead of their much-anticipated clash at the weekend.

 

 

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