Manchester United's shocking derby defeat at Manchester City throws up many questions which demand answers.

The defeat came as a shock to United fans - many of whom are yet to recover from the previous outrageous defeat - who were expecting their darling Red Devils to prevail over City despite playing away at the Etihad.

The indignation and criticism from United fans and football pundits alike started even before the referee blew the final whistle in the fierce encounter where United went down to a resounding 4-1 defeat by Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.

United - without Robin van Persie who had a groin injury - were not only outplayed, out-fought and out-worked by City, but the team lacked character on this crucial encounter. Only in the final ten minutes when the game was already well in the hands of City were the Red Devils able to get any traction in the match.

It could be argued in some quarters that this is a continuation of United's sometimes slow start to the league campaign but then it was expected that in big games such as the City clash which could potentially be a title-decider, United would face up to the challenge.

On the afternoon, United's team put up an uninspiring display, United boss David Moyes had started the experienced centre-back pair of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic but neither were able to contain the City attack and many were left wondering how long their partnership would last this term.

City strike pair Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo proved too hot for the centre-backs to handle as they were pretty much bullied by the attackers.

The performance of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young in wide positions could best be described as spineless. Valencia was severely  exposed by City left-back Aleksandar Kolarov in the first-half, while Young was wasteful in possession and was fortunate to last until six minutes into the second-half. City were already 4-0 up by then.

No doubt United is being haunted by the change in manager as Moyes is yet to impose his authority on the team.

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United's formation was guided by a mentality of aggressively forcing the opposition into mistakes usually by imposing themselves on the game, upping the tempo and in most cases the opponent crumbled but that is lacking at the moment.

In all fairness to Moyes, it took Ferguson many years to develop this aura of superiority and believe that there is no such thing as a lost cause.

However, Moyes will definitely not get the same amount of time as Ferguson was afforded, so the former Everton boss may need to hasten up stamping his authority on the team and help the players improve their dwindling mentality this term.

Having inherited a formidable team from Ferguson, Moyes must ensure the team come out strong subsequently this term as well as develop that never-say-die attitude the Ferguson era was heralded with.

United’s resilience and ability to bounce back from a poor result was perhaps one of the most under-valued features of Ferguson’s time at Old Trafford, but to ensure the safety of Moyes' job and United's title challenge, the team needs to rebound from Sunday’s result as it has done in the past or the pressure on both manager and team will rapidly increase.

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