Jose Mourinho suffered his first loss as Manchester United manager in today’s derby against City.
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho gave Pep Guardiola’s team a two-goal lead in the first half. Zlatan Ibrahimovic reduced the deficit but United couldn’t find an equaliser in an action-packed game.
It’s too early in the season to suggest this defeat will cost United the Premier League title but it is a real kick in the teeth for Mourinho and his team.
At home and playing a side without Sergio Aguero, the United boss will have been confident of maintaining his 100 per cent record.
But now, it’s back to the drawing board. After Saturday’s defeat, coupled with a last-gasp win at Hull, it’s clear that United remain a work in progress.
Mourinho gave Jesse Lingard and summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan their first league starts of the season and it’s a decision he’s probably regretting now. Both looked lost at Old Trafford and were hauled off at half-time.
No clues, then, for guessing the “two or three players” Mourinho was alluding to when he blamed his players for the defeat. Scroll to 1:24.
“Look, I have two or three players in the first half who if I know what was going to happen I would not play them,” he said. “Sometimes players disappoint managers.
“They didn’t give me what I want. It’s their fault, it’s my fault.”
De Bruyne stunned Old Trafford with a goal in the 15th minute and when Iheanacho, Aguero’s replacement in the starting line-up, doubled the away side’s lead 20 minutes later, Mourinho must have been thinking it was all a nightmare.
“We started the game with players below the normal level,” he continued. “We need to be sharp in the way we think, the way we play.
“We had a few players below that level and we were made to pay.”