Positive football at the Etihad
The Manchester Derby was always going to be more than just Man City v Man United. Pep Guardiola v Jose Mourinho is a battle that has its own history, and perhaps more importantly, its own style. Pep’s free flowing, pass and move football, up against Mourinho’s back to the wall, defensive outlook.
The team sheets rang true to form. City picked David and Bernardo Silva in the midfield three, who supported three out-and-out attackers. United went for the more tenacious and defensive trio of Nemanja Matic, Marouane Felaini and Ander Herrera.
City not only won the match 3-1, but they were miles ahead of United in most attacking aspects of the game. The Citizens had 17 shots to United’s six, had 65% of the possession and managed five corners to just the one for the Red Devils. Attacking football won the derby.
A 2-1 win over high flying Bournemouth gave Newcastle United their second win in a row and moved them into the dizzy heights of 14th. Salomon Rondon scored twice in what was his best performance in the famous number 9 shirt. The Toon aren’t playing a team currently in the top six until Boxing Day, and have a great chance of moving further away from the bottom three.
Another side who picked up three precious points in a 2-1 win, was Cardiff. A late Sol Bamba goal gave them the victory against ten man Brighton. Although the win meant that the Bluebirds stayed in the relegation zone, it is only goal difference that’s keeping them in there. Their next home game is against Wolves.
The inexperienced referee had a day to forget on the south coast, as he and his officials made a number of high profile errors. One of those, Charlie Austin’s goal being chalked off wrongly for being offside, led the striker to produce one the best post-match rants you’re likely to see this season. Less attention was given to Ryan Bertrand’s tackle on Nathaniel Chalobah, which could have been a penalty and a likely second yellow for the left-back. A bad day all round, but at least Mark Hughes is known for being one of the calmer managers in the league and would have surely understood we all make mistakes…
Attackers at the Emirates
At the start of the day, Wolves would probably have taken a 1-1 draw away to Arsenal. Most newly promoted sides would and it also meant that Nuno Espírito Santo’s side stopped a three game losing streak. However, his side had more than enough chances to win the game. Helder Costa, Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez all missed great chances to seal the victory. Not to be beaten, Arsenal’s attackers also got in on the action, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting the post when he really should have scored. In total, it was 10 v 13 in the shots department and on another day, you’d have to fancy one side would have won this.