Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United
We sat down with @hesham786 to discuss United's win over their neighbours plus what United need in order to bridge the gap to their rivals for next season.....
What did you make of today's game?
Hesham: I thought it was a game which epitomised two things. Exactly what we need in the summer and the quality we have to make an outstanding side.
The first half was abysmal. The tempo and defending was atrocious, watching City’s reserves toy with them was embarrassing. We were very lucky not to have been 5-0 down. Sterling should’ve ended the game. Second half our tempo was of a team that was hell bent on making an impact. Pogba and Alexis were outstanding. Clinical finishes and of course the points secured by the untouchable Dave.
Just to touch on Mourinho, he has been on the receiving end of quite a lot of criticism as of late. Has the criticism perhaps been a bit harsh?
"We are not as bad as people say, I am not as bad of a manager as people say, my players aren't as bad as people say" - Jose Mourinho
Hesham: I think the criticism in most points has been justified. Team selection, stubborn defensive tactics and mismanagement of key players including Pogba and Martial has been incredibly frustrating.
However, since the Sevilla result, it has been largely positive. And the comeback wins vs Palace and Chelsea and now City show he still has the ability to impact big games and get great results.
So that makes me think, if he loses his stubborn streak a tad, he certainly has the potential to still be successful at United. Provided he manages the careers of Martial and Pogba properly, and manages to keep them, recruiting well could be huge for him.
You mentioned Pogba, him and Alexis have both been criticised quite a bit themselves. What did you make of their performances today?
Hesham: They were anonymous like the whole team in the first half but they really showed what kind of world class players they are. The crosses from Alexis were superb and the movement and finishes from Pogba were class. Pogba really proved the point he wanted to in a big game and silenced the critics - no way United can afford to let him go this summer! Finally Alexis is justifying his move and the exclusion of other wingers like Martial and Rashford, two games and two decisive performances to influence the results.
Today has been described by some as "United setting a marker" for next season. What do you think needs to happen between now and next season for United to bridge the gap to their neighbours?
Hesham: The simple answer is a clear out. City did it last summer with a big turnover of players considered deadwood and replaced them with young star quality. United need to replicate that.
I think we need a RB, LB, CB, CDM as 4 minimum. Then if Fellaini leaves then a second CM. If Mata leaves another versatile attacker. Also for this turnover to work, José has to be willing to be open-minded and change his approach in certain situation to show some positivity.
He won’t have any excuses after this summer with the whole squad of Mourinho-assembled players. He has to show the trust in them if he wants to get anywhere close to Pep’s machine.
Finally then, in an ideal world which players would you like Utd to sign?
Hesham: I would bring in 5 (assuming the departure of Fellaini). Fabinho, Alderweireld, Alex Sandro, Meunier and Milinkovic-Savic or Jorginho as the 2nd CM. May sound ambitious but all 5 are distinctly available!
Could the Napoli man be the player to take United to the next level?
Can't argue with that! And who would you like to see leave the club?
I pray that Smalling finally sees the door, he’s cost us far too many games defensively! Fellaini, Darmian, Blind, Carrick and Shaw. If there’s any spaces in the squad left, I’d like to see Timothy Fosu-Mensah or Axel Tuanzebe back in the fold.