The season so far: How do United and City’s starts compare?

After a wild start to the season, the international break allowed us to take a moment and take stock of the action so far. 

Manchester United and Manchester City began the league with a lack of a pre-season and a game in hand, after starting a week late to this season’s Premier League. 

Manchester United

Manchester United began their campaign at home with a disappointing 1-3 defeat against Crystal Palace despite holding 76% possession. However, United fans will have been pleased to see van de Beek scoring on his debut.

United’s first win in the league ended 2-3 against Brighton. The match was a controversial one as United were awarded a penalty after Maupay’s handball, despite the referee blowing the full-time whistle, turning the match from a draw into a United win. United’s goal scorers included Rashford and Fernandes.

United’s third match was a 6-1 loss against former manager Mourinho’s Spurs side, despite the Reds winning a penalty in the second minute, scored by Fernandes. Drama also included United being a man down with Martial getting a red card in the 28th minute. This was the Reds’ biggest defeat in the Premier League since 2011.

United’s first game back after international break saw Luke Shaw put Newcastle in the lead after a disastrous own goal in the opening minutes. Maguire’s equaliser brought the reds back, but it wasn’t until a trio of late goals which saw the reds win 4-1. Fernandes’ goal made up for his earlier penalty miss. Other late goal scorers included Wan-Bissaka and Rashford.

With United conceding in every match, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær could possibly be looking at Dean Henderson to play Premier League matches following De Gea’s blunders.

As of Premier League week five, Manchester United are in 15th position with 6 points and a goal difference of -3. With new signings and Dean Henderson returning, it will be interesting to see how United continue their journey this season and whether they will remain a top-four side.

Manchester City

Manchester City began their campaign without record goal scorer Sergio Aguero as well as multiple first team players who were out due to injuries or COVID-19.

City’s first Premier League match saw the blue side of Manchester in a 3-1 win against Wolves, with goals from De Bruyne, Foden and Jesus. New signing Nathan Ake made his City debut as well as Ferran Torres who was subbed on in the 82nd minute. 

Against Leicester City, the Manchester side suffered a disastrous 2-5 loss at home. Even though Mahrez put City ahead in the 4th minute against his former team, City’s catastrophic defensive mishap allowed Leicester to win three penalties. Nathan Ake also scored his first goal for City.

City’s third Premier League match saw Guardiola’s side draw 1-1 against recently promoted Leeds, despite Sterling’s 17th minute goal putting City in the lead. Statistics show Leeds held 52.1% position and had 7 shots on target compared to City’s 2 shots on target.

City were faced with injuries following international break, including Kevin De Bruyne. However, Aguero returns and starts for the blue side. City won 1-0 against Arteta’s Arsenal side. Raheem Sterling’s goal in the first half saw City head into the week with an easy win.

City fans will be questioning if this is Guardiola’s last season as the manager is yet to decide on his future. 

As of Premier League week five, Manchester City are in 11th position with seven points. As many of City’s key players return and new players come in, will the former champions return to their winning ways?

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