Dominant Manchester City show how vast the gulf has become with United | Jonathan Wilson
While Ole Gunnar Solskjær tries to reconjure old values, City are breaking free from their past with the title a step closer
In prospect, six weeks ago, in that golden age when Manchester United didn’t have a permanent manager, the derby looked like being the biggest obstacle between Manchester City and retaining the league title. History, perhaps, will continue to view it as such: it is a derby, it is United; how could it not have been a night of furious passions and impossible tension? And yet in the moment, once the initial United surge was over – there was, at least, some sort of reaction to Sunday’s humiliation at Everton – the overwhelming sense was of how vast the gulf between the sides has become.
That is 11 league wins in a row now for City, a run of absurd consistency. United battled, at least until going behind, but as Roy Keane pointed out that should be a prerequisite. The presence of a bit of fight, though, served only to highlight the difference in quality, a disparity highlighted by the way United set out with three central defenders shielded by three deep-lying midfielders – and nobody accused Ole Gunnar Solskjær of needless ideological negativity; breaking the game up was just the best way of trying to get something out of the game.