News Live Scores
Manchester City

Embarrassed again: Did Ronaldo join the wrong Manchester club?

08:44 GMT 07/11/2021
Cristiano Ronaldo Bernardo Silva Man Utd Man City GFX
Two weeks after United's 5-0 loss at home to Liverpool, the Portuguese cut a disconsolate figure once more in Saturday's 2-0 loss to City

It might be an uncomfortable get-together when the Portugal squad meet up for their World Cup qualifiers this week.

Manchester City trio Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Ruben Dias have just humiliated two of their international team-mates.

"They showed us today we are not at the same level," Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes said of the reigning Premier League champions after Saturday's dismal 2-0 derby defeat.

Meanwhile, his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo headed straight down the tunnel at the full-time whistle with his eyes looking down at his feet.

Moments earlier, he had shown his frustration with a scything challenge on Kevin De Bruyne that left the Belgian rolling around on the floor and could possibly have resulted in more than a yellow card.

Two weeks after being lucky to avoid a red in United's 5-0 loss at home to Liverpool, Ronaldo was left frustrated and embarrassed again.

The scoreline was at least kinder to United this time around but make no mistake about it: this was another humbling loss for the hosts.

After a thoroughly dominant first half from City, which forced at least four high-quality saves from David De Gea, the second half turned into one giant rondo practice session.

Every outfield City player that started the game at Old Trafford had more touches than Ronaldo – or any United player for that matter.

With more than two-thirds of possession, City simply passed the ball around their hapless hosts, who actually had more attempts on De Gea's goal than Ederson's, with Eric Bailly even opening the scoring with an own goal.

How galling this must have been for Ronaldo. Remember, it was only a couple of months ago that Pep Guardiola had taken an interest in bringing him to the Etihad Stadium.

Ronaldo let his heart rule his head by returning to his former club but as he trundled miserably off the pitch, he must have wondered what life would be like now had he moved five miles down the road.

Even at 36, Ronaldo has proven that he remains a lethal finisher. When opportunities arrive, he usually takes them, as he has once again shown in this season's Champions League.

But the five-time Ballon d'Or winner needs world-class players around him now more than ever before if he is to win trophies. Juventus failed to do that, which is why he was so desperate to leave Turin during the summer.

So, as his incredible career moves into its final years, he must now be realising that his chances of winning another major trophy at club level have not been helped by his decision to move to Old Trafford over the Etihad.

Indeed, the gulf in class between City and United was made painfully clear on Saturday. While Bernardo breathlessly covered every inch of the pitch in between scoring City's killer second goal, United's attackers laboured without producing any creativity.

Cancelo proved a bigger threat than Bruno, with the versatile full-back turning in an energetic and enterprising display. His cross for Bernardo's back-post finish was his second assist of the game and came after he made three goals in the midweek Champions League rout of Brugge.

In defence, meanwhile, Dias was utterly untroubled by Ronaldo, who will be looking forward to playing with the centre-half next week rather than against him. 

Of course, the difference in quality wasn't just about the players on show. The contrast in quality between the two teams' managers is stark.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer packed his defence, hoping United could snatch a victory on the break, clipping the wings of the dangerous Mason Greenwood, who shadowed defensive midfielder Rodri, while Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were only second-half substitutes.

Afterwards, he admitted his selection hadn't paid off: "When you lose a game against a good team, you want to see a better Man United team than that."

Guardiola, meanwhile, was pleased with his side's performance but, tellingly, didn't get carried away by beating a poor United side.

"Solid performance, good game and deserved victory – three more points," he said. "You have to put the ball in the fridge. A lot of passes, a lot of passes. Except for 10 minutes in the middle when I thought we lost stupid passes, it was really good."

City will return after the international break confident of chasing down Chelsea. They had missed a finisher of Ronaldo's ruthlessness in recent games against Southampton and Crystal Palace. 

But City can cope a lot better without a striker than Ronaldo can without much support.