Damning stats show how far Man Utd are off City as they record their second worst Premier League total EVER

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ERIK TEN HAG defended his tactics for the derby – despite Manchester United recording a second worst Premier League total EVER in the loss at City.

The Dutchman even feels that they could have worked but for injuries to Marcus Rashford and Jonny Evans.

Erik ten Hag has defended his tactics in the Manchester derby defeat

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Erik ten Hag has defended his tactics in the Manchester derby defeatCredit: PA
The Cityzens recorded 27 shots to United's three

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The Cityzens recorded 27 shots to United’s threeCredit: EuroFoot

Rashford broke the deadlock on eight minutes with a rasping 30-yard strike to stun the Etihad.

However, they barely threatened Pep Guardiola’s team after that and went in at the break leading – largely thanks to Erling Haaland’s “worst miss ever”

Phil Foden, who produced nine shots himself, did level it up as United set up to try to stifle City and were hanging on at 1-1 when the two players were forced off.

Ten Hag’s men managed only three efforts on goal in the whole game and were eventually undone by another Foden goal and a late strike from Haaland as they lost 3-1.

But the Old Trafford boss felt two key decisions had also gone against his team – which had also been crucial.

He said: “I think the plan went well, it’s very small margins. Football is not only about possession, of course you need the ball to score a goal.

“We scored a brilliant goal but also after that the first 20 minutes we had some more opportunities.

“I thought we defended brilliantly out of possession but the defining moments were not on our side.”

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However, the shocking stats that emerged from the game afterwards suggested quite the opposite.

United attempted just three shots in the game, with only one on target, meaning that they have only once recorded less in a single Premier League match since Opta records back in 2003.

Man Utd & Man City Premier League combined XI

That was when they only mustered two efforts against Liverpool back in April 2022.

It also ended United’s 10-year run of having been unbeaten in 143 games when ahead at the break – having won 123 of those and drawing 20.

Meanwhile City, who enjoyed 74 per cent possession, stacked up 27 goal attempts with eight being on target.

That means that, amazingly, City had more shots that United had possession.

They also had 15 corners compared to United’s two while the Cityzens made 728 passes, with the Red Devils only completing 228.

Having watched United lose for the 11th time in the top-flight this season, two more than the previous campaign, ex-club captain Roy Keane told Sky Sports afterwards: “That’s one scary stat when you consider what United are, to give up so many goals and defeats.”

He added: “I don’t want to be too hard on United because City were brilliant. They showed why they’re champions.

“What City do is they find out all your shortcomings. There’s no hiding place. It’s like a boxing ring. They wore them down.

Credit: Opta

“The stats show you how dominant Man City were. Haaland and [Kevin] De Bruyne weren’t at their best but then Foden steps up.

“I think it’s more credit to Man City than being too critical of Man United.

‘Manchester United will have to take their medicine today. It still leaves that question mark over where this United team are going. 

“In the last 25 minutes they couldn’t get anywhere near City, who toyed with them.

“It was men vs boys in the end and they were just hanging in there. Towards the end, you’re thinking it could be four or five. 

“There’s still question marks of this team and unfortunately of the manager.”

Phil Foden had three times as many shots as the entire United team
Phil Foden had three times as many shots as the entire United team

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Damning stats show how far Man Utd are off City as they record their second worst Premier League total EVER

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