Sunday, December 5, 2021

This is nowhere near good enough – Man Utd captain Maguire apologetic after derby defeat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Nov 2021

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Harry Maguire has labelled Manchester United’s current form “nowhere near good enough” following Saturday’s derby defeat to Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side hardly had to get out of second gear at Old Trafford as an own goal from Eric Bailly and a close-range finish from Bernardo Silva sealed a comfortable 2-0 win.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had enjoyed a good record against Guardiola in previous league derbies, but United mustered just one shot on target throughout the match as they slumped to a fourth defeat in their last six top-flight outings.

City had 67.4 per cent possession and managed 16 attempts to United’s five, with David de Gea having to pull off a string of fine saves in the first half.

United are now without a clean sheet in their last 14 home games in all competitions – they have only had one longer run in their entire history without a home clean sheet, a 21-game run between April 1958 and March 1959 – while their record of eight defeats at Old Trafford in 2021 is their worst in a calendar year since they lost eight in 1989.

The Red Devils have conceded 11 Premier League goals in six home games this season, the most after six matches at Old Trafford since 1976-77.

Part of the problem at the back has been the form of Maguire. The England centre-back missed a chunk of the season due to injury but returned against Leicester City last month, turning in a poor performance in a 4-2 defeat.

Maguire has struggled to find his best level, having a torrid time against Liverpool in a 5-0 loss on October 24, and he was at least partly culpable for City’s second goal when he failed to communicate with Luke Shaw, allowing Silva to steal in at the back post and prod in Joao Cancelo’s cross.

In a Twitter post on Sunday, Maguire acknowledged the performances are far from where they need to be, but insisted United will turn their fortunes around.

“As a group of players we are going through a tough period,” the post read.

“We know and accept this is nowhere near good enough. We feel your frustration and disappointment, we are doing everything we can to put things right and we will put things right.

“Thanks for your support. UNITED.”

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