Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne doubts Manchester United players ‘gave up’ in the Manchester derby at Etihad.
Man United succumbed to a heavy defeat to their local rivals, Man City, on Sunday in the Premier League, which led to widespread criticism of Manchester United players.
Kevin De Bruyne opened the scoring from close range but Jadon Sancho scored the equaliser in style. A few minutes later, the Belgian restored City’s lead, in the same manner, just that latter resulted from a melee at United’s box.
Many would have anticipated a comeback fight from Manchester United in the second half, given the top performance they showed in the first half.
That wasn’t the case in the second half as United were completely outplayed and kept at bay in the entire 45 minutes, which limited the visitors to zero shots, unlike the two shots on target they managed in the first half.
The likes of Gary Neville and Roy Keane claimed Manchester United players gave up in the second half, due to how relatively silent their attack was.
But De Bruyne says that Man United’s failed attempt to put pressure on Manchester City may have made it look as though Ralf Rangnick’s men weren’t trying to.
“It’s difficult to say [whether Manchester United gave up], when you play a pressing style it’s very hard to adjust to it so maybe it seemed like they did give up a little,” De Bruyne explained as quoted by Metro. “It’s very hard to do it for 90 minutes as a team.
“First-half it was a bit more difficult, they pressed us a bit higher than they normally do but in the second half we found the spaces where we needed to be.
“I was watching the last 10 minutes and it felt like they were a little bit out, so the spaces got a bit bigger. I wouldn’t necessarily say that they gave up, it’s hard to say that.”