Bernardo Silva scored the third Premier League goal for the season
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made a bold claim that Manchester United was the largest club in the city, and possibly the world, before the derby meeting with Manchester City.
Solskjaer might be correct in some of his calculations, but not when it comes down to the important matter of football.
How United's poor manager hit the ground with a tremendous thud, as he and his team were outclassed by far more people than this slim 2-0 score suggests.
United's current form and the fact that they were humiliated by Liverpool 5-0 in their last Old Trafford League game might suggest Solskjaer is guilty if he has been hurling bricks at his opponents from the Premier League’s largest greenhouse.
Given United's limited circumstances, it was an absurd judgment. To put it bluntly: neither Solskjaer or Manchester United are in a position to make such ambitious proclamations in the direction Manchester City.
Although it may not have been the same scoreline as the Liverpool humbling, the gulf between them, their managerial and coaching abilities, and the current state of Manchester United, when compared to the clubs they aim to challenge, was just as bad and frustrating.
Liverpool won 5-0 against Manchester United, and they were spared further punishment. Manchester City could do the same at 2-0, and it was only David De Gea, the keeper, that prevented a bigger defeat.
It was extremelly one-sided. Manchester United had actually more shots at David de Gea that they had at Ederson. Solskjaer saw it as a disaster.
This makes United's win at Tottenham last Wednesday, in the dying days of Nuno Espirito Sante's tenure, seem like an exception to the norm. United enter the international break with only one win from six league matches and four points out of a possible 18.
Manchester City held 68% possession at Old Trafford
United has stood by Solskjaer throughout this turbulent spell. However, his management is now in doubt. They have a two week international break to ponder more. Although one candidate (who United are not interested in) has already been west with Antonio Conte at Spurs.
Another betrayal of United’s traditions was this performance. Solskjaer loves to talk about the United Way and how it must provide entertainment and excitement. While they were entertaining and exciting, it was only for the City fan who enjoyed their dominance while taunting Solskjaer with chants like "Ole's on the wheel", "five more tear" and "Ole Ole, give me a wave".
United was more like a team from a lower league, setting up an FA Cup tie against another lower league team. They sat back and accepted the punishment. This tactic was undermined by poor defending and a miserable knack of returning the ball to Manchester City when they were allowed it.
No aggression. No ambition. Too passive. Outclassed.
Liverpool Episode 2 was a complete episode, except for the scoreline and the more unrest and jeering from the stands. Although there was some defiance, it was done with a sense of resignation in these difficult times for United's support.
Old Trafford has been a great supporter of Solskjaer, as is his club legend status. However, the supply isn't unlimited and it would surprise many if that didn't apply to the club hierarchy.
Manchester United have lost all four of their Premier League home matches.
Donny van der Beek, the Netherlands' midfielder so shockingly marginalised by Solskjaer was the biggest cheer of the day. He replaced Fred with ten minutes remaining. It is not clear what he wanted to accomplish with United on damage limitation, but he did manage to get to stretch his legs in a Manchester United shirt.
While much has been said about Manchester City's spending, it is clear that Solskjaer also spent over 400m. This leaves them with a side that is on a different plane than their former "noisy neighbors" - and this is before we even reach Liverpool or Chelsea.
Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw from England were once again terrible in defense, as was evident by their cryptic watching brief on Joao cancelo's cross for Bernardo Silva. Bruno Fernandes appeared exhausted at the end of the match, but this was probably due to his constant complaining to team-mates rather than any footballing impact. Aaron Wan-Bissaka looked lost.
Solskjaer is under increasing pressure as the grim statistics pile up around his feet.
United have not kept a clean sheet in any of their 14 home games in all competitions. Their longest run was a 21-game streak between March 1958 and March 1959. In 2021, they have lost eight home games in all competitions. This is their worst record in a calendar-year since 1989 when they lost eight.
This was also the first consecutive loss in a home league game for United since March 2014. Who were the opponents? Liverpool and Manchester City. Who is the manager? David Moyes. We all know what happened next.
Manchester United only had four touches in the opposition box during this match. This was their lowest Premier League match since Opta started recording data in 2008-09, and the lowest number of home matches since Fulham's three against Arsenal on September 2020.
It's terrible stuff, but it is clear that the Manchester United team is not going anywhere under Solskjaer. However, some experienced players are doing nothing for their manager when he most needs them.
We have seen United's defeats at Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City in recent week. It is a style and result that cannot be sustained for a club this size.
Simply put, something has to change. It is not clear if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be the manager if given the opportunity.