Early concessions haunt Man United again as Matic, Herrera struggle
Manchester United continued the theme of their season by conceding first at the Etihad Stadium, but unlike recent games, found themselves up against opponents not prepared to let them back into the game.
Jose Mourinho's side saw off Bournemouth and Juventus in the space of five days last week after going behind but they could not make it three out of three against Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions.
There was something of a response at 2-0 when Anthony Martial converted a penalty but the hosts ensured there was no danger of that turning into a 3-2 win for the away side, as it had done here in April.
United's character is not in question. They could have folded when 1-0 down but battled to stay in the game until half-time. They could have gone under again when Sergio Aguero doubled the lead but bounced back almost immediately with Martial's penalty. They have shown they are up for the fight under Mourinho.
However, United are allowing too many goals. Mourinho's team have kept just one clean sheet in the league this season and David Silva's strike in the 12th minute was the seventh time in 12 games that they have conceded first and the sixth time in nine they have conceded inside the first 20 minutes. Not since 1966 have United have shipped 21 goals after 12 top-flight games.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- In his 300th Premier League match as a manager, Mourinho was limited with his team selection after Pogba was ruled out with an injury and Alexis Sanchez was only fit enough for a place on the bench. United's manager tried to make his team hard to break down but was always up against it after conceding so early.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK David De Gea, 6 -- The Spanish international conceded from City's first two shots on target and will be unhappy to have been beaten at his near post by Aguero, though but there was a lot of power behind the effort.
DF Ashley Young, 6 -- Struggled to deal with the left-sided combination of David Silva and Raheem Sterling, leaving space in behind twice before the City pair took advantage for the first goal.
DF Luke Shaw, 6 -- Will be disappointed to have let Bernardo Silva steal in at the far post to set up City's opener but did well enough against Riyad Mahrez to ensure he was the first player replaced by Pep Guardiola.
DF Chris Smalling, 6 -- Did not do much wrong defensively but never looked comfortable on the ball, with City seemingly prepared to let him have it.
DF Victor Lindelof, 6 -- Did not give the ball away once in the first half but lost Aguero when the Argentinian striker blasted the home side into a 2-0 lead just after half-time.
MF Nemanja Matic, 5 -- He appeared to have been asked to shadow Bernardo Silva, but the midfielder escaped to fire a shot past the post early on. Matic kept possession well but lost Ilkay Gundogan for City's third.
MF Ander Herrera, 5 -- Had his work cut out on the right of United's midfield three trying to stop David Silva. Herrera was also put under a lot of pressure when he had the ball and gave it away too much.
MF Marouane Fellaini, 6 -- Replaced the injured Pogba and won many balls in his own penalty area to fend off attacks but did not add much in open play.
FW Jesse Lingard, 5 -- Worked hard and limited Benjamin Mendy's raids from left-back but should have got closer to Sterling when he crossed in the build up to City's opener and was robbed in midfield by Fernandinho for the second.
FW Anthony Martial, 6 -- United's most dangerous forward again, he scored the penalty to become only the seventh player to score in five consecutive league games for the club, following Eric Cantona, Dwight Yorke, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robin van Persie.
FW Marcus Rashford, 5 -- Given the nod over Sanchez as the centre-forward, but was left screaming at his midfield to push further up the pitch at the end of the first half, which just about summed up his afternoon.
FW Romelu Lukaku, 6 -- Made an instant impact in winning a penalty seconds after coming on for Lingard.
MF Juan Mata, NR -- Replaced fellow Spaniard Herrera but did not see enough of the ball. N/A.
FW Alexis Sanchez, NR -- On for Rashford, he was busy but not threatening on the right.