City were solid enough but cautious in that first half, up against a United side that seemed reticent to attack too much. As United now realise they have to find a goal, the commitment from City has come to the fore as players throw everything they have into challenges to keep them at bay.
You wonder whether City are focusing on tiring United out this half. It hasn’t been much more exciting but they have kept the ball a lot better and are not making silly errors to gift the home team opportunities. If you want to keep the ball, Jack Grealish is a better bet than Phil Foden and Grealish is just coming on.
It’s getting to the point where United should be disappointed not to be ahead. Rodri did well there just to ease into Rashford ever so slightly to upset his balance. It has become unusual to see Rashford be that wasteful that close to goal but he has had two great openings now.
United’s game management has been really impressive. They’ve fashioned openings creatively and they are not as dependent on breakways as they were in the first 15 or 20 minutes. City have really not got going in the final third. Haaland’s only had one sight of goal so far but his role is one of the most interesting aspects of this gam from a tactical point of view.
When City are building from the back he is dropping deeper and depper to give them a passing option. De Bruyne and Bernardo are being closely watched by Fred and Casemiro, but when Haaland drops off neither Varane nor Shaw go with him, so the striker is often becoming a free midfielder when he pops up in the centre circle.
— Troll Football (@UKTrollFootball) January 14, 2023