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Man City vs Man United: Keane calls derby defeat ‘men v boys’, claims defenders took ‘breathers’

Manchester City made their derby against Manchester United resemble “men v boys” during their 3-1 comeback win at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, Roy Keane has said.

Sixth-placed United took a surprise eighth-minute lead through a spectacular Marcus Rashford strike and held on until the 56th minute, when Phil Foden scored the first of City’s goals to leave Red Devils legend Keane unimpressed.

“That’s 11 league losses now for United,” pointed out former United captain Keane, speaking to Sky Sports. “That’s one scary stat, to give up so many goals and defeats.

“The stats at the end of the game show you how dominant Man City were. They were brilliant. They showed why they’re champions.

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“Two or three players were having breathers at the wrong time. They were having a breather for a split second and you can’t do that against Foden.

“There are two or three of them. You’ve got to get up to the ball. He’s an amazing, brilliant player – get out to him.

“It’s those fine details. It’s not as if they didn’t have the bodies back. For the last 20, 25 minutes, it was men v boys.”

City goals vs United ‘could have been five’

United had been unbeaten in 2024 but have now lost two games in a row following their last-gasp home defeat to Fulham eight days ago, making Uefa Champions League football in their first full season following Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s takeover of footballing operations look increasingly unlikely.

Tottenham occupy the fifth-placed position which is likely to guarantee a place in the flagship continental competition in 2024/25, standing six points above United with a game in hand.

“Towards the end, it could have been four or five,” Keane said, comparing United’s substitutions unfavourably with their opponents’ changes. “They were hanging in there and making mistakes.

“This team seems to be all about moments. Over the last few months, you just don’t see consistent performances. Eventually, that catches up with you. United need more.”

City, who scored a second through Foden 10 minutes from time and another courtesy of Erling Haaland in added time, are a point behind leaders Liverpool.

The dominant force in English football have won the Premier League six times since United’s last title, which came during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge in 2012/13.

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