Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Man City’s 3-1 win against Man United provides reality check for Jim Ratcliffe

United has fallen a long way behind both City & Liverpool since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, having failed to win the title since then

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Good luck trying to knock Manchester City off its perch.

With new investment and renewed hope, Manchester United fans have been encouraged to believe the good times will return. That great revival felt as far away as ever after a humbling 3-1 loss to City in the Premier League, which could have been even worse Sunday if not for a spectacula­r miss from

Erling Haaland and a series of saves from United goalkeeper Andre Onana.

“This team is legendary,” City manager Pep Guardiola said afterward.

The same cannot be said for United after a 16th defeat in all competitio­ns this season and its 11th loss in the league. The latest setback delivered another blow to Erik ten Hag’s hopes of securing Champions League qualificat­ion, with his team in sixth and 11 points off fourthplac­e Aston Villa.

City, meanwhile, marches on in its three-pronged defense of the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

“Don’t forget City, at this moment, is the best team in the world,” Ten Hag said.

Such words are likely to offer little comfort to United fans after another defeat to its cross-city rival. The 192nd

Manchester derby is also likely to have been a chastening experience for Jim Ratcliffe, who recently bought a 27.7% stake in the club and vowed to end City’s domestic dominance.

Despite leading at halftime through a stunning goal from Marcus Rashford, United had no response when Phil Foden struck twice in the second half and Haaland made amends for an earlier miss from point blank range to seal the win.

This had been a chance to make an early statement under the regime of British billionair­e Ratcliffe whose investment has secured him control of the club’s soccer operations.

Instead it highlighte­d the gulf between the rivals. Ratcliffe’s mission statement to knock City off its perch was a nod to former United manager Alex Ferguson’s vow to do likewise to a once dominant Liverpool. United has fallen a long way behind both City and Liverpool since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, having failed to win the title since then.

By contrast, City, which is backed by the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and guided by Guardiola, has gone on to become one of the most powerful teams in world football.

Such words are likely to offer little comfort to United fans after another defeat to its cross-city rival

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