City’s joy, United’s desperation – Stats show class chasm between derby rivals


Manchester City demonstrated their dominance over neighbors United with a 4-1 victory in Sunday’s derby.

This season’s Premier League stats confirm the class difference between the teams and, here, the PA news agency assess how they compare.

Domination at both ends

Manchester City dominates the season comparison with their local rivals (PA chart)

The league table shows a 22-point gap between the rivals, with City leading after winning 22 of their 28 games, while United are battling for a Champions League place after winning just 13 of 28 – on the way to win less than half of their games for only the third time in the Premier League era.

The goalscoring stats at either end of the pitch make the differences all the more clear, particularly on the defensive end where City have kept more than twice as many clean sheets but required less than half the saves to do so.

City and Ederson lead the Premier League with 16 clean sheets, with United managing just seven to sit 11th, even though David De Gea leads the league with 104 saves. He and Leeds’ Illan Meslier are the only three-figure goalkeepers, according to the league’s official website, with Ederson called up for just 48 saves and City 50 overall.

City’s attack, meanwhile, rank second behind Liverpool with 68 goals and 517 shots – three and 11 respectively behind Jurgen Klopp’s side. United rank a respectable third in shots, but far behind City with 399, while their 45 goals rank fifth.

pass the masters

Most passes attempted in Premier League 2021-22
Manchester City have the four most prolific passers this season, with United’s best man ranking 21st (PA chart)

The style of play of Pep Guardiola’s side is reflected in the Premier League passing stats, with their players occupying the top four places in terms of attempted passes.

Joao Cancelo leads with 2,164, an average of over 83 per game in 26 appearances, with Aymeric Laporte also over 2,000 and fellow centre-back Ruben Dias just nine short. Midfielder Rodri went fourth before Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk broke the monopoly.

There is even a fifth City player, Bernardo Silva, ranked ahead of United’s top passer Bruno Fernandes and the pattern repeats itself in the overall throw-ins. Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold sits in second place there behind Cancelo, Rodri, Laporte and Dias completing the top five.

Cancelo’s extraordinary season in a marauding full-back role also sees him lead City in terms of tackling and, most notably, shooting where he sits 10th in the league with 59.

It’s an area where United have an outstanding contributor, Cristiano Ronaldo’s 79 attempts surpassed only by Liverpool’s Golden Boot pacemaker Mohamed Salah, while Paul Pogba is tied for third in the league with nine assists – two more than City’s top contributor Gabriel Jesus.

Double pleasure

Bernardo Silva celebrates his goal in City's win at Old Trafford in November
Bernardo Silva celebrates his goal in City’s win at Old Trafford in November (Martin Rickett/PA)

Having also won 2-0 at Old Trafford in November, City completed a league double against United for the first time since 2018-19.

United had actually won three of the four league meetings between those two campaigns, as well as a goalless draw at Old Trafford last season, although City finished higher in the table and knocked them out of the Carabao Cup at two times.

The last time there was a league win was in 2017-18, with City winning 2-1 at Old Trafford before Pogba inspired United to a 3-2 success at the Etihad Stadium.


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