Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be “damaged slightly” after losing the Manchester derby 2-1 at home to City on Saturday, according to former player Gary Neville.
Pep Guardiola’s City side dominated United on their way to a 2-0 lead but Zlatan Ibrahimovic cut the gap to 2-1 before half-time. United improved after the break but City held on to keep up their 100 percent start to the season while Mourinho dropped points for the first time in the league this campaign.
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Gary Neville Podcast, the former United defender said: “For Pep Guardiola and City, it’s a big day. To come and win against a Jose Mourinho team is tough. He doesn’t lose many games at home and it’s a big, big moment.
“Jose Mourinho will be dented tonight, damaged slightly. He’s a man of great pride, but they’ll respond, it’s still early days, and it doesn’t tell us about the league title and where it’s going.
“Ultimately, it means City have bragging rights this week, and that I won’t appear in Manchester as much as I would have done if United had won.”
Mourinho and Guardiola had a fierce rivalry while they were managing in La Liga, but have tried to play it down in recent days. However, Neville felt that the match lived up to the hype.
“The build-up to the game was probably the biggest I’ve ever seen to what would be, in my eyes, a normal league game — obviously there have been title deciders between these two sides in previous years at the end of the season,” he said.
“This is four games into the season and the build-up was huge. Subconsciously, we wondered whether the managers would think: ‘Let’s get out of here without damage.’
“Many predicted a draw, but it was absolutely nothing like I expected. It was the game you would have dreamt of in terms of end-to-end, punch-for-punch, both managers having to make substitutes and having to retreat. It really has been a wonderful occasion.
“Man City for 40 minutes were special, fantastic. I think Man City dismantled Man Utd.”
He also praised City’s ability to withstand United’s fightback, saying: “Pep Guardiola came here with his team and answered a lot of questions. Not just they can dominate like he has done previously in other clubs, but also in the second half to withstand pressure and long balls.”