Rio Ferdinand thinks Manchester United’s goalless draw with Manchester City in December could be his former club’s biggest regret of their Premier League season.
When the two Manchester clubs went head-to-head in the reverse fixture before the turn of the year, the game ended in a goalless stalemate, with both sides looking pretty content with the points being shared at Old Trafford.
Ferdinand thinks that could turn out to be United’s biggest regret of the season as it was a chance to make a real statement if they had gone on to take maximum points from the game.
“Sometimes you’ve got to cling onto whatever you can at the time. We’re not going to win the league, we let that go,” the ex-United defender said on his Vibe with FIVE podcast.
“The only frustrating thing to come out of this weekend is that I wanted that type of performance at Old Trafford last time we played Man City.
“If we came with that type of energy, that type of game plan against Man City, we were a team that went there and said: ‘we want to win’, so we put a marker down.
“People are chasing us for second now, they understood the situation and went for it.
“I feel like it was an opportunity missed at Old Trafford, we didn’t sit there and go: ‘There’s an opportunity to win this league, let’s go for it’.
“It was a conservative display, almost a scared display at Old Trafford, this was the polar opposite. This should fill this team with confidence now.
“The bigger picture is, the players and the staff, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll be kicking themselves about that game against Man City at Old Trafford.
“It was there for the taking, it would’ve changed the whole dynamic of the season and the mindset would’ve been: right, it’s definitely on now. We let that go.
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Manchester United secured a memorable 2-0 derby victory over Man City at the Etihad Stadium.
Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw scored the goals to clinch an unexpected, but empathic, victory for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s troops against the league leaders.
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“You saw the performance this week when we actually went for it and the game plan was spot on, the players executed the game plan perfectly.
“We pressed them high, the pressing was brilliant, the way we pressed them and then we hit them on the break at times.
“We didn’t do that in the home leg. We know we can do it, because we’ve just done it, and we could look back at it and think: you know what, that’s where we probably let it go.
“Listen, City went on a run which was remarkable, really, what they did and it’s funny – Man United, when I played, we stopped the ‘Invincibles’ run and here we are, this world record run of wins on the bounce, Man United put that to a stop. It’s like we’re the party poopers, man, it’s what we do.”