City humiliate United
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
So complete was the humiliation of Erik Ten Hag's first Manchester derby that he chose to protect Cristiano Ronaldo from enduring the shame of being associated with such a performance.
A 6-3 defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad yesterday flattered United, with substitute Anthony Martial firing twice late on to add a modicum of respectability to the score.
But it could not disguise the total dominance of Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions, or Erling Haaland's status as arguably the most fearsome forward in world football.
What a contrast between the Norwegian -- who scored his third hat-trick of the season -- and Ronaldo, who watched on from the sidelines.
Ten Hag was scathing in his criticism of his team and revealed he opted against bringing on his 37-year-old striker to protect the player's reputation.
"I wouldn't bring him in because we are 4-1 down," said the United manager. "Out of respect for Cristiano, for his big career."
Ten Hag did not attempt to protect his other players, who were 4-0 down at halftime and trailing 6-1 before Martial's late double, with Phil Foden also hitting a hat-trick.
"The plan was to show bravery and confidence, but we didn't from the first minute," Ten Hag said. "We left Haaland and we were not tight.
United fans began to leave at halftime to avoid witnessing further indignities after a traumatic first 45 minutes.
Guardiola, meanwhile, is running out of words to praise his unstoppable centre forward, who now has 17 goals in 11 games for City - and scored his third hat- trick in successive home league games.
"Of course, the quality we have alongside him helps him to score goals," Guardiola said. "But what he has done, I didn't teach him once.
Meanwhile, Luis Sinisterra was sent off as 10-man Leeds held out for a 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.