And so, Manchester United has done it again. They came from a goal behind to beat mighty Juventus in their own backyard. This was in stark contrast to going down meekly to a Paulo Dybala goal at Old Trafford in the earlier fixture.
As much as this is becoming a worrying sign, United seem to only click into gear when they concede a goal. This series of mini revivals, if you can call it that, started in early October when they hosted Newcastle. If you can recall, they went down very early to two Newcastle goals, before storming back in the second half to get all three points.
Then came the Chelsea game, where they again came back from a goal down and then threatened to leave Stamford Bridge with all three points before Ross Barkley’s injury time equaliser. The match against Everton didn’t fit into this series because they led comfortably by two goals before conceding a late goal but hey, who's complaining?
But then the Man Utd players slipped back into the mould away at Bournemouth, where they went down to a Callum Wilson goal in the 11th minute. But guess what, no worries, Martial and then Rashford came to the rescue and ensured they left with a win!
So it does seem that this is becoming a little bit of a pattern, albeit a worrying one. We all know that Jose Mourinho’s teams are typically defensively sound and concede very little goals. They don’t trail in the first half and if they don’t score, they don’t concede. They don’t lose often. Simple as that.
Hence, does this new pattern signal a new Jose approach? One that is a bit more open and less defensive? Is that why Manchester United is becoming a little bit more vulnerable? But on the flip side, isn’t this what fans have been asking for? A more attacking minded team? Logically speaking, by being more attack-minded, you are then sacrificing your defense. The pressure will then be on your defenders who may be more exposed.
This approach could be all good if we had quality central defenders but at the moment, Smalling and Lindelof are the best we can offer. So it could be a bad time to switch to this “new approach”. With all that being said, the match at the Etihad stadium will tell us whether Manchester United is indeed undergoing a resurgence or simply a lucky patch. The gulf can't be more apparent with City sitting pretty atop the table right now and United languishing in seventh.
But hey, all this is just talk and matches are not decided here or by pundits sitting in studios.
Bring on Pep and his boys for the Manchester Derby. Game on.
Head to Head
20 Mar 2016: Man City 0 Man Utd 1
10 Sep 2016: Man Utd 1 Man City 2
27 Apr 2017: Man City 0 Man Utd 0
10 Dec 2017: Man Utd 1 Man City 2
Editor's prediction: Man City 2 Man Utd 2 (Definitely goals in this due to United's leaky defence but am counting on their in-form player, Anthony Martial, to make a difference)
Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena.