David Moyes arrived at Old Trafford to replace Sir Alex Ferguson who retired after 26 years in charge at the champions and Manuel Pellegrini came in to succeed Roberto Mancini who was sacked after four years with the Citizens in which time he won the Premier League and FA Cup.
Neither Pellegrini or Moyes have had the ideal start to life in Manchester – the Chilean’s side have been inconsistent so far this term after a very impressive display and 4-0 win over Newcastle on the opening weekend, the Blues were defeated 3-2 away at newly promoted Cardiff, won 2-0 at home to Hull and suffered a goalless draw at the Britannia with Stoke last weekend.
Moyes’ start to life has been much the same – United were assured in their opening day 4-1 win at Swansea, then endured a goalless draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford, were beaten 1-0 at Anfield by Liverpool and won 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace last weekend.
Both sides will have been boosted by strong wins in midweek in their Champions League openers but now they go head to head this Sunday in a game that could very well set the tone for the title race.
So far Moyes’ form record is WDLW in the league and Pellegrini’s is WLWD – on form alone they are neck and neck already. Their experiences in the transfer market this summer, however, were very different.
Pellegrini brought in no less than 6 players for a grand total of £103.2 million whilst Moyes failed to bring in a number of top targets in Cesc Fabregas, Leighton Baines, Ander Herrera and Fabio Coentrao, ultimately signing £28 million Marouane Fellaini from his former club Everton on deadline day along with youngster Guillermo Varela for a total of £29.9 million.
Effectively, United spent 29 per cent of City’s outlay this summer but, crucially, they kept Wayne Rooney who was the subject of speculation over his future with the Red Devils. The England number 10 is in fine form after returning to Moyes’ side and could be the difference on Sunday when the sides meet.
Whilst City were more ‘successful’ in their transfer business this summer, lets not forget the increased pressure that comes part and parcel with spending so much money on new signings – Pellegrini will be under pressure to succeed just as his predecessor Mancini was and, arguably, he needs the win more than Moyes who has been chosen by Ferguson specifically and has (at present) the full backing of the owners, the board and the fans.
It’s almost impossible to say who’s had the better start to life in Manchester – neither of them really – but this weekend may offer the answer to the question in hand as whichever one of them loses this weekend may seal their fate for the season.
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