Danny Murphy used his Match of the Day analysis column to praise the impact Dutch international Daley Blind had on the match and why he was instrumental to help keep Manchester United in the game despite leaving the Etihad with no points.
Manchester United went down to 10-men after defender Chris Smalling was shown red following two yellow cards, before centre-back partner Marcos Rojo also left the field through injury.
Up against a potent Manchester City attack, United held firm thanks to some resolute defending but couldn't stop the league's top goalscorer in Sergio Aguero from winning all three points for City.
Match of the Day pundit Danny Murphy gave a lot of the credit for Manchester United's hard defensive work to Dutch man Daley Blind, who played the holding role behind former Everton duo Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney in the centre of midfield.
‘’Daley Blind was superb in United’s midfield and showed a really calm head.’’ Murphy told the BBC.
‘’Another attribute you need when you are playing with 10 men is someone who is not worried about playing under pressure and Blind did that brilliantly at Etihad Stadium.
‘’He did a great defensive job but rather than just whacking the ball out and clearing their lines until the next attack, he was trying to get them playing and taking a risk to try and build something for United to come forward.’’
Blind, who joined Manchester United last summer for a reported £14 million fee on deadline day, has become an ever-present fixture in the current United side and has worked hard to win over the supporters despite the club making their worst start to a season since 1986.
He has been used in a central role at United, despite Louis van Gaal deploying him as a wing-back for the Dutch national team at the World Cup, and took his usual place at the heart of United’s midfield alongside Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney against City and was arguably the star of the three.
The return of Michael Carrick will add a little competition for Blind, ensuring that he keeps on his toes, but if he continues to keep up the standard of performance he has showed since moving to Manchester United then it will be incredibly hard for the former England international to win the shirt back.
If he, and his Manchester United teammates, can keep up the standards set in the games against Chelsea and Manchester City then United do stand a good chance of a top four finish, but know that it won't be easy especially given their poor start.