Roy Keane said he felt sorry for the Manchester United players after their derby defeat to Manchester City as the former captain believes they are simply not good enough.
United were second best in a 2-0 loss to the Premier League champions at Old Trafford, an Eric Bailly own goal and a finish from Bernardo Silva settling the contest before half-time.
It was the Red Devils’ first home league match since the 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool but there was little better about this latest result other than the scoreline.
United had only one shot on target throughout, managing only 389 passes to City’s 821, as Pep Guardiola’s men eased through the contest in second gear.
Former United defender Gary Neville described it as a “calm annihilation” at City’s hands, and Keane agreed it was a game that looked easy for the visitors.
“It was so poor. The difference in class, quality and decision-making, basically everything,” he said on Sky Sports at half-time, after Bailly had turned into his own net and Silva had converted a Joao Cancelo cross that Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire left.
“I know the old saying is men vs boys, but United are so off it, it’s unbelievable. Look at Shaw and De Gea. What chance have you got in this game? I’ve been cross with these fellas for years.
“I give up on these players. These are international defenders. I can’t understand the defending. I give up.”
He continued after the match: “Phil Foden mentioned it is a tough place to come. It’s not. Ask Everton, ask Aston Villa and Liverpool. Teams have come to Old Trafford and are getting a bit of joy now.
“I know United’s away record has been fantastic over the last couple of seasons but ultimately it’s what you do at home that gives you that foundation to try and compete and go on and win trophies because United still always have the quality, even away from home. But their home form, the performance and the defending…
“We go back to characters. Scott McTominay, who I know is learning his trade. Fred in midfield. These players are not good enough for Manchester United.
“Defensively, I wasn’t shocked when Eric Bailly sliced that into his own net. He’s got that in his locker. He’s erratic.
“It was so comfortable for Man City. They just toyed with Man United. I’d like to go in hard on the United players, but today I’m feeling sorry for them. I think some of them aren’t up to playing for Manchester United, particularly at home.
“When I was at United you judge a player on how they cope with playing in front of 75,000 and you stay in the fight when you’re under the cosh.
“But this team doesn’t. They just don’t have the desire to stay in the fight. This team doesn’t have personality. They’re trying things and they’re a decent group going for lunch, but it’s what happens when the referee blows the whistle.”
United have now lost eight home games in all competitions in 2021, the most in a calendar year since 1989, while they have gone 14 matches at Old Trafford without a clean sheet for the first time since the 1950s.
They have also taken only eight points from their most recent nine home league games, losing to Liverpool and City without scoring in their previous two. The last time that happened was during the final weeks of David Moyes’ tenure in March 2014, when the Red Devils suffered consecutive 3-0 losses to their fiercest rivals.
The pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is only going to increase, and Keane accepted his old team-mate must get more from his players.
“Ole seems to be under pressure since he’s walked into the club and that’s not going away because people didn’t think he was up to it,” Keane said.
“The pressure is going to build but the players, I look at Shaw and De Gea, they’re international players. They couldn’t sniff out danger, these boys are too casual.
“Ole has to take responsibility and I’ve defended him for one or two years but he’s the manager and the staff need to get more out of these players.”